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LIVEbe, a premier apartment developer and operator, today announced that Jennifer Rucker, vice president of operations, has been named the John M. Gallagher, CPM Property Management Professional of the Year by the Property Management Association.
Rucker will be honored Thursday night at the PMA Past Presidents’ Award Banquet at the Bethesda Marriott. The PMA will also announce that LIVEbe Vice President Elaine De Lude has been named to the board as the organization’s secretary/treasurer.
“It is humbling to receive such a prestigious honor, but this is truly a ‘team’ award,” said Rucker, who will be featured in an upcoming PMA bulletin. “We’ve always prescribed to the idea that if you take care of your team members, they will take care of you. LIVEbe is a testament to that notion, as our onsite ambassadors have been amazing and empowered us to reach truly transcendent service levels.”
LIVEbe recently was honored with numerous 2017 SatisFacts Resident Satisfaction awards, both for individual communities and for the company as a whole. LIVEbe developments 2Hopkins (Baltimore) and The Remy (New Carrollton) reached lease-up within a year, and The Remy earned a Delta Associates Excellence Award for Best Lease-Up Pace for a Suburban Maryland Apartment Community.
In her role, Rucker is responsible for property management operations, revenue and expense management, asset preservation and recruiting in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan markets. The Highpoint University graduate has more than 20 years of property management experience and previously held roles at ROSS Companies, LCOR, The Mark Winkler Companies and Charles E. Smith Residential.
“Jennifer has been a longtime supporter of PMA and views this honor as an opportunity to provide career development for our ambassadors at all of our communities,” De Lude said. “LIVEbe and Berman Enterprises are proud of her well-deserved accomplishment and know how gracious she is to receive it.”
De Lude is a longtime PMA participant and has received the organization’s Vision Award, the Carole Worley Distinguished Service Awards and several MAE Awards. Another multifamily veteran who previously served as the chief marketing officer for ROSS Companies, De Lude has facilitated training programs for PMA Associates and a speaker at national industry events. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Maryland.
“The PMA is a great platform for multifamily professionals to get involved in the industry and give back to the community,” De Lude said. “The organization has a number of resources that provide learning, leadership and networking opportunities, including a community service committee. The PMA has played a pivotal role in successfully advancing the careers of hundreds of associates, and I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve on the board as secretary and treasurer.”
LIVEbe, a premier apartment developer and operator, today announced the completion of the lease-up of 2Hopkins, a luxury high-rise apartment community centrally located in downtown Baltimore.
The community, which features 183 apartment homes and a host of cutting-edge amenities, took 12 months to reach stabilized occupancy, which was LIVEbe’s target from the start. Throughout the process, the community averaged 15 move-ins per month and received 24 applications per month. 2Hopkins team members, dubbed LIVEbe Ambassadors, maintained mystery-shopper scores above 85 percent throughout the year.
“This is truly a reflection of our LIVEbe Ambassadors, who have provided the superior service levels that attracted new residents and allowed us to reach stabilization,” said Elaine De Lude, vice president of LIVEbe. “When apartment prospects visit 2Hopkins, our team genuinely and consistently makes a positive impact on their decision.”
LIVEbe’s focus on resident service recently resulted in numerous 2017 SatisFacts Resident Satisfaction awards. That included one for 2Hopkins, which received an average survey score of 4.49 based on a minimum of 25 surveys. 2Hopkins also recently received recognition as the 2018 Best Multifamily Renovation or Conversion by the Great American Living Awards in the category of Best Design and Architecture. In addition, the community earned a 2018 Silver Star Award from the Maryland Multi-Housing Association.
The 21-story community, which features apartment residences starting on the 11th floor, built its resident base in floor-by-floor, bottom-up fashion. The first 10 floors of the building are designated for a commercial tenant, which has its own separate access.
The general apartment portion of 2Hopkins overlooks downtown and includes a stunning 21st-floor amenity center with sweeping views of the city, including Camden Yards. The area consists of a large social space with a kitchenette and banquet area, two secluded seating areas with TVs , an aesthetically designed lounge with gathering tables and a health and fitness center with free weights, cardio machines and spin/yoga room. 2Hopkins also has a community concierge, secondary fitness center that includes a rock climbing wall, large dog park, small dog park and a pet spa, garage parking, EV-charging stations and spacious layouts with top-of-the-line fixtures and finishes.
“The apartments speak for themselves and the amenities are more sleek and refined than anything you’ll experience in the city,” said Jennifer Rucker, vice president of operations for LIVEbe. “But without an amazing team, even the most plush new apartment community takes some time to fill up. We firmly believe that our driven and ambitious Ambassadors not only kept us on pace, but will allow 2Hopkins to remain one of the best living experiences in the area for the foreseeable future.”
2Hopkins was the first community on the East Coast to install refrigerated package lockers by Smiota, which allow residents to store perishable goods. The lockers enable residents to order from food-delivery services while away from home and ensure the items remain refrigerated until they are retrieved.
LIVEbe, a premier apartment developer and operator, today announced that The Remy, a 278-unit midrise apartment community in Lanham, Md., has earned a Delta Associates Excellence Award in the category of Best Lease-Up Pace for a Suburban Maryland Apartment Community.
The Remy, which began leasing in 2017 in the emerging Harkins District of Prince George’s County, was able to reach lease-up in one year and has averaged 23 move-ins in its first 12 months. Delta Associates used a 10-month metric and recognized an average of 19 move-ins en route to stabilization. LIVEbe was presented with the award on Oct. 17 at the Delta Associates’ 22nd Annual Apartment and Condominium Industry Awards for Excellence, a private cocktail event on the rooftop of the 880 P apartments in Washington, D.C.
“This achievement is a reflection of our magnificent team of LIVEbe Ambassadors, whose exceptional service levels attracted new members at a lightning-fast pace,” said Jayme Martin, community director of LIVEbe. “While the rapid lease-up of the community gives us tremendous pride, the mission isn’t over after members move in. We aim to exceed their expectations throughout their stay, and The Remy’s Ambassadors have done a stellar job of that.”
LIVEbe has created a unique culture, part of which includes referring to its team members as Ambassadors and residents as members. The company’s focus on resident service recently resulted in numerous 2017 SatisFacts Resident Satisfaction awards, which included one for The Remy. The community received a nearly perfect average survey score of 4.93.
“The Remy will draw plenty of traffic on its own with its unique aesthetic appeal and vast suite of amenities,” said Katie Thomas, director of LIVEbe Leasing Ambassadors. “But it’s certainly not the only luxury apartment community in the area, and our Ambassadors made a pronounced difference in leasing up the community so quickly. We are both excited and humbled to receive this recognition a year after opening our doors.”
Situated at 7730 Harkins Road, The Remy features immediate access to the New Carrollton Station, which provides access to Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New York and Pennsylvania via Amtrak and Metrorail. Shortly after opening, The Remy ambassadors and members collected donations and engaged in an area cleanup effort to help brings a sense of community to the Harkins District.
The Remy consists of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment homes and features a rooftop lounge, hydrotherapeutic saltwater pool, outdoor grills, relaxing courtyards, dog run, pet spa, state-of-the-art fitness center with yoga studio, game room, movie-screening room, gamers gallery and telecommuting spaces. Apartment interiors include stainless-steel appliances, quartz countertops, in-unit washers and dryers, double-pane windows, hardwood flooring, walk-in closets and designer lighting and hardware.
A design of Phase II is underway with construction to follow. The second phase will add more than 200 additional apartment homes, and retail space within the buildings.
The Delta Associates’ Multifamily Practice Group annually issues awards to recognize outstanding multifamily accomplishments in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area.
LIVEbe, a premier apartment developer and operator, today announced a unique recruiting campaign designed to attract motivated individuals with creative problem-solving skills who are passionate about creating connected communities.
Known for implementing methods that veer from conventional practices in the apartment industry, LIVEbe is targeting ambitious individuals unafraid to go beyond predictable solutions. The company’s employees, known as LIVEbe ambassadors, will have the freedom to think creatively and not be bound by the commandments of a stringent employee manual.
“We’re always seeking ways to transform conventional management practices in an industry that can be very stagnant,” said Elaine De Lude, vice president of LIVEbe. “With this recruiting campaign, we’re veering from the cubicle mentality and sending the message that there is room for growth by thinking outside the box. We want driven individuals who can uncover creative ways to effectively handle difficult situations.”
As part of the campaign, LIVEbe is incorporating creative language into its employee-seeking materials. Rather than advertise for positions such as leasing team associate, the company is seeking unicorn wranglers, all-knowing oracles and cloud-shape creators. The colorful language is accompanied by job descriptions that question whether the potential employer can create and maintain a magical environment, accomplish the amazing by sheer strength of will and make even the most persnickety beasts happy.
The goal is to attract those who are eager for more than just a desk job for a run-of-the-mill company. Retaining residents can be a deterministic factor in an ultra-competitive apartment market, and the ability of an onsite ambassador to create solutions and resolve resident concerns can help prevent turnover.
“We’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that if we take care of our Ambassadors, they will take care of our residents,” said Shannon Taylor, director of human resources for LIVEbe. “When you empower your associates and provide them with the freedom to be innovative, solutions are developed much more rapidly and resident satisfaction quickly follows.”
LIVEbe’s focus on LIVEbe Ambassadors and resident service recently resulted in a 2017 SatisFacts National Company Award for Resident Satisfaction. The three communities overseen by the company all earned individual Resident Satisfaction awards, as well, for registering an average score of above 4.0 on at least 25 surveys.
The growing LIVEbe portfolio now consists of four Maryland-based communities, including 2Hopkins (Baltimore), The Remy (Harkins District), Glen Oaks (Greenbelt) and The Bowen (Bowie). LIVEbe took over management responsibilities of The Bowen last month.
“Although our residents have been satisfied, we believe this is only the beginning,” said Jennifer Rucker, vice president of operations for LIVEbe. “By hiring individuals who truly want to grow within the company and envision themselves as part of the brand, we can build customer service levels that transcend anything currently available in the industry.”
Even at the most luxurious apartment communities, amenities can be something of a bonus. Developers generally first compose a blueprint that allows for the maximum amount of residents before deciding where to add the perks.
LIVEbe flipped the script on the development playbook with 2Hopkins, a recently opened high-rise apartment community in Downtown Baltimore that has a decidedly amenity-first vibe. From its refrigerated package lockers designed to store perishable goods, dog park and spa that features separate small- and large-dog play areas to its stunning 21st-floor social space and fitness center, the community stands out even as developers begin to get more competitive in the amenities race.
"We're always aiming to tweak the multifamily mold, and the amenity package and 2Hopkins is a prime example of that," said Elaine De Lude, vice president of LIVEbe. "So often, new communities bury their amenities and they can feel like an afterthought to residents. We believe not only our amenities, but also where they are situated, completely caters to the resident experience - even if it meant we had to build fewer apartment homes than we could have."
An optimum example of that is the 21st floor, which would have made an ideal setting for additional homes at the 183-unit community. Instead, the floor consists of large social space with kitchen and banquet area, two secluded seating areas with views of the city, an aesthetically designed lounge with gathering tables and a health and fitness center with free weights, cardio machines and spin/yoga room.
Situated at 2 Hopkins Place, the community aspires to create a cutting-edge quintessential downtown Baltimore experience viewed through floor-to-ceiling windows. It is the first residential community on the East Coast to implement refrigerated lockers, which serve as a premier service amenity that allows residents to safely store food deliveries. Developed by Smiota, the lockers provide round-the-clock access for residents through a smartphone app.
A pet spa complements the dog park, and residents can schedule pet grooming services, a community host/concierge and garage parking. Residents also have access to the services of venerable community host/concierge Patrick Lowe, well known in local circles as one who far surpasses expectations.
The community's additional features include EV charging stations, a bike storage and repair station and garage parking. The spacious lobby features a grand entrance, soaring ceilings, vast seating areas, curated artwork, real-time transit screen and professional working area.
2Hopkins consists of studio, 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Apartment interiors include chef-caliber kitchens with quartz countertops, white glass-accent cabinetry, pendant lighting, stainless-steel appliances and French door refrigerators. Apartment homes also include washers and vent-less dryers, baths with ceramic tiling, custom showers with white subway tile, walk-in closets, designer lighting package including backlit vanity mirrors, wood-style flooring and an energy-efficient design.
Penthouses on the 19th through 21st floors offer enhanced features such as motorized window blinds, expansive city views and designer touches in the corridors.
LIVEbe, a premier apartment developer and operator dedicated to delivering distinct apartment homes within connected communities, today announced that it has taken over management responsibilities of The Bowen, a luxury apartment community located less than a mile from Bowie Town Center.
Situated approximately midway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and about 20 miles west of Annapolis, The Bowen is commuter-friendly and boasts an alluring package of amenities. Berman Enterprises, LIVEbe's parent company, purchased the LEED Silver-certified community in 2014, and previously used a third-party management company.
"We cannot wait to add our LIVEbe Ambassadors - our passionate, service-driven team members - to The Bowen and place our signature imprint on the community," said Elaine De Lude, vice president of LIVEbe. "We're excited to do here what we've done with our other properties by instilling a unique, resident-friendly culture that emphasizes authentic community. By taking care of our Ambassadors, they in turn will provide an unmatched living experience for our residents."
Located at 14909 Health Center Drive, the community features near-direct access to the vast shopping and dining opportunities of Bowie Town Center. The center boasts shopping opportunities ranging from Macy's to Best Buy and an abundance of local and national cuisine opportunities, in addition to a Starbucks.
The Bowen's proximity to US Route 50 offers connectivity to Washington D.C. to the southwest and Annapolis to the east, while nearby Interstate 495 is the gateway to Baltimore. While those cities provide an abundance of employment opportunities, many others exist within the burgeoning town of Bowie. Previously regarded as nothing more than a railroad stop, the city has morphed into the largest municipality in Prince George's County and third-largest city in Maryland.
The Bowen, a gated community with electronic-access covered parking, consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes with various floor plans. Community amenities include a clubroom with lounge-style seating and grand fireplace; resort-style pool with lounge seating and a sundeck with grilling stations; game room with foosball, refreshment bar and multiple flat-screen televisions; movie theater with surround sound, plush seating and fresh popcorn and business center/cyber café with complimentary coffee bar. Residents also have access to a 24-hour fitness center with yoga studio, grand library, bike racks and storage and onsite concierge services.
Apartment interiors feature bamboo wide-plank flooring, chef-inspired kitchens with dark-granite countertops, energy-efficient stainless steel appliances, gas fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, large walk-in closets, spa-inspired bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, in-home washers and dryers and expansive patios or balconies.
"We're eager to start creating cultural atmospheres that will foster genuine social connection," said Jennifer Rucker, vice president of operations for LIVEbe. "The Bowen is already blessed with a prime location and extremely comfortable and upscale apartment homes, and we want it to transcend the physical attributes with service that redefines apartment living."