Principal and CEO
The three most important elements are leadership, deals and financing. If you can assemble a great leadership team and find a compelling deal then the financing will follow.
Keeping up the team’s morale is important, especially at the beginning. At Trumark Homes, we knew it was going to be a long economic downturn and that we had to find small things to celebrate. So we created a “wall of success” to post little victories like city approvals, restructured deals, new projects in contract, new funding, etc.
As a leader you need to stay in the trenches with your team. When we started our homebuilding company in 2008, all executives had to work in cubicles until the first deal was funded while we subleased out the window offices. That sent a strong message to the staff that this was a start-up company in a difficult time and we were in this together as a team.
Shocking but true: You’re increasing your monthly home energy consumption 10 percent or more if you leave your electronic devices plugged in around the clock.
Computers, printers, cell phone chargers, TVs, hair dryers, cable TV boxes, digital cameras, microwave ovens, DVD players and video game consoles all draw power when they’re turned off but still plugged in to wall outlets. In fact, a quarter of the energy used by your TV each year is consumed when the TV is off, according to Colgate University.
So, yes, even though you dutifully power down your computer before bed each night, like many of your other consumer electronics, it still sucks power. Thus the nicknames of “phantom load,” “energy vampire” and “secret energy addicts.”
Greenlivingapartments.com reports that the phantom load in the average household consumes 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. That’s enough energy to power an entire home for two months, or more.
John Schueler of the U.S. Department of Energy writes: “With the average American household owning 25 consumer electronic devices, you can begin to see how these phantom loads can translate into a significant chunk of your energy bill.”
But the good news is you don’t have to run around plugging and unplugging 15 different devices twice a day. A nifty device called a power cord or power strip houses a row of outlets, and by hitting one toggle switch, you can turn them all off. A “Smart Strip” Smart Strips is a bit more expensive but does the work automatically, easily slaying your Energy Vampire.
Unplugging your electronics also helps the environment. Phantom-load consumption equates to approximately 500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions a year per household where the electricity is generated primarily through the burning of coal, writes Michael Bloch at GreenLivingTips.com.
“We could knock 1 percent of the amount of carbon dioxide being spewed into the atmosphere just by switching appliances and devices off at the wall when not in use,” Bloch writes.
Three other handy energy-saving tips from GreenApartmentLiving.com:
1. Swap out incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs. CFs use about 66 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
2. Turn down your thermostat by two degrees in the winter (and up two degrees in the summer). You’ll save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide this year.
3. Switch to cold-water washing and save 80 percent on laundry energy.
Dynamic Investment Specialist Managed Acquisitions for 900 Bay Area Residences in her First Seven Years in the Industry
DANVILLE, Calif. – December 18, 2012 – Jennifer Vo, a real estate professional who has booked more than $150 million in San Francisco Bay Area real estate transactions, has joined Trumark Homes as Senior Land Acquisitions Manager.
Vo came to Trumark from San Jose-based Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., where she was part of the Global Real Estate and Facilities team. From 2004-09, Vo worked for Taylor Morrison (formerly Taylor Woodrow Homes) as land acquisitions analyst and later land acquisitions manager for Northern California.
There, she placed over 900 single-family detached, townhome and condominium units in the San Francisco Bay Area representing $150 million in acquisition value, managing acquisition transactions from purchase and sale agreements to escrow closing processes.
“Jennifer’s credentials and experience are rare in someone so young, and we really liked her energy and work ethic,” said Michael Maples, principal of Trumark Homes. “She’s a team player, able to manage multiple projects with a high level of organization and attention to detail.”
“The more I get my feet wet at Trumark, the more I realize this is the right time to be in homebuilding,” Vo said. “There are unknowns, and competition, of course, but the economy is picking up and we feel there are definite opportunities in the Bay Area.”
Vo said the best part of her job at Trumark is the people. “They’re all creative, talented and very motivated. We’re all fighting for the same goals and it’s very family-like here, so I really like that aspect of the company.”
Vo received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2001, and last year she earned a Master of Science in Real Estate Development degree from Columbia University.
The day she graduated, she learned she and a classmate had won the Columbia University 2011 Real Estate Research Competition, which carries a $10,000 prize. In their winning entry, Vo and her classmate argued the best real estate investment strategy at the time was to buy discounted notes on commercial property rather than hard assets.
Being a woman in a male-dominated field keeps things interesting, she said. “There are challenges, but it’s exciting to be in an area where you don’t see a lot of women doing the job,” said Vo. “It’s given me wonderful professional opportunities, and it’s always interesting to figure out how I can create value for both Trumark and the neighborhoods we work in.”
About Trumark Homes
The Trumark Group of Companies is a diversified real estate developer and builder with expertise in land acquisition, homebuilding, community design, entitlements and office, R&D and retail development.
Trumark Companies is the residential development arm of the organization and has completed over $600 million in transactions since 2000, representing approximately 2,500 lots in Northern and Southern California.
Trumark Commercial, which builds, leases and sells commercial buildings, has entitled or developed approximately two million square feet of office, R&D, retail and hotel properties in the northern portion of the Golden State.
Trumark Homes is a new generation homebuilder that is nimble, focused and unburdened by broken projects of the past. Since May of 2009, Trumark has raised more than $140 million of equity and closed 16 deals. Its pipeline exceeds 1,500 lots in core urban areas of California, representing more than $900 million in future revenue.
Additional information is available at www.trumark-co.com.