FirstService Supports Plan to Enable Small and Large Investors to Purchase Pools of Assets From FHFA
In Response to FHFA’s REO Asset Disposition RFI the Company Espouses Need for Long-Term Investment Model and Management Infrastructure at the National and Local Level
Austin, TX – September 30, 2011 – FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV; TSX: FSV and FSV.PR.U), the nation’s largest property management and leasing services provider and parent company to Colliers International, First Service Residential Rental Management, Field Asset Services, and TenantAccess, today announced its support for large-scale REO sales to institutional investors and is urging the Administration to pursue a diverse approach that can support investors across a wide spectrum of size, geography, and not-for-profit affiliations.
“FirstService’s intent is to provide alternatives that are practical, scalable, and attractive to all parties in the pursuit of maximizing property value and stabilizing neighborhoods,” said Paul Hayman, an Executive within FirstService and Chief Executive Officer of TenantAccess. “When considering potential investor partners and strategy, scale and speed-to-market should be critical requirements. There are many institutional and private investors with access to capital but initializing the management of a local market housing strategy that includes a diverse and scattered property portfolio can present significant logistical challenges.”
To avoid these challenges, FirstService is recommending the development of a national set of standards for valuations, assessments, and improvements and a national set of standards for renter service, property habitability, and neighborhood stabilization. By creating these national standards, investors of all sizes and locality can manage larger portfolios across diverse geographies ultimately relieving the government of their REO inventory more efficiently and equitably.
According to Hayman, “Successful management of a property and its’ renters as well as the preservation of the property are essential elements to ensuring long-term value of an investor’s portfolio. Having local knowledge and expertise coupled with national resources capable of executing a diverse, property-by-property plan within the context of data-driven strategy, is the best way to achieve stability and liquidity.”
In the Company’s response to the FHFA’s RFI, FirstService also proposes performance management and third party auditing at both the property and investor level. By providing objective, relevant, and timely information reporting to the E/FHA, an integrated “checks and balances” system is enabled that can be uniform across the entire portfolio.
National, third party performance reviews not only offer the FHFA a reliable and trustworthy source from which to gather information needed to ensure properties and their renters are being managed correctly but also the ability to avoid renter abuse and bring greater stabilization to the nation’s neighborhoods.
“The government currently owns around 209,500 properties, which constitutes nearly half of the current REO inventory. This inventory is poised to grow significantly as the rate of foreclosure increases. In order for the Administration to successfully reduce this number, it’s essential that the guidelines enacted create an equal playing field for investors of all sizes, local or institutional,” said Toni Moss, Chief Executive Officer of AmeriCatalyst and EuroCatalyst. “One way to ensure fairness and equality is to establish national standards that address every step of the distressed lifecycle from property assessment and acquisition to management and future disposition.”
About FirstService Corporation
FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV; TSX: FSV and FSV.PR.U) is a global diversified leader in the rapidly growing real estate services sector, providing services in commercial real estate, residential property management and property services. Industry-leading service platforms include Colliers International, the third largest global player in commercial real estate services; FirstService Residential Management, the largest manager of residential communities in North America; FieldAsset Services, the nation’s premier provider of pre-foreclosure, REO services, and property renovation solutions to the mortgage servicing industry; and TenantAccess, a leading provider of property management and leasing services. s.
FirstService generates over US$2.2 billion in annualized revenues and has more than 18,000 employees worldwide. More information about FirstService is available at www.firstservice.com.