Author Archives: pillarpropert

Washington’s Best Workplaces

We are pretty darn excited to be named to the 2015 Puget Sound Business Journal’s list of Best Workplaces. This is a huge honor and recognition for our young company. The award is based on the survey responses from our team members related to job satisfaction, relationships with bosses, camaraderie with fellow employees and opportunity for advancement.


We are one of just 20 companies in our size range (50– 99 employees) who made the list in the state of Washington.  We will join the other companies on the list at a celebration rally at Safeco Field on August 13 and we are looking forward to celebrating with our entire team.  At the rally the Business Journal will announce the top three ranked companies in our category and our fingers are crossed but even making the list is a big accomplishment.

“To even make this prestigious list is truly humbling. I know that what makes Pillar Properties a great place to work is each of our team members and the commitment they make to being quietly awesome everyday. I could not be more proud of our team and our company,” said Billy Pettit, senior vice president, Pillar Properties.

You can read the announcement from the Puget Sound Business Journal here.


Pillar Loves Pets is Here!

June is Pillar Loves Pets Month! This is our time to celebrate the furry friends who make life so much better and we want you and your pet to join us!  We love pets of all shapes and sizes and our apartments features some swell pet amenities, too.  We have some seriously cute pets living at our apartments and this is the month for them to shine.  And maybe win you some cash!

us    busy

We kicked off the month by supporting the Seattle Animal Shelter Furry 5k at Seward Park.  The place was jumping with dogs (and their owners) and it was so much fun to watch the action from our booth while we handed out some doggie treats. It was really great to see some of our residents drop by to say hello too!

                   dog eating

The Furry 5k raises funds for the shelter, which takes in approximately 6,000 stray and owner-surrendered animals each year. Since so many of these animals are in need of significant care, they created the Help the Animals Fund in 1977, and all proceeds from the Furry 5K help fund their mission.  By the way, if you missed the walk, but want to support the Help the Animals Fund, you still can by visiting this online donation form.

dogs                   walk

Next up for us is the 3rd Annual Pillar Loves Pets Photo Contest! We are searching for the cutest, funniest, best pet photo in town. You can enter your four-legged friend into our tail to tail contest against other furry competitors!  What are you waiting for? Submit a picture of your pet doing something silly, funny, ridiculous or incredibly adorable for a chance to win! From now until June 26 we’ll be collecting the best pet photos. Then, invite your friends to vote from June 27 to July 10 on their favorite submissions! Be sure to follow us on Facebook to qualify to enter the contest.  Winners will receive $150 and $50 gift cards, so tell your pet to get posing!  Submit your photo here until June 26.

Century        Barkley

Last year, hundreds of our residents and neighbors voted, choosing Leo and Tucker as the cutest pets in the Pacific Northwest, followed closely by Loki and Oliver. Think you can top them this year?  Good luck!

Maintenance Mania: Putting Skills to Test

Have you ever wondered how our maintenance team can make repairs so quickly? These guys are serious rock stars, taking care of our building and most importantly, your apartment, whenever we need them.  And when a toilet is leaking or an air conditioner isn’t working, we really need them! One of the ways our guys hone their skills is at Maintenance Mania. It sounds like a rock concert for maintenance teams but the program offered by the National Apartment Association (NAA), is actually an exciting and fun way for our maintenance teams to put their skills to test.

Maintenance Mania ALL

From left to right: Mark Lanouette, Mike Virdell, Paul Hanson, Clay Williams, Bill Holbrook, Richard Hughes and Tyler Patton at Maintenance Mania April, 2015.

Our team recently attended the Maintenance Mania event sponsored by the Washington Multifamily Housing Association (WMFHA). Maintenance Mania is first and foremost a competition of maintenance activities. Our maintenance supervisors, along with maintenance professionals from all over the Puget Sound, participated individually in eight different games focused on challenging their maintenance skills. Each game involves a common maintenance activity—seems easy, right? Except they are judged not only on their execution and completion, but they have to finish the task as fast as possible.  That’s a lot of pressure!

The competitions included a car race where our team members had to build their own race cars with only maintenance supplies prior to the event. The goal was to be as inventive as possible to create the fastest and most ingenious car possible, check out our team member’s cars below.kujf;khvOther competitions included water heater installation, control deadbolt test, flush toilet conversion and faucet installation. Each one is designed to test the competitor’s ability to execute these tasks, and the speed at which each is completed. Now you know how our maintenance team can work so quickly to fix your toilet, faucet or your air conditioner!

Along with learning new skills and honing some old ones, our team had lots of fun participating in this event. They love any excuse to get together, hang out and do what they are so passionate about. They tell us that they learned a lot, they were able to share each other’s tactics, and while it was an individual competition, they helped each other with tips and tricks—because for our guys, it’s always about team work!

People of Pillar Properties: Paul Hanson and Jon Lora

Our team members are the face of Pillar Properties and they come to work every day with the goal of making sure our properties are meeting the needs of everyone who lives there.  It’s not an easy job but we love how they keep smiling and do all they can to make living at our properties quietly awesome.

Even though you may see them on the job, we thought you might like to get a chance to know them better and find out what makes them tick. This month, we’d like to introduce to you two of the superstars from our maintenance team at The Lyric who share an interesting history.

Paul Hanson  Paul 2

Paul joined Pillar Properties six months ago with extensive construction and maintenance experience. He learned about Pillar Properties from his longtime friend and our Senior Maintenance Supervisor, Bill Holbrook. They’ve been friends for over 35 years, and when Bill was looking for someone to take the Maintenance Supervisor position at The Lyric, he didn’t have to look any further. Paul has been enjoying the challenges this new job presents and has brought a lot of experience to The Lyric. His favorite thing is being part of a team, and according to his team “he’s like a dad,” who keeps them going and is there when they need him.

Jon Lora

Jon joined us this past January with an amazing customer service background and an eagerness Jon 3to learn. Jon actually owes his opportunity at The Lyric to a chance meeting with Paul.  Jon was working at a hardware store where Paul bought supplies and he was impressed with Jon’s welcoming smile and willingness to help. When a position at The Lyric opened up, it dawned on Paul that the guy at the hardware store with great customer service skills could be the right person for the job. On the next visit instead of asking for help at the store, Paul asked Jon if he would be interested in working for Pillar Properties.  The rest is history and Jon says he’s grateful that Paul thought of him for his job at The Lyric.  Jon says he has learned a lot since he started five months ago and he is glad a chance meeting with Paul led to his new role.  He says he loves doing hands-on work and being part of The Lyric team.

To get to know Jon and Paul better, we came up with some silly questions for them to ponder:

What was your favorite TV show growing up?

Paul absolutely loved to watch Happy Days while growing up and Jon loved watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  We guess The Fonz and Will Smith are pretty cool role models when you’re growing up.

If you could be any cartoon character which one would you be and why?

Paul didn’t have to think about it twice, he would love to be Bugs Bunny because nobody ever messes with him and he can get away with a lot of things.  Jon said he grew up with comic books and would love to be Superman because he can fly. He also said he would like to be Batman because of his intelligence.

If you could be a mariners player, which position would you play and why?

While Paul didn’t have a favorite player, he said he liked the shortstop position because there is lots of action and you always have to think fast—he liked the challenge of thinking on your feet.

Photo credit: Mariners' Facebook.

Photo credit: Mariners’ Facebook.

Jon said he’d want to be Robison Canó. You may not know this about Jon but he is from the Dominican Republic and he identifies with Canó because he is too.

What’re your favorite pizza toppings?

Both Paul and Jon got very excited about this question because they love pizza, and even joked

Photo credit: Del Monte Europe

Photo credit: Del Monte Europe

about how they might need to order one immediately. Paul likes the classics and said he loves Hawaiian pizza, so his favorite toppings are pineapple and Canadian bacon.

Jon said he absolutely LOVES pizza and would eat it all the time if he could, especially stuffed crust pizza. He isn’t too picky about his toppings, but he normally goes for pepperoni and green peppers. He did clarify he hates mushrooms on his pizza, and doesn’t like to have too many toppings on, only one or two for moderation.

What do you think? Do you agree with them? Would you like to know more? Share your questions for our team members on the comments, and we’ll be sure to ask!

Earning the Opportunity – Senior VP Billy Pettit at AIM 2015


Senior Vice President Billy Pettit (second from left) at AM 2015

The successful lease up at our Stadium Place property in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood was a hot topic at the recent AIM 2015 (Apartment Internet Marketing) conference in Huntington Beach, California.  Apartment owners and managers from across the country attended the conference and our Senior Vice President Billy Pettit was a featured speaker.

DSC_0251Pettit discussed the challenges and opportunities in opening a property with almost 500 apartment units in an area that had not been considered desirable as a residential location.  The property sits next to Century Link Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders, and offers stunning views of Puget Sound and downtown.

Pettit discussed the content marketing strategy for Stadium Place that focused on partnering with the neighborhood and becoming a source of information about restaurant, retails and events available in the area.  The campaign built excitement around the growth in the area and helped to establish Stadium Place as a viable residential community.


In addition, Pettit said they were able to be part of the excitement surrounding the Super Bowl run for the Seahawks.  During construction, they hung a big pick up truck that was decked out for the Hawks from the top of the construction crane.  It was visible from the stadium and fans loved it.

12Capitalizing on that success, Pettit told the crowd how he worked with the architects to construct a giant 12 on Stadium Place to show support for the team.  It was seen throughout the area and it quickly became the most photographed building in the city.  The giant 12 showed Stadium Place’s commitment to the fans and generated excitement as prospective residents were drawn to living in the property.

Pettit also discussed the relationship he forged with a local TV station that resulted in live broadcasts from the property on game days throughout the season once the property was opened.  This publicity generated interest in the property and contributed to the quick lease up of the two apartment towers the comprise Stadium Place.


Ultimately Pettit said that the relationships they formed and the continued commitment to the neighborhood have been critical to the success of the property.  He also admits that it never hurts to get a little lucky and that opening the property the same year that the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl provided an excellent opportunity.


Our take on the Institute of Real Estate Management Summit in D.C.

Earlier this month, Diana Norbury, vice president of multifamily operations, attended the IREM Leadership Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit served as a platform for real estate management professionals from all around the globe to network, discuss important industry issues and weigh in on how to maximize IREM membership benefits.

“I believe we can improve IREM’s membership by making IREM more accessible to entry-level professionals in the industry, by promoting certificates or designations that aren’t just for manager level positions or organizations,” Norbury said.

In addition to being an IREM member and CPM candidate, Norbury also sits on the National and Local Chapter for Education and Product Knowledge Committees, as she has always been passionate about real estate education. Therefore, she takes any opportunity to raise awareness and to enhance the quality of training and designations of real estate professionals.

Photo by IREM.

Photo by IREM.

Norbury hopes this will encourage real estate management as a profession. During the summit, she had the opportunity to meet with her local chapter’s executive to discuss ideas on how to enrich the current program offerings to include entry-level professionals. Norbury believes this would help those who are new to the industry grow through the ranks, creating a more qualified group of professionals and adding value to their organizations. This approach would also increase member count as the young professionals would acquire and maintain an IREM membership throughout their careers.

On the national level discussion, Norbury shared that they evaluated the new IREM online course product offerings and what needed to be done to sell more courses and ensure the right audience is targeted. Norbury believes encouraging younger membership would not only increase IREM’s member numbers and increase the usage of online courses, but would also ensure an innovative and fresh approach is embraced and practiced by IREM.

Congressman Steve Stivers.  Photo by IREM.

Congressman Steve Stivers. Photo by IREM.

Keynote speaker, Congressman Steve Stivers, spoke about what’s in store for the Industry’s Legislative Agenda, and shared 2015 advocacy issues. He also prepared them to go up The Hill to advocate, on behalf of each respective region, on legislation that impacts our industry.

The five-day summit was filled with passionate industry professionals who were looking to network, share knowledge and learn from one another. Diana Norbury had a rich experience and was able to share some of her ideas, while learning industry tips and practices, and learned what’s in store for the real estate industry.

Team Pillar Supports Seattle MS Walk

We joined the cause this past Sunday: Seattle Multiple Sclerosis Walk 2015—our very first companywide Pillar Passions team member event, and it was a huge success!

Clayton and Danielle

Clayton and Danielle

At Pillar Properties we present each year an E.P.I.C. award to a team member who exemplifies our company values: Excellence, Passion, Innovation and Commitment. Each year, the winner will be asked to choose an organization worthy of our team’s support. Our 2014 winner Clayton Williams wanted to support the MS Walk and it was an honor for all of us to walk with Clayton and his wife Danielle to support this worthy cause that is very close to their hearts.

We were so excited to have everyone come together to donate, support and participate in the MS Walk.  It was terrific to see such a big turnout and to have a sunny Sunday morning to hang out and intermingle with other team members. Plus, we all looked great in our Team Pillar shirts!

From left to right: Billy, Mike and Dave.

From left to right: Billy, Mike and Dave.

Together our team raised $2,560 for the thousands of families in the MS Chapter who are affected by this, and we couldn’t be more proud of our team’s commitment to this great cause. The money we raised through the MS Walk helps to allow 15,000 people living with MS in the northwest to receive local programs and services, of which 11 projects are right here in Washington. We consider it to be very localicious and Quietly Awesome for us to be part of such a great Pillar Passions event and we were thrilled to see the large number of team members who were able to take the time to be part of our walking team.


Team members and family before the walk.


Go Team Pillar!

People of Pillar Properties series: Tyler Patton and Markus Lytle

What are we most proud of at Pillar Properties?  Without question the answer to that is always our team members.  They are the heart and soul of our properties and they bring our commitment to being Quietly Awesome to life.  We think our team members are so cool that it’s not fair to keep them to ourselves.

Welcome to our People of Pillar Properties series, where you’ll get a chance each month to get up close and personal with our team.  Today we meet two of the people that make Stadium Place rock.

Stadium Place; The Nolo and The Wave.

Stadium Place; The Nolo and The Wave.

Tyler Patton, Maintenance Supervisor joined us in 2012 from our sister company, Merrill Gardens, and he has an incredible passion for solving problems with efficient and clever solutions.  Tyler thrives on working with residents and he gets lots of positive feedback for his work.

Tyler Patton, Maintenance Supervisor at Stadium Place.

Tyler Patton, Maintenance Supervisor at Stadium Place.

Markus Lytle, Maintenance Technician, joined us recently and has already set himself up for success with his excellent skills and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Markus 2

Markus Lytle, Maintenance Technitian at Stadium Place.

And since we already know that Tyler and Markus are great at what they do, we thought it would be fun to do a little detective work and find out what really makes them tick.  So we asked them some weird questions:

  1. Random fact:

It took a bit of convincing, but they finally told us! Growing up, Markus was in a bowling league for eight years! Scoring 250 points or more every time he played.

Tyler was an avid backpacker, he traveled through the Grand Canyon with friends, first in seventh grade, then again a few times in high school. He shared that his survival truly depended on his preparedness—and he’s always prepared now.



  1. If you could be any animal…

While Tyler is an outgoing and lively person, he confided that he would love to be a Sloth so he could sleep all day.
On the other hand, Markus wanted to be more adventurous and would like to be a Siberian Tiger so he could have dangerous claws and teeth to defend himself.

Siberian Tiger. Source:

Siberian Tiger. Source:

  1. Favorite Lunchbox as a kid:

He didn’t want to admit it, but Tyler’s favorite lunchbox was the Weezer, while Markus proudly shared he was the cool kid who brought his Batman lunchbox every day.

Weezer Lunch Box

One of many designs of the Weezer Lunchbox Tyler loved.

4.  If you could be a tree, which one would you be and where?

Markus assured us that ever since he was little he’d always wanted to be the Tree of Life from The Lion King, so he could be in the safari and hang out with the wild animals.

The Tree of Life from The Lion King. Source: The Lion King Wikia

The Tree of Life from The Lion King. Source: The Lion King Wikia

Tyler decided he would like to be an Evergreen Tree, so he could have foliage year round and live a happy, long and prosperous life.

At Pillar Properties, we like to celebrate our team members and all their unique qualities.  But we are still pretty surprised to learn that Tyler carried the Weezer lunch box.

Pillar’s Five Safety Features for our Properties.

At Pillar Properties, we are committed to providing you state of the art security at each property. But, what does that really mean?  Basically, it’s not just one system or one practice, it is a collaborative work of systems, team members and practices that ensure our properties maintain a positive environment.

Here are our five key safety features for our properties:

  1. Courtesy Patrol: Noise complaint?  No problem! Courtesy Patrol is available at night when our management team leaves for the day. Call them if you encounter any incidents, disturbances or noise complaints and they will check it out right away. They are also at the property for holidays or big events such as Seahawks games, New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July. Courtesy Patrol is well-informed about each neighborhood and they are briefed on the property needs, so they can patrol and ensure everything is in order.
  2. Saflok Key System: We don’t want you to worry about anything at home, that’s why we invest in a Saflok key and lock system, which allows us to provide controlled access to the property.  That means a magnetic key fob is needed in order to gain access not only to the front door and your apartment, but also to the elevator and common areas. This helps minimize the risk of non-residents gaining access. Each key is tailored for individual use, so a resident would have different access for example than a dog walker or cleaning person that is hired by a resident.  This system also allows for fast and easy lost and stolen key deactivation and replacement. It’s as simple as stopping by the office to let us know and we will deactivate previous key and create a new one in no time.
  3. Gated Parking and Remotes: We often see our cars an extension of ourselves, therefore we are always looking to keep it safe. We provide gated parking with a garage remote to provide controlled access for your car. So you can have a peace of mind at home, knowing your car is resting peacefully.
  4. Maintenance Emergency 24-hour Contact: We know emergencies happen, especially when we least expect it, which is why we have maintenance available 24 hours a day. From a water leak to a heater malfunction, help is just a phone call away.
  5. Security Cameras: If an incident happens and no one is around, does it make a sound? We care about what happens at our properties, even when no one is around to see it, which is why our properties are equipped with security cameras in all common areas. The footage is reviewed periodically or when an incident is reported to ensure that everyone is maintaining safety standards.

Pillar Properties Named Tops in the Nation for Resident Satisfaction!


National Award-Company-2014 (2)

Our teams are constantly focused on customer service at Pillar Properties.  Its the cornerstone of our mission – to provide what we call a ‘quietly awesome’ experience for our residents.  That means our teams work diligently behind the scenes to make sure the experience inside our properties matches residents lifestyles, needs and expectations.  Being quietly awesome is a focus for everything we do and it is the guiding light of our customer service team.

That’s why we are especially proud to receive the SatisFacts 2014 National Resident Satisfaction Award for 2014.  SatisFacts is a national company that works with more than a million apartment dwellers annually to gauge their experiences.  We are thrilled that of the nearly 300 property management companies across the country, Pillar Properties is ranked in the top three!*

“Seeing Pillar Properties recognized with this award is exceptional but I can humbly say I am not surprised,” said Billy Pettit, senior vice president for Pillar Properties.  “This all comes back to the teams at each of our properties – The Lyric, The Wave and The Nolo at Stadium Place, The Century, The Corydon and The 101.  They are deeply committed to making our properties a special place to live and they are clearly succeeding.”

SatisFacts surveys all residents annually and again anytime a resident moves in, has a maintenance request or moves out. Based on those surveys, Pillar Properties also received an Exceptional Company Award (score of 4.5 or higher of 5.0) for resident satisfaction.  You can see the awards and rankings here.

“This awards shows us that our teams are responding to our resident’s needs and that’s what truly matters to us. We focus every day on ensuring that our property teams are quick to address any issues that arise for our residents.  That’s what makes Pillar Properties different from other property owners and that’s what being quietly awesome is all about,” said Pettit.

SatisFacts is the apartment industry retention and reputation management authority, working with hundreds of management companies and more than a million apartment units nationally.  You can learn more about the company here.



* Of companies with less than 2,000 apartment units