BETHESDA, Md., Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The year 2013 marks the 25th since the establishment of the ROSS Companies, a recognized leader in apartment acquisitions and investment, development, property management and renovation in the Washington, DC Metro Area. The ROSS Companies is comprised of three affiliates – ROSS Development & Investment, ROSS Management Services and ROSS Renovation & Construction. Over the last 25 years, the company has grown exponentially – it now has more than 11,000 apartment homes in its portfolio, and is one of the most active multifamily real estate firms in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The celebration of the 25th year of this organization gives its owners, Scott and Beth Ross, pause to look back at the rise of their company from one they once ran from the basement of their home in 1988, to their 11,000 square feet office space in Bethesda, Maryland. While the numbers may sound impressive, the company's 25-year story does not revolve around square footage or the $1 billion portfolio they have been able to amass. Instead, these owners, both models of humility, would rather talk about how they have built their company on core values and principles that have been cornerstones of success for them in business. For example, leadership, one of the most important values upon which they have built their business, has helped in positioning them as a multi-service leader in the multifamily industry, a "one-stop-shop" for multifamily apartments from underwriting, acquisition, development, property management, and renovation, says ROSS Management Services President, Beth Ross.
Some of that leadership was born out of necessity. In 1983, when ROSS Companies President, Scott Ross, created ROSS Development & Investment (30 years this year), the couple worked together in a small home office. It was so small they had to share a desk. However, they soon found this working arrangement to be more of an asset than a liability. Beth, who was working as an asset manager for Scott at the time, and Scott, who was on the acquisitions side of the business, also had to share a phone. Since they were hearing each other's telephone conversations, collaboration became a byproduct of their working conditions and the cornerstone of their success.
They soon found they could use their collective backgrounds from different sides of the real estate industry to complement each other in business. Scott's background included architecture, city planning, urban design and construction with an emphasis on multifamily residential as a lender. Beth's background included residential sales and marketing, condominium conversions, and asset management. "We soon realized the property management company that was working for Scott wasn't really functioning at our standards in that role," Beth says. "So we created ROSS Management Services in 1988 to take care of that need." Over the years, ROSS Management Services has grown from two employees to 300.
Scott Ross says they continue to share a desk today. "If I represent ownership and Beth represents management, neither of us have all the answers," he says. "Together, owner objectives and management reality create a better result."
Having the courage to create a management company when they needed one wasn't their only show of courage in those early days. They became leaders in the multifamily apartments industry when they realized their collective skill sets and expertise would help them fill a need in the Washington, DC, Metro Area, although their competitors were more interested in commercial real estate. "We saw there was a need in the market," Beth says. "Everyone was much more attracted to commercial, and residential was more of a stepchild of the industry at that time."
"Really, it wasn't fashionable to be doing residential real estate," Scott laughs at the memory. "We just found our work in multifamily apartments was a niche that we were able to fill with all our expertise."
They also chose to focus their attention in the D.C. region only, where they had built substantial relationships and had amassed an extraordinary amount of research.
Their leadership and expertise have been recognized by the business community, too. Beth was recently recognized as one of Washington D.C.'s Women Business Leaders in the June 10th, 2013 edition of Forbes Magazine. The distinction is given to local female executives and entrepreneurs who play key roles in the economic growth of the Washington, DC, metro area. Throughout ROSS Management's 25-year tenure, they have received countless awards. The companies' website boasts at least 31 dating back to 2002 alone.
However, they say their leadership journey is not one they have forged alone. Instead, they say, their company's reputation has been furthered, based on their dedicated team members.
While the ROSS Companies place a high value on employees in every role, Scott and Beth Ross say one of their executives has greatly contributed to the long-term growth of the company. David Miskovich became CFO of ROSS Companies in 2003, and COO in 2011. The Rosses say he was brought in to advance ROSS initiatives in the areas of technology, employee staffing, customer service, operational efficiencies and more.
"Ten years ago, they were looking to place a business leader in their company who would help to take their business to the next level," David says. At that point, the companies were more of a mom-and-pop shop, with a solid foundation built on strong core values - the feeling of family, relationships, reputation, integrity, collaboration, and hard work," Miskovich says. From his previous experiences, he brought an institutional approach to the multifamily apartment business with him to ROSS.
Miskovich says the leadership Scott and Beth have shown and the ways in which the three of them have worked together tirelessly for the furtherance of the ROSS Companies, has definitely distinguished them from their competitors. The difference, he says, can be found in the performance of their individual properties and the growth of net operating income throughout their portfolio – "Our operations team, back office, systems, and constantly focusing on customer service has given us a competitive advantage over all other multifamily operators in the Washington, DC Metro Area."
For more information about ROSS Companies, visit TheRossCompanies.com.
SOURCE ROSS Companies