ALTHOUGH Bethany Group's exposure to extremely volatile real estate markets—including Florida and Phoenix—played heavily into the San Diego-based firm's collapse, not all Phoenix landlords and investors felt as much heat.

The Bascom Group found success with extreme cost-cutting measures coupled with resident outreach in the most distressed markets of its portfolio. Irvine, Calif.-based Bascom also better timed its market moves. “We sold out of Phoenix in summer 2007, and it was the largest transaction in Arizona history at $427 million,” says Bascom vice president of acquisitions Jeff Fuller. “Additionally, we have been net sellers in Orange County over the past five years. That has allowed us to now be on the offensive.”

Bascom has instead focused on acquiring properties out of distress, most recently getting its hands on the 300-unit Maples at Crestwood Apartments in Denver for $7.9 million, a distressed lender foreclosure sale.

Some firms found their way out of distress via bankruptcy followed by recapitalization. On Aug. 2, Fairfield Residential emerged from Chapter 11 protection. A recapitalization courtesy of Brookfield Asset Management and CalSTRS will pump $29 million back into Fairfi eld. As part of the recapitalization, Brookfield will commit up to an additional $150 million to Fairfield for acquisitions and other opportunities on a deal-by-deal basis.