For the past 22 years, Christian Davis has been managing multifamily properties across California and the Southwest, first for his own firm, San Diego–based Income Growth Property Management, and, afterward, for Gables Residential, after the Atlanta-based property manager and builder bought Davis’ company in 2004. With all that experience, it’s no wonder Dallas-based Pinnacle Family of Cos. came knocking in April when the firm was looking for a new vice president to oversee multifamily efforts in its Arizona and California markets.

Based out of the firm’s Irvine, Calif., office, Davis has been tasked with steering Pinnacle’s property management efforts in those regions and spearheading the company’s expansion. And Davis isn’t the kind of leader who likes to be trapped behind a desk. 

“Our investment managers understand the importance of getting in the trenches,” Davis says. “It’s important for them and our on-site managers to feel connected through frequent communication. [We need to have] boots on the pavement, shoulder-to-shoulder with our team, our residents, and our clients.”

Davis plans to take Pinnacle’s portfolio from the 8,500 or so units he now manages to around 12,000 during his first six months. And he’s set up to do that thanks to the geographical makeup of the portfolio already in place. Davis came to Pinnacle after the firm had established a solid presence in historically high–rent-growth areas. He intends to balance out the company’s portfolio with mixed-use deals by expanding deeper into high-demand downtown markets.

Davis will also bring some progressive management initiatives to the table. For instance, he wants to focus on operational improvements to reduce waste. And he plans to educate his managers about the equation net operating income/cap rate = market value. 

“I’ve been very successful teaching this basic formula to every level of site personnel,” Davis says. “When they get it, great ideas come [forth] and impact your organization and property NOI results. Given projections from economic prognosticators, I believe 2012 to 2014 will open up fantastic fee-management opportunities for us.”