As a vice president at Fairfield Residential in Bethesda, Md., Phil Pitney was used to the East Coast pace. This spring, that pace quickened a bit more for Pitney, who was named president of Lane Strategic Investment, a division of Atlanta-based Lane Co. that is expected to swell its acquisitions activity starting on the East Coast and in the Southwest. Pitney holds a degree in economics and business from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Q: What appealed to you about this job?

A: Lane Co. has a very stable platform from which to do acquisitions. It has all the resources, tools, systems, and people to competitively acquire new properties, raise money from equity partners, and place deals quickly and efficiently.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?

A: To pursue acquisitions of value-add multifamily properties that need an infusion of capital and properties in recovering markets, as well as stable core properties well located in primary, secondary, or tertiary markets.

Q: What do you see as a significant challenge for the multifamily industry in the coming year?

A: Separating the short-tem opportunist from the long-term value creators. There was not a big distinction in recent years.

Q: What are the big opportunities for multifamily firms?

A: There seems to be no shortage of multifamily assets that are in need of a little TLC.

Q: What was your first job in the multifamily industry?

A: I was a project manager for Security Capital Multifamily Development in Santa Fe, N.M. I remember that we thought an 8.5 percent cap rate was crazy.

Q: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you about your career?

A: Real estate is not just for C students anymore.

Q: How would you describe the multifamily industry in terms of career opportunities?

A: Real estate cycles provide opportunities to do things you never thought you would.

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