With the country officially in the grips of one of the worst recessions since The Great Depression, 2009 has hardly been an easy year to start a new firm. But that didn’t deter Lindy Ware, Debbie Conley, and Chris Lawrence from leaving Atlanta-based Signature Management to launch the third-party management firm Pegasus Residential this past January.
“Our dream was always to have our own business,” says Ware, who is president of the company and co-principal along with Conley and Lawrence. “We’re all extreme personalities.” The three certainly have the chops to stand on their own. They’ve collectively worked for industry heavyweights such as Trammell Crow Residential and Equity Residential.
Since the Alpharetta, Ga.-based Pegasus got off the ground in January with 1,923 units, it has already grown to approximately 5,000 units, with 19 properties in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The firm maintains occupancies of 97 percent to 99 percent at its properties.
Ware attributes the company’s early success to an aggressive attitude. For instance, at its Harris Bridge Overlook property in Atlanta, the firm put up a billboard that said, “For a good time, call.” Pegasus also heavily pushes its leasing agents to close sales. “They have sales quotas that they have to make,” Ware says. “If they don’t, we move on.”
Ware hopes that intensity will be a spring board to growth. She’d like to push the firm from its base in the Southeast to the Southwest, Texas, and Louisiana, and plans to grow to 10,000 units in the next five years. But she knows the firm’s limits and doesn’t want Pegasus to fly too high. “We don’t want to be really big,” Ware says. “We’ve been offered deals in Ohio, but we won’t do that. You can’t keep in touch with all your properties.”