Setting an example

I know it’s odd. One way I relax is to listen to quarterly earnings calls, where management reviews the quarter and fields questions from analysts. On Saturday night, Cathey came into the room and saw me in a daze. She said, “What is it?” I said, “Let me read you something inspirational.”

Camden Property Trust leases apartments to 80,000 residents across the Sun Belt. When the coronavirus hit, they gave 350 grants to employees that totaled over $1 million. They gave $2,000 bonuses to frontline employees that totaled $3 million. They provided $10.4 million in grants to 8,200 of their residents.

CFO Alex Jarrett said, “…very quickly getting the folks the money … put a zip in the step of our employees. And even residents that didn’t apply for the grant … sent us … thousands of congratulatory e-mails, saying (things like) ‘No, I don’t need the money. But I understand now why I live at Camden. And as long as I’m a renter, I’ll be with you.’

“So, to me, this is our way to say to the industry, and the corporate world in general: ‘These are the right things you should do.’ … multiple companies followed our lead.

“… I spoke with probably 10 different companies (about) how we did it and why we did it …. So to me, it really is about the long game. And it’s about being a good corporate citizen to your community and your customer.”

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