Arlan Hurwitz credits the Internet for saving his 112-unit apartment building in Anaheim.
With vacancy rates as high as 12% and profits down after five years of a real estate recession, the building was a drain. And Hurwitz, who owns the building, couldn't find a way to stem his losses.
"I was in the shower one day and trying to think what else I could do. It's been a tough five years," Hurwitz said. "Then I thought about the Internet. I was doing some work myself on the Internet and thought it might attract others."
Hurwitz paid a local computer firm $5,500 to create a program for tenants that includes four Internet training classes. He entices residents with 10 free hours of surfing on the Internet each month.
The result: His building at 2611 Baylor Circle is now full and future tenants are on a waiting list.
"Our phones are ringing for the first time in years," he said.
"It's an inexpensive way to create a lot of community feeling."
Debora Vrana covers real estate for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-5979 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.