[Norman Radow] I was born and raised in a public housing project in East New York, in Brooklyn. I lived a safe life. I lived like, I thought, any other child. I felt safe. My mother used to say, Norm, go out and play. And I would go out and play.
And then all of a sudden things changed.
Crime came to the housing projects. I was scared. I did not want to go out and play in the streets. And really my life, my childhood, was lost. And I realized then, when I was a small boy, that housing apartment management was really an important facet of our society. And so I said if I ever had a chance to affect people's lives the way my life was affected, I would ensure that they would be safe and they would never have to live like I did. And that's what really has driven RADCO today.
So our mission is to build better living. It's not a mere slogan; it's something that drives us. It's in our culture and it's something that makes us unique in the industry. We are buying older housing stock, and we are resetting the economic clock and making it more modern, making them clean, making them safe so that America's hardworking families have a place to call home that they're proud of for a value that they can afford.
Our business is unique. We're not buying a stabilized asset. What we're buying is an asset crying to be renovated and to be stabilized. And that takes a bank willing to take risks and partner with someone like us because they know the end result is. we're doing something good for our community. And so when we look for a financial partner, we need someone that understands what we're trying to accomplish.
I'd like to talk about Ashford 75. It's the perfect example of what we do. When we purchased that property, most of the units were damaged. Many were uninhabitable. And 90 percent of the crime in the city of Smyrna occurred in or from people living in that property. And we went in and radically changed the physicality of the property.
And within a year, that property was safe. It was clean. And people could afford to live there and be proud to call it home.
Ashford 75 provides several important amenities. A swimming pool, and it's really made for families. We have a great playground. We have a dog run, a dog park, as well. We also built a really expanded fitness center that's modern, that’s clean. It's all glass, overlooking a gorgeous lake with a beautiful fountain that's lit at night. And I'm very proud of it.
RADCO is not merely an employer. We don't look at employees as an expense. We look at our employees as our greatest asset. And how do you treat a great asset? Well, you better treat them well, and that's what we do here at RADCO.
It's something my father taught me, that it's best that the employees focus on the problems of the company and not their own personal problems.
There's a program that we didn’t plan on and it's an amazing one. It's called Momentum, and it really provides financial literacy. I think one of the things in our society we do not do well is teach people how to manage their money. I take such pleasure in knowing that my employees have that kind of financial confidence and we don't want any employee to worry about their family or their financial issues; we want them to worry about building better living for our residents. If I can use a word from Brooklyn, I kvell when I know my employees are happy and that their lives are improving.
The thing I'm most proud about RADCO, truly, especially when it comes to our employees, is that after a hard day of work, when they go home, and their wife or husband or their kids say, "Mommy or Daddy, what did you do at work today?" Their answer can be, "Today, I did good."
RADCO’s mission is to build better living by resetting the economic clock on older housing stock and providing modern, clean and safe living for American families.