Eric Bolton, CEO of Mid-America Apartment Communities, is looking for Sun Belt opportunities that are being overlooked by bigger New York- and Chicago-based real estate companies. Cities such as Murfreesboro, Tenn., Valdosta, Ga., and Spartanburg, S.C., are popping onto Bolton's radar. "We like the long-term dynamics for multifamily real estate in this region of the country, and we believe it is important to diversify across the region," he said.

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