Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!
Multifamily Blogs
  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Posted by on in Construction and Development
Whether you manage the finances of a large multifamily apartment building company or you own a small company that contracts work for specific multi-unit building projects, finding ways to save money is probably on your dreaded “to-do” list. Since prime building season is coming to a close (at least in the north), maybe it’s time to consider researching a new strategy that will help builders save money. A little reading could really go a long way, so stick it out and read through to the end; you just mind find that this strategy will get your budget back in shape. How do Builders Make Money? In short, there are certain professions that are more lucrative than others for two reasons; first, no one wants to do it, and second, no one CAN do it. But you can. And that’s how you make money as a builder. Yes, there are multifamily building companies that turn up left and right, but it’s the experience that really sets you apart from others. The more you have to show for previous work, the more money you can charge. And don’t worry about quoting the lowest price to land a project, because if a company or land owner hires you because you are the “cheapest”, well then they are probably not the type of people that you want to work with. So, after getting a little background out of the way and without further ado, let’s delve into the one sure way that home builders can...

Posted by on in Property Management
Disaster is an efficient and devastating teacher, and the lessons property owners have learned from natural disasters in the past two decades are legion. The most important take-away is that failure to plan is a plan to fail. Responsible property owners have a responsibility for the health and safety of their tenants, and that’s why a thorough emergency preparedness plan has become an absolute necessity. Prepare for location-specific disasters Before you can adequately prepare for the unexpected, know what you might expect. Fire is the enemy of every property owner, so that’s a given. But, if your property is in a flood zone or Tornado Alley, you’ve got other potential problems to address. Seasonal weather disasters call for specific plans, timely communication with tenants, and well-trained staff who can launch into action at a moment’s notice to evacuate and secure your properties. Mentally prepare your renters Keep those lines of communication open, and send regular safety tips to your residents. Encourage them to keep up with weather warnings, and use social media and text alerts to get emergency messages to tenants. Make sure they know—in advance—where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. Send them a list of things to pack in a “go bag” to reduce the time it would take to evacuate their family when time is of the essence. Also, address where they can find information about when it’s safe to return home. A little advance research can pay off big-time when disaster strikes....

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
hold_times-vacancy_loss.jpg Over the past 10 years, multifamily housing (MFH) has seen rapid adoption of automated pricing and revenue management (PRM) systems. Based on interpretations of public statements from the relevant vendors, I estimate at least 5 million units are now priced using some form of automated PRM system. Yet there are still many business practices that affect optimizing revenue for all MFH operators, whether on an automated system or not. One of the most critical is the “hold time,” or the amount of “built in” vacancy operators are willing to accept when taking a lease.   Hold Time Defined Let’s start by clearly defining “hold time.” This metric is the accepted vacancy period inherent in any new lease. Simply put it is: Leases on a vacant unit: the time from application date to move-in date Pre-leases for a unit on notice: the time from the expected move-out of the departing resident to the move-in date of the new resident Why Care About Hold Times In the simplest example, take a unit available for move-in a week from now. Imagine that you lease the apartment on a 30-day hold (i.e. a move-in 5 weeks from now). The good news is you’ve reduced your exposure; the bad news is that there’s a good chance another prospect would show up in the next week or two ready to move in sooner. So by taking that first lease, you’ve induced a full month of vacancy when future demand would likely only cause 1-3 weeks of vacancy. In...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Dear Gabby,  I’m thinking about making big changes in my life. My friends all think I’m going through a quarter-life crisis, but I just want a change of scenery. I live in the country currently, and I’m ready for hustle and bustle of a more metropolitan area. I know apartment rent can be pricier in the city, so I’m hoping you can give me an idea of what I can expect. - #CountryBoyMovingToTheBigCity Hey #CountryBoyMovingToTheBigCity, Last year I got really excited when my son joined the cross-country team. But then I learned they don't cross the country and are back home in a few hours. I was hoping for something a bit more permanent.  Kidding (kind of)...but moving to the city is a great idea. I’m a city girl myself and can’t talk it up enough. I mean, living a three minute walk from five different coffee shops is truly a dream come for a coffee addict like me.  Considering the cost of rent is important if you’re seriously thinking about moving, especially since the price varies so much throughout the United States. Lucky for you, a study conducted by GoBankingRates has revealed what the average person pays in rent for a one-bedroom apartment in cities across the country.  The data reveals some predictable insights, but you also might be surprised by some of the findings. It’s fairly well-known that San Francisco and New York City are pricier cities, given high demand for housing but low supply. You may want to...

Posted by on in Property Management
For many renters, the most appealing amenity an apartment community can offer is a fabulous outdoor gathering space. The crown jewel of any multifamily outdoor space is its swimming pool. More often than not these days, young renters expect that pool to be chlorine-free, and that means saltwater is the wave of the apartment pool future. Saltwater provides recipe for health Chlorine sanitation systems in swimming pools use chlorine bleach and other irritating toxins to purify the water and prevent the growth of algae and harmful bacteria. A saltwater system accomplishes those ends using salt and electrolysis to produce constant chlorine as a by-product, resulting in clean water that is less salty than seawater. Swimmers notice little or no eye or skin irritation—and no green hair—from swimming in saltwater pools. Initial investment worthwhile Converting an existing chlorinated swimming pool to a salt-chlorinating system requires an initial investment of as little as $2,000. But, it's an investment that may be recouped in chemical additive savings and lower maintenance costs over just one season. A forward-thinking apartment complex is one that holds the promise of cleanliness, responsiveness, and a well-maintained property overall. Those are qualities that attract and keep long-term renters. Get the word out: Saltwater brings in renters  Make sure to market your saltwater pool and other high-end amenities via social media and other digital marketing channels....

Posted by on in Student Housing
September has come and gone; along with the majority of students seeking accommodations for the fall semester. In general, most colleges and universities have their largest intake of students during the fall term, which begins somewhere between mid-August to early September (some schools may operate on a different schedule such as a quarterly academic calendar).   Once October has hit, the amount of students seeking accommodations for fall has tapered off and the next major rush won’t happen until the winter intake. So what’s a landlord to do if they’ve still got vacancies after September?   Don’t panic! There is still a considerable amount of students who will need accommodations.     Students Who Did Not Get Into On-Campus Housing:Some colleges and universities have such competitive on-campus housing where there is more demand for assignments than available. Many students are put on a waiting list, while others are completely denied an on-campus accommodation. The students who are placed on a waiting list will sometimes hold off on securing other housing, hoping that someone drops out and they can take that spot. This waiting list can sometimes consist of hundreds of students vying for the last few on-campus housing spots. If they don’t get in, these students will be scrambling to find an off-campus accommodation during the first few weeks of school.  Exchange Students: It’s fairly common for most major colleges and universities to operate a study abroad program where students from different countries will come over to study for a few months....

Posted by on in Property Management
Many apartment property managers wonder just what to do next with free or even paid tenant leads. How can managers be sure to convert those leads to paying tenants? The following tips should help property managers convert valuable tenant leads to tenants in little time! Convert Leads by Impressing Them with Amenities “Not to brag but…” Sometimes there are occasions where bragging actually works. And if your property boasts beautiful views, clean swimming pools, video intercom, and a spotless gym, then work it! Find out what your leads want most in a new rental, and if you have it, then make sure they know it! Convert Leads by being Honest with Them The minute you start sugarcoating EVERYTHING is the minute that you lose potential tenants. Leads are human, too, and they can typically sense that there is something to hide when everything is portrayed as perfect. It’s okay to point out some realistic flaws, just be sure to tell them if and WHEN those flaws will be fixed! Convert Leads by Showing that “Supplies are Limited” Supply and demand; it’s what makes our economy tick, right? Well, the same goes for filling vacant apartments. If the supply is much higher than the demand, then there is no sense of urgency. If there is no sense of urgency, then another property might snatch your lead just because they screamed, “act now!” So if you’ve shown someone the same place earlier in the week, then be sure they know it! Convert Leads...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
I wish I could say that I woke up one morning and God had bestowed upon me 674 units. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. The farmer can’t expect a crop in the summer if he doesn’t plant seed in the spring. The builder can’t complete a house unless he starts off with a set of plans and follows his plans to fruition. This article will outline the steps I took to grow my portfolio and achieve a level of satisfaction that was missing in my life. Where is the first place that I started? Let me give a brief outline of my journey and then dive deeper into the “trek”. Dissatisfaction Seeking growth/contribution Financially frustrated Began investing on my own Sought out a mentor Pursued another coach/more education Continued frustration Jumped into Tennessee market Focused on Tennessee and multifamily properties Bought first deal Continued to buy Refinanced big property and used capital to continue buying. Wrote “Wheelbarrow Profits” based on evolving investment strategy “mom and pop apartments” Launched Jake & Gino Continued buying more deals Focused on system building and growing portfolio The first step of my journey was dissatisfaction. My business was okay, but I had just lost my father to cancer and I was growing bored with working in the kitchen. I had been working with dad since I was eight years old. I guess when my dad passed away, my love for the restaurant business passed away with him. I also had a feeling of being “stuck”....

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Upscale living and luxurious amenities are no longer only enjoyed by owners at high-end condominium properties. They are now a reality at select rental properties too. Millennials and Gen-Xers are driving greater demand for luxury rental living at affordable prices, specifically looking for apartments that support healthy, creative and social lifestyles.   Many people want to personalize their living spaces, take advantage of preferred amenities and work efficiently from home, all in a place that showcases innovation and creativity. Gone are the days of cookie-cutter apartment sameness.   Savvy property developers recognize this reality and offer premier luxury rental properties in walkable, thriving communities. Some install unique artwork, encourage residents to choose their wall colors (yes, in a rental unit!) and create shared spaces that reflect these new lifestyle trends.   A Unique Frame of Mind   Apartment properties are meeting the demand for distinction in innovative ways. Utilizing public artwork to differentiate a sense of place used to be relegated to commercial buildings, but no more. For example, a new rental property in Tampa called Aurora features a unique art installation on the outside of the building that enhances the Downtown Tampa skyline and adds to the property’s unique elements. At the same time, the colorful, multi-story artwork announces on a grand scale that the building owners embrace a sense of style and uniqueness. Aurora’s artful façade enhances the downtown Tampa skyline. Thinking outside the norm in this way helps cater to apartment seekers and others looking for a...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
E-commerce {online} purchases account for 10% of U.S. consumer spending; but don’t let that figure fool you. Double-digit growth is predicted in the online sales space for the unforeseeable future. Already in the six years since 2010, online sales have posted 15% increases annually. Although those numbers are holding steady, I hear a lot of folks tell me that they only see an increased package volume "at the holidays.” But do they really? I’m sure they mean the winter-season holidays, but due to the ease of online shopping, “the holidays” now come all-year-long. From Valentine’s Day, to Amazon Prime Day, to Halloween, to Cyber Monday, and of course the traditional holiday season around Christmastime. Maybe you’re thinking that I’m kidding, “Craig, we all know the winter season is the biggest increase for package deliveries.” Well, let’s assume for a moment that my custom sparkly-fairy Halloween costume (just in-time for October 31st) consists of a wand, tutu, leggings, a sparkled top, a tiara, my make-up, fun shoes, etc.. and I’m just one of the residents at your apartment community. I’ve already received seven packages for my costume, and maybe I’ve got more on the way. On Valentine’s Day, I send gifts and flowers galore, and I LOVE the deals on Cyber Monday because those Black Friday lines are chaotic… now, which “the holidays” were we talking about again? I forgot. Online sales last year totaled nearly $350 billion. Of course, every Internet purchase requires delivery in some form to get that purchase to...