gino barbaro
Hi Rick
The deal is in Maryville, TN. It neighbors Knoxville. It is a slow grower but an area whe...
Rick Sanguinetti
Thank you for your article. I enjoyed it very much. I am an investor in San Francisco. It is a very ...
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Posted by on in Property Management
An excerpt from a recent IREM White Paper regarding 10 Trends in Multifamily Property Management states “finding the right property management associate is difficult because the industry requires a unique combination of management skills, marketing savviness, emotional intelligence and financial acumen in order to be successful.”  Management companies can ramp up recruiting efforts in order to seek out these unique candidates but there is a fundamental flaw in the efforts.  Waldo begets Waldo.  Meaning, the hiring manager must possess the qualities being sought in the candidates.  Otherwise, how will one recognize what they seek?  Take notice on the listing of property management associate qualities, not one mention of multifamily or residential experience.  No lease up, disposition, acquisition, renovation, development experience required.  It was encouraging to read a majority of NMHC Property Management Companies (surveyed for the white paper) have recognized experience in the industry is low on the priority list of qualifications for best in class candidates.  Core values, which is what I label the combination of skills in the first paragraph, are most important and the hardest to teach.  If someone in the professional labor market lacks sufficient emotional intelligence for example, the learning curve will be immense and the damage which could be done in the interim, impactful.  The fundamentals of multifamily property management can be taught by those with experience.  The basics of the industry are not overly complicated and it is the basics that sustain performance throughout real estate cycles.  Take it from a seasoned property management...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
social-advertising-infographic-nobranding.png   Advertising on social media is all the rage these days. In fact, it was the most talked about apartment marketing strategy at the AIM conference last week. To help multifamily professionals gain a better understanding of this marketing medium, and why it’s building so much buzz, we highlighted some impressive statistics discovered in a small sample of our Paid Social Advertising clients. Take a look at the infographic above for a quick glance at how Paid Social Advertising for apartment communities is working for other multifamily professionals. Or, for a more detailed explanation of this marketing medium’s benefits, check out the findings below. The Reach of Facebook and Instagram Advertising Our sample study shows that apartment marketers can reach more than 31,000 people each month through Facebook and Instagram advertising. Of course, these numbers were based on an ad spend of just $10 per day. The more you’re willing to spend, the more impressions you’ll receive. The Facebook and Instagram Audience Facebook and Instagram are extremely popular among Millennials, so it makes sense that 70 percent of people reached by our sample ads fell between the ages of 25 and 34. This is great news for apartment marketers, as Millennials also happen to be more interested in renting than any other age group. However, it’s important to remember that Facebook and Instagram ads have the ability to hone in on any age group you want to target. So if you’re marketing a 55+ community, you can modify your ads so that...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
As a landlord, you want to build a stable, mature, and inviting community. But how do you separate problem renters from gold-medal tenants before move-in? Many landlords use credit and reference checks to sort out less desirable tenants, but marketing properties to families can give landlords a better pool of applicants from which to choose. Family renters want a “home base” from which to raise their children, which means long-term leases, reliable income, and a strong sense of community.Many landlords have come to recognize the desirability of these tenants, which has led multifamily rental construction to surge in recent years. According to a 2015 study by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, multifamily rentals in 2014 hit their highest level since 1987 — up nearly 260,000 units since 2009. More than 90 percent of multifamily units constructed last year were destined for the rental market.For multifamily property owners, the competition is heating up for these in-demand tenants. To bring more families into your rental units, you must start by making the property appeal to working parents.  How to Make Your Apartments Appeal to FamiliesRenting to families means more than just adding an additional bedroom and bath; it requires considering families’ wants and needs. Here’s how to bring in a lion’s share of these reliable renters:   1. Put the “home” in homework. When the school bell rings and kids head home for the day, the parents’ work has just begun. They need to help their children complete homework, review missed material, and put...

Posted by on in Property Management
Archstone Apartment in Gainesville Whenever something happens in a tenant’s apartment, they put in a service request or contact the maintenance department. Access to a professional, experienced maintenance team is one of the primary benefits of renting an apartment. Many renters have great relationships with the leasing team and property managers at the apartment complexes where they live, but they often have an even better relationship with the maintenance technicians that come into their apartments to make repairs and perform preventative maintenance. The conversations that occur while the maintenance tech is within the apartment can directly and indirectly give the tech a lot of information that the leasing team might never know— but might really need. Maintenance techs often see things that the leasing team does not, and these things can make a big impact on the success of your team. Here are four things maintenance techs often know from visiting apartments: 1. Which Apartments Have Unauthorized Pets Some apartment complexes have a no pet policy due to possible damages, allergy concerns, and noise problems. In other cases, pets might be allowed with a pet deposit. In both cases, tenants may attempt to have an unauthorized dog or cat in the unit without signing the required paperwork or paying the required fees. It may seem easy to sneak in a pet since the apartment managers aren’t in the apartments, but as soon as a maintenance tech is needed, they’ll be sure to be the first to notice that there is a pet. At Ashton Lane...

Posted by on in Property Management
Jody arrives at the office back door out of breath and still putting on make-up, but she’s there at 9AM like she’s supposed to be   Chris tends to take more than his hour at lunch, but complains it’s hard to go and get back in an hour.   Slackers? Whiners? Disengaged employees on your staff?  The facts are not exactly cheery.   Slackers generally come from a long line of “getting by”, whiners are insecure about themselves, but never let you know that and Gallup shows us that 70% of the workforce is disengaged or actively disengaged (that means they are looking for other staff members to get disengaged too!)  So what do you do?  What you DON’T DO is enable these team members to take advantage of you, your property and owner.  Here’s just one classic sign you may be enabling this behavior:  You’re working around a problem person.  None of us have replacement team members standing outside our front door.  Good people are hard to find!  But just trying to work around the problem actually perpetuates, even feeds, the issue.  There are tips and techniques you can learn and use to get positive results.  Not only will you be happier, but your team members will trust and value your action! Susan Weston is presenting "Stop the Enabling: Are You Part of the Problem?" at the 2016 NAA Education Conference & Exposition. You can register for the conference here, and add Susan's session to your schedule on Thursday, June 16th...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment

If you are a new investor looking to invest in multifamily, you have some hurdles beyond simply getting the capital.  Jonathan Twombly shared on a recently Bigger Pockets podcast that even if you have the money ready to invest, brokers don't want to waste their time on an inexperienced buyer who does not know how to close the deal.  Not only is that wasted time on their part, but it also tarnishes their image to the seller if a deal with an inexperienced investor doesn't end up going through.  So Jonathan recommended that you prepare by essentially looking the part, going into the meeting as a professional operating entity rather than some random person with money.  Some things to have ready: Company established Business card, email address, and website all created.  Note:  Email address should be a professional email, not Gmail. Ask sheet, where you define what type of property you are looking for. List of due diligence items you require, such as 2-3 years of financials, rent roll, etc. These items showcase your readiness to seriously invest.  Also, he suggests finding a broker through a friend or contact rather than going in cold, as that will help the broker to take you seriously. The entire session was great and I highly recommend taking a listen:  ...

Posted by on in Student Housing
High turnover rates are an unfortunate reality when it comes to managing student rentals. We’ve discussed this phenomenon in the past and identified that student renters are often transient. Centurion Apartments reported that, “Student housing has a turnover rate of about 50% per year, and the average student will rent their unit for one to three years.”   With such a high turnover rate in student housing, landlords should employ strategies to increase tenant satisfaction and minimize turnover. One particular technique that landlords can employ to better understand why tenants are leaving or are unsatisfied is to conduct exit interviews.   Within the industry, it’s a common practice for landlords to interview tenants before signing a lease; but on the contrary, very few property managers conduct exit interviews. Exit interviews can be a treasure trove when it comes to valuable information about tenant retention.   Once a tenant has indicated they won’t be renewing their lease, try to arrange an exit interview. It’s important to schedule this interview as promptly as possible, as there is still a small window of opportunity to encourage the tenant to reconsider and stay. In some cases, the landlord may need to provide incentive for the tenant(s) to partake in an exit interview such as a small monetary reward, gift card or reference letter. The information provided will be worth the cost of a small gift.   Once the tenant has agreed to the interview, it’s time to begin preparing. Landlords and property managers should ask a specific...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
Any experienced investor will tell you that due diligence are two of the most important words in investing.  Due diligence is defined by Investopedia as “The care a reasonable person should take before entering into an agreement or a transaction to another party.”  I learned the importance of due diligence soon after my first real estate blunder.  There are 3 types of due diligence: Financial, Physical, and Legal.As a rule of thumb, always perform the financial due diligence first.  If the numbers don't work out, then you didn't waste any money or time on the property inspection or legal work.  The majority of deals that don't go to closing are because of the financial due diligence.  We recommend a minimum of a 30 day due diligence period for inspecting smaller properties, and at least 45 to 60 days for the larger properties.   Be sure to add extensions in the contract for length of the due diligence period. The due diligence period should not commence until you've received ALL the requested financial documents. This will motivate the seller to turn over all the records in a timely fashion so you can perform an accurate analysis of the property’s performance much more quickly.   Once the time period expires, you are in jeopardy of losing your down payment if you do not go to closing. Let me recap the three types of due diligence:   Financial:          It’s all about the numbers.  Analyze a property based on actual numbers.  Request the last twelve months...

Posted by on in Property Management
An Amenity Today Means Residents Tomorrow. The world of multifamily is competitive. With diverse communities duking it out for residents, location (while important) isn’t enough. That’s where amenities make all the difference. Amenities can be a true differentiator when a market is full of new communities. A pool and fitness room are industry standard now and let’s be honest, are these enough? Or would you rather live in a community with a pool, fitness room, and a rooftop cinema? We know the answer already. Amenities are subjective and communities need to provide amenities that cater to their demographic. So how does one determine if an amenity will make a difference? Here are a few things to take into consideration: Increased Value for the Resident: An amenity may be a deciding factor in community selection for future residents. It just depends on what they place value in. Since rent prices are largely dictated by location, an amenity is an added value. A good metric to pay attention to is who’s living in the community. Will Millennials prefer a wine cellar or a high-tech social lounge? Know who your residents are and what they want; it’ll make a huge difference. It Makes Life Easier: A good amenity is one that makes users question how they lived without it until now. Basic examples include laundry capabilities and on-site transportation services like Zipcar. Another great example of an amenity while transcending demographics are package management systems. Everyone can’t always be home for a package delivery and our lockers hold the delivery until it’s ready for pickup. Not only does our package management solution...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Poor, poor Gen X. No one seems to care about them, especially when we’re talking about apartments. It’s all, “What Do Millennials Want in an Apartment?” or “How to Attract Millennial Renters” or “Millennials: Tips to Easily Snag One Using Just a Smart Phone, a Beard and Some Artisanal ‘Bean-to-Bar’ $20 Chocolate That Really Tastes No Different From a Hershey Bar.” (PS—That’s not to say these articles aren’t informative. Here’s a great one on MHN.) And when people aren’t talking about Millennials (which is rare), they’re talking about Boomers and how they’re downsizing and renting again. Even Gen Z, those up-and-coming renters, are getting a piece of the action. After all, if someone can crack the code about what Gen Z will look for in an apartment, then they can start target marketing, start upgrading apartments or build them their perfect communities from the ground up so it’s ready when those kids come of renting age. But what about Gen X? Look, we get it. Millennials are the age group most likely to rent right now, so it makes sense that apartment marketers would gear their ads to them. And with the rapidly changing technology, today’s renter wants different things than renters in the past. But, could we be ignoring a potentially huge market of untapped renters in the process? After all, it is projected that by 2028 there will be 64.6 million Gen Xers, according to Pew Research. How come these 35-50 year olds get no love—or marketing—in the apartment industry? Click here for...