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Posted by on in Property Management
Calendar late rentHow is a property affected by late rent? Unpaid rent obviously affects a property’s financial performance. It’s lost or at least delayed revenue. Fees to file or retain an attorney for eviction are expenses related to late rent collection. Legal Expense The cost of late rent collection is not limited to the legal system and filing fees. The amount of time dedicated each month by the onsite team to collect late rent is a huge drain on a limited resource. Time. Proactive efforts to remind residents to pay rent and avoid late fees require time, whether it’s email, phone calls or posting notices. Follow up calls securing commitments for unpaid rent, again absorb time. Knocking on doors, posting notices, sending emails, or leaving voice mail messages for outstanding rent balances require hours of time each week. Adding Up The Time For everything household that fails to pay rent by the due date, the leasing team will dedicate a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes per household encouraging, reminding and counseling residents on the importance of submitting their required rental payment. On a property with 200 apartment homes, if 80% of the residents pay on or before the first of the month. That leaves 20% for follow up…40 household..Preparing, and executing those calls..with a 10 minute expectation; that’s 400 minutes, over 6 hours. The extended collection process for slow, and unpaid rent that lingers past the late fee deadline requires repeated calls, notices eventually copying documents for the attorney, or to simply...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
One of the major foundation principles that I learned while attending IPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) was that “You cannot make a mistake.”  Many mistakes, or bumps in the road, are merely judgments that are made after the incident has occurred.  For instance, a person looks back at an action that they performed six months ago.  At the time, the decision was based on all current information he had at that particular moment.   As time progressed, things changed and his perception may now be that he committed a mistake.  My opinion is that when you make a decision, you are not making a mistake.  I feel that inaction or procrastination is a bigger “mistake” than flawed action.  I live by this tenet: Thought—Desire—Action—Result.  If I am living in constant doubt, I will never perform the desired action to achieve the results I am looking for.  We all have different criteria that we use to take measure of our actions. One person might deem something a success while another may feel they failed at the same exact task even though both achieved similar results. For example, a company may set certain growth targets, but fall slightly short of those objectives. The team can display frustration at missing their target, but they can also be exuberant that the company exhibited positive growth. If you view missing the target as a mistake, then expectations will be lowered and the team will be less optimistic.  However, if the team is excited about their progress – despite the...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
We recently surveyed multifamily pros on their marketing strategies, and now the report is active and available to the Insider community.  The report is absolutely free - just log in or create a free account to access.  Some question the report answers: What is your monthly marketing budget? What is your average cost per lead and lease? What has been your best marketing campaign in 2016? What marketing tools are you currently using? What online advertising options do you use to market your communities? Access the results here:  Apartment Marketing Survey Report  ...

Posted by on in Property Management
You decide to hire a property manager or property management company to make your life easier, take great care of your properties, and to provide a high-quality service to your tenants. However, every property has unique needs, and every residential management company has a unique way of serving them. This means that you need to research before hiring anyone or any company to manage your property. Here’s a checklist of the top seven qualities to look for in a property manager. By reviewing your potential managers for these qualities, you will make certain the right person is hired for the job. 1. Financial knowhow. Turning over your business to a manager can be a bit nerve-wracking because of the monetary aspect. Your property manager will often be working with some of your most critical data and potentially large sums of money. A good management company will follow rigorous accounting protocols that assure your financial health and long-term stability. In doing this, the manager is serving you, but he or she builds an excellent reputation for himself or herself, too. 2. Superior communication skills. You may not be aware that a property manager has good communication skills, but if he or she has poor skills, you will notice. Today, thanks to technology, your manager can reach you by text, phone, email or even video chat. There is no reason for you not to have a direct line of communication. In addition to contacting you, good communication also means the management firm should be responsive...

Posted by on in Construction and Development
Just how important is it for real estate developers and property managers to incorporate sustainable design elements into their buildings? According to renters, very. With rising energy costs and the world’s water quality quickly declining, reducing our carbon footprint has become an immensely important issue in today’s society. Unfortunately for real estate developers and property managers, the largest culprits of energy absorption are buildings. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings account for almost half of the world’s energy expenditures, 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, 25% of the earth’s drinkable water, and in developed countries, over 20% of all solid waste produced. Due to discouraging statistics such as these, it is becoming critical for architects and real estate companies to integrate energy efficient features into their design in an effort to minimize destruction of the environment and reduce energy usage. This is especially important for larger structures, such as multifamily properties. Renters are also becoming aware of the necessity of green design in construction and are progressively requiring more eco-friendly components in their housing. In the annual Resident Preferences Survey conducted by the National Multifamily Housing Council, respondents said they were willing to pay an extra $32.64 per month in rent to live in an apartment complex that has earned a “green building” certification. A total of 75% of those surveyed said they were “interested” or “very interested” in green certifications, which includes awards such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) appointed by the U.S. Green Building Council....

Posted by on in Construction and Development
Bathrooms are a huge issue right now. (And not that there's always a line at the lady's room. That issue will never be solved, and also, I'm not a hack comedian from the '90s, although I can give it the college try—why do women go to the bathroom in groups? Do they need help putting on their lipstick? Something something. Uh, and women be shoppin', am I right?) Specifically, transgender people's rights to choose which bathroom to use. Some people feel that people should use the gendered bathroom based on the gender on their birth certificates. For example, North Carolina recently passed legislation on this. Others feel that people should be able to use whichever bathroom makes them feel the most comfortable. This probably isn't an issue that's going to go away any time soon. So what should apartment communities do, then? Read the full story: Should You Be Concerned About Gendered Bathrooms in Your Community?...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
Every property manager and landlord knows that apartment inspections are an essential part of a property management business. When you stay on top of the condition of your property, you can avoid the pitfall of unexpected expenses, and your tenants will remain happy and satisfied. Despite their importance, it is easy to make mistakes during a property inspection that can cause you major issues down the road. When you are aware of these three common mistakes made during the inspection process, you can identify ways to conduct them more efficiently and better protect your assets and your property.   Poorly Detailed Inspection Reports The key to an effective inspection report is in the details. During every inspection, all condition issues, home quality concerns, and damages or repairs need to be stated clearly on the report. It is essential to back up all of your inspection findings with photographs to document any issues and the current condition of the property. By doing this you will be protecting yourself and your investments from any tenant misunderstandings or conflicts
 Only Conducting Move-in/Move-out Inspections All landlords are aware of the importance of inspections conducted before a tenant moves into the property and after they move out. However, this is not the only time that inspections should be completed! Having a clear inspection schedule done on a regular basis throughout the year will help you to stay ahead of any damage or maintenance issues that may come up with the property. Just remember to give your...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
How to Realistically Buget Rent Growth This Year As we roll through the “dog days of summer,” my thoughts turn to two things: 1. Upcoming pennant races - my Baltimore Orioles, while somewhat inconsistent, are at least relevant again. 2. Every multifamily executive’s (and associate’s) favorite activity - budgets (hopefully the dripping sarcasm is evident). This year is a particularly interesting year for budgeting. After 5+ years of a multifamily bull run, 2017 will almost surely not be as good as 2016. Major data companies report YOY rent increases dropping to 3.5% vs more than 5% just a few months ago. Public companies like EQR have revised guidance downwards based on softening rent growth, and reports on new builds seem to indicate an increase in deliveries in 2017 rather than a corresponding decrease. But are things really that bad? If you’d fallen asleep in 2005, woke up in 2016 and I told you rent growth was 3.5%, you’d probably feel pretty good about it since it’s above the long-term historical average. Yes, there’s a lot of building but it still hasn’t really caught up with pent up demand from the lack of new construction in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession; and unemployment is currently below 5%. So what’s a multifamily executive to do? Despite the positive ways to interpret the various statistics, I think it’s obvious that a) things aren’t as good as they were the past few years, and b) there’s a lot more downside risk than upside right now. With these facts in mind, are your...

Posted by on in Student Housing
A couple of years ago, investing in student housing was only a reserve for investors who had the tenacity to take on the risks associated with student renters. A bulk of property owners increasingly considered this group of tenants substantially riskier compared to regular renters. Recently however, the tables have turned in favor of both students and real estate investors, mostly because student housing is now considered a resilient asset class with the capability to remain profitable even in a depressed macro-economic environment. Interestingly, it’s not just in the US. The trend spreads across other countries, particularly in prime study destinations like Canada and the UK. The State in The U.S. In the U.S, for instance, investors and developers are mostly attracted by the demand trends for U.S. higher education. According to 2015 statistics by the National Center for Education Statistics, there are more than 20.2 million college and university students in the U.S. Although there’s almost a half a million year-over-year decline compared to the 2012 attendance figures, there’s an overall 4.9% increase compared to the same period in the fall of 2000. This population, as predicted, will grow to 24 million by 2022, with the echo boomer generation enrolling in greater numbers, and increased interest in U.S. colleges among international students. These numbers, coupled with the fact that institutions are currently facing funding challenges in expanding on-campus accommodation facilities, has created a great opportunity for private off-campus housing to serve unmet demand. The exceedingly growing college population is providing a stable...

Posted by on in Property Management
Due diligence by the buyer or seller can make or break any apartment transaction. Learn from experience. Shrewd apartment owners understand that the greater financial value in an apartment transaction can be had during the acquisition—not the exit.   Industry veteran Ian Mattingly, President of LumaCorp in Dallas, speaks from experience. He is part of a management team that carries more than 90 years of investor experience when it comes to applying due diligence. LumaCorp owns 24 communities that include over 6,000 total units. It has made 45 acquisitions in the past 32 years.   Mattingly is one of three panelists who will speak about how to avoid “nasty surprises” during the process at a session at MAXIMIZE: 2016 Multifamily Asset Management Conference at Loews Coronado in the San Diego area Oct. 17-19.   “When we begin our talks with new investors, we like to tell them that we have a lot of experience in making mistakes,” Mattingly says. “We tell them not to expect everything that happens when buying and selling apartments to work out perfectly. We have made our fair amount of mistakes. But what we also tell them is that we won’t make the same mistake twice.”   Mattingly, whose firm focuses on Class B and C properties in Texas, will share knowledge about the process that is applicable to any apartment market. Among his focus will be re-inspections, city and county governments, building codes, fire codes, lease addenda, repairs and resident audits.   “We specialize in markets...