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 Property Management
Let me start by saying my intent is not to criticize anyone and it is with humility that I question.   On November 15th 1990 President George H. Bush signed the Clean Air Act Amendments   (Stratospheric Ozone and Global Climate Protection).     Title VI includes section 612, Safe alternatives policy   “To the maximum extent practicable, class I (CFCs) and class II (HCFCs) substances shall be replaced by chemicals, product substitutes, or alternative manufacturing processes that reduce overall risks to human healthand the environment”.   The end result, we replaced CFC and HCFC refrigerants with HFC refrigerants. I guess our brightest minds were so focused on the ozone layer they forgot to look at the long term impact of these HFC substitutes on human health and the environment (specifically global warming). We replaced our most common refrigerants R-12 (CFC) with R-134a (HFC) and R-22 (HCFC) with R-410a (HFC) only to realize that we traded one evil for another, not to mention this change inconvenienced and confused a lot of people.   Included in the above Amendments was section 608, National recycling and emission reduction program.   The goal here was to require anyone handling class I and class II refrigerants to be trained and certified in the laws and proper practices of reclaiming. In addition, these users are to reuse and avoid the release of any refrigerant into the atmosphere. Newer, safer refrigerants and equipment will be used in place of these risky substances.   I’m not sure people...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
One thing I love about kids is that they are completely solutions oriented.  There is absolutely no obstacle that we face that we can't overcome with a creative answer.  Want to go to China but don't have enough money in the piggy bank?  There is a solution for that!  Want to plan a slumber party with all your friends 15 minutes before bedtime?  There is a solution for that!  A few weekends ago, I was driving my daughter, Cameron, and my son, Ryder home from their grandmother's house, and we talked about creating buildings.  We had recently talked about my love of architecture, and Cameron decided that now was the time to build a skyscraper.  I told her that I would love to, but unfortunately it costs a lot of money to do so, and I don't have the training to be an architect.  Without skipping a beat, she had a solution for me - We can practice on Legos!  Although it sometimes drives me crazy when my kids constantly come up with "solutions" that realistically would never work, I do love the enthusiasm for finding the solution.  At their age (5 and 3), the solutions aren't usually very practical, but the enthusiasm is something that I think we can all learn from.  There are no Debbie Downers trying to constantly espouse why something can't be done - it is all focused on making the plan work.  Now granted, there is a risk to the opposite end of the spectrum where...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Potential renters come to the leasing office with specific occupant requests and a vision in mind of their desired experience in their future home, and as a property management firm it is crucial to guide possible tenants to a unit that will suit their needs and foster renter satisfaction. If you are a property management business dealing with multiple different properties, it can sometimes be overwhelming to advise those searching for a new residence to a specific apartment or house among all of the alternatives. At Gainesville, FL, apartment management company Trimark Properties, we actively work to match the renter’s desired description of their pictured dream home by supporting them in finding a unit in our portfolio which features all of the requests the renter is looking for. After decades of experience in managing a selection of over 25 apartment complexes and dozens of historic houses located all around the Gainesville area, we have found a guaranteed system that can be used by any property management company to make sure all tenants’ desires are taken into consideration and help select the best housing option for them. Leasing agents and property managers can easily aid possible renters in finding their ideal living space by using a simple method of segmenting specific rental factors into categories, and asking them how they rank these classifications in order of importance.   Below are the five most important categories of renter requirements that leasing agents should take into consideration when helping a potential tenant find their...

Posted by on in Property Management
Since the Department of Housing and Urban Development released the Fair Housing Act (ACT) there is much conversation, confusion, and frustration among landlords and property managers.  For example, the owner of a 900 unit apartment complex in Queens, N.Y. argued the ACT hindered their right to deny a person with a prior conviction from renting claiming: "a person who has already demonstrated a disregard for the law is at greater risk for repeating that conduct, is a greater security risk, and is a greater risk of defaulting in making rental payments or complying with leases." (www.nytimes.com/2016/04/04)   I suspect that concern is shared by many housing providers.  The fact is, the ACT does not preclude landlords or property managers from conducting background checks, in fact, the opposite is true!  The ACT clearly states: "Ensuring resident safety and protecting property are often considered to be among the fundamental responsibilities of a housing provider." (www.hud.gov)   It is not the background check that presents the problem it is the method used. Elayne Weiss with National Low Income Housing Coalition stated:" To make matters, many third party background checkers simply provide a "pass' or "fail" result, which prospective residents is unable to contest...these background checks can be filled with errors and inaccuracies."  Other housing experts claim: "Many background checking companies have their own database information and are not really accessing public records per se.  These records come from a variety of sources some purchased from a state clearing house and other vendors." (http://www.lpo.org) This is...

Posted by on in Student Housing
A curious urban shift has been taking place in college and university towns across North America, as student renters are overtaking residential neighborhoods near campus. This odd phenomenon is becoming known as ‘student housing gentrification’ – the process by which luxury student housing is causing an increase in property values and rents, while simultaneously transforming neighborhoods and urban community lifestyles.  This social change is somewhat of a double-edged sword. On one hand, these new high-end and high-occupancy student housing communities are delivering much needed better quality accommodations to a growing body of students. On the other hand, these student housing communities are creating what some refer to as a ‘student ghetto’ and making it much less desirable for families to live in these areas.    This draws us to the question, what exactly is the problem with student gentrification?At the core of the student housing gentrification problem, the opposition often rests on three main arguments. In many cases, one, two or all three of these arguments are invoked whenever student housing developments start popping up. Community groups often meet student housing developers with resistance, often citing the following concerns.  1. It turns family neighborhoods into student ghettos:  As is the case with the ‘McGill University Ghetto’, many critics of student housing gentrification fear that the proliferation of student housing will create student ghettos. They are typically characterized by neighborhoods that were once occupied primarily by families, are primarily now composed of rental homes for students. They are most commonly found in areas directly surrounding the...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
The Brexit May Impact U.S. Multifamily Great Britain’s vote to leave the European Union is one of the biggest shifts in recent history. Known as the Brexit, the British economy took a dive after the 52% – 48% vote and the future remains unclear. That’s because no one has left the EU, ever! Multifamily in the U.S. could stand to gain from the vote. While analysts have differing opinions, there’s a chance the Brexit may give U.S. multifamily a boost. Here’s how: The Pound Has Fallen – The U.S. has one of the most lucrative multifamily markets in the world. If the pound continues to fall, British real estate may follow. Investors may turn their eyes across the pond to invest in various communities and projects. KC Sanjay, leading economist and analyst at Axiometrics, states “The (multifamily) sector accounted for 25%-30% exposure of all commercial real estate portfolios in 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 – meaning multifamily is bringing in more than its share of investment compared to other sectors.” It would make sense to switch focus and with so many diverse offerings in the industry, the U.S. could be a safe bet. An Extension of Low-Interest Rates – The Federal Reserve had planned on raising interest rates this year but has yet to do so. Globally, the impacts of the Brexit have yet to unfold, so there’s good reason to hold off on raising rates out of fear of recession. Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst predicts: “Mortgage rates will tumble following the Brexit vote, possibly hitting new record lows.” This could be big news for multifamily, especially for...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Recent and ongoing rental apartment development activity is changing the living experience in downtown Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding neighborhoods.  An estimated 2,723 luxury rental units in 10 projects have been delivered here since 2004.  As of May 2016, we are aware of over 3,000 luxury rental apartments that are either actively being developed or are in the near- to mid-term construction queue.  Additional projects have been announced but have unknown development timetables. Upscale Rental Lifestyle The unit and community amenities offered at these developments approach luxury condo quality, setting a new standard for rental apartment living.  Today, unit features such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and wood floors are commonplace in these “Next Generation” apartments. Performance & Other Trends The existing communities in the downtown Fort Lauderdale multifamily market report average rental rates revolving around $2.25 per square foot and recent, year-over-year rent growth in the 6% to 8% range.  Occupancy rates for stabilized properties average approximately 95%. Apartment unit sizes average around 1,000 to 1,100 square feet but are trending smaller due to rising construction costs.   Three-bedroom units are very limited in new urban projects, typically comprising less than 5% of the total unit mix. Interestingly, rental managers cite the increasing popularity of studio apartments in the 500 to 700 square foot range.  These small units carry a lower monthly rent which is appealing to many urban residents who do not require much living space. Ft. Lauderdale’s Urban Apartment Dwellers So who’s living in these high-end apartments?  Similar...

Posted by on in Property Management
Want to know my personal opinion? I hate online reviews. Anyone can post whatever they want, whether it’s true or not, and there’s little to nothing that can be done because this is the Internet, and it’s considered a form of free speech. On the positive side, they have the potential to be great marketing tools. A great many renters use them as a way to narrow down their searches; and valid reviews can help bring them your way. On the negative side, however, damaging reviews can come from anyone, including justifiable evictees and disgruntled ex-employees. But, whether the negative reviews about your property are real are fabricated, there is one thing for certain: perspective renters pay attention to them, so they all must be handled appropriately and professionally. Failing to complete the following steps could, in fact, make a bad online review even worse. Staying on top of your online brand. Understanding what is being said about your brand is crucial. Weekly, if not daily, searches should be included in your marketing timeline to help ensure you know what’s been said about it. A great shortcut tool is Google Alerts, which will email you any and every time your particular search term is mentioned online. Follow-up promptly. Time can quickly kill your brand. The point of staying on top of things is having the ability to respond in a timely manner to any type of feedback, good or bad. Responsiveness demonstrates that management is aware of the importance od the...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
The debate has cycled through numerous marketing meetings: To SEO or not to SEO? The dispute has no unwavering yes or no answer, but rather should be a yes with some stipulations. SEO has value, so yes you should optimize your sites – but not at the expense of your listing budget. As you might be aware, SEO, short for search engine optimization, is the process of garnering traffic from the free and organic results of search engines. It’s a technique used to optimize the content on a website to maximize the value Google places on the site. It involves incorporating key words or phrases into content – such as “Los Angeles apartments” or “apartments in New York” – to help your community land higher on the search-results page, although the process is much more complex than it appears. SEO should be an add-on to your marketing budget, something you devote additional resources toward. But it is not a replacement for Internet listing services. When a prospective renter inputs a common search term, like “Los Angeles apartments,” they’re looking for all of the apartments in the Los Angeles area, not just those managed by a particular company. Because listing services have more communities available with pages optimized for that search term than any single apartment company, Google places a higher value on their sites. Simply put, listing sites show up higher on the search results page, resulting in more clicks on listings than apartment community websites. If you choose not to...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
In the second ARTICLE, I laid out the next three steps to achieving success in real estate.  My goal here is to dive into the final three steps: Submit, Due Diligence and Take Responsibility.  Let me recap the Seven Steps (actually, I included Take Responsibility as an extra step). Educate Pick a market Niche Network Analyze Submit Due diligence Take responsibility Submit: So far, real estate has only been an abstract thought.  You’ve learned how to analyze deals, pick a niche, select a market and educate yourself.  Once you submit your first offer, the reality of investing hits you like a ton of bricks.  It is an exciting but vital step in the process.  This step is what creates momentum, and from your thoughts and desires, you are now entering the massive action phase.   How do you submit an offer?  Once you have located a deal and performed your underwriting, it’s time to fill out a Letter of Intent (LOI).  A real estate broker should be able to furnish you with a blank LOI. An LOI is a non-binding offer to purchase the property that contains general terms and conditions of the proposed transaction.  It expresses to the seller your willingness to enter a Purchase and Sale agreement (P&S), which is the next step once the buyer and seller have agreed to terms.  Do yourself a favor and include a time frame for the LOI.  For example, state in the LOI that it is only effective for seven days.  Force the seller to give you a quick response, so he does not have...