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Top 5 Amenities Renters REALLY Want (and 5 they don't)

Top 5 Amenities Renters REALLY Want (and 5 they don't)
Everyone in the industry these days is talking about amenities. What renters want, what they don't, and what they will want in the future. The problem is, most developers aren't listening to the actual renters. Over my career, I have spoken with 100's if not 1000's of renters, listening to their wants and needs for a place to call home. Contrary to popular belief, not every renter is a millennial who wants a smoothie bar in their bathroom. The vast majority of renters have simple needs in a building or community when it comes to amenities. Real Closet Space When I say "real," I think we all know what we are talking about. Not the closets with one bar that can fit a shirt and jeans. We're talking about walk-in closets or ones with built-in storage. Renters these days are older or moving from established households and have more clothing. Many developers are "afraid" to take a portion of a bedroom to enlarge a closet, but I can tell you from first-hand experience, I think most of us would like larger closets and a smaller bedroom. More Storage This is a must-have for most renters these days. Unlike prior years, when renters were younger with very few things, today's renters are older and have amassed a lot of items. It's important to give residents enough space to make a difference, especially when units are small. I've never seen a renter say "I'm going to give up all my possessions so I can live in......
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Mortgage Broker, Direct Lender, or Mortgage Banker?

There are three sources where a commercial or multifamily borrower can obtain a loan.  In this article we will discuss each avenue.  This article is not intended or is it applicable for owner-occupied one-to-four family properties. Direct Lender A Direct Lender can be any of these sources: bank, life company, pension fund, credit union, mortgage REIT, or even a private or public mortgage funder. Each type of lender has their advantages, but the one thing remains consistent is that every lender has their preferred box for the type of loans they will provide.  Here is a list of common preferences:  loan sizes, LTV, property underwriting requirements, DSCR, asset age, asset type, asset class, tenant profiles, location, demographic statistics, asset competition in the market, borrower credit profile, and borrower background profiles. If you happen to know all the lender’s parameters before you file an application and know that you will meet all of them, then go ahead and file.  Otherwise, you most likely will end up with a different outcome than you anticipated or worse, have spent a lot of time and money and not have your loan approved. A Direct Lender is also known as a Balance Sheet Lender, meaning the loans they close are made to be held. Mortgage Banker Sometimes there is a very fine line between what constitutes a direct lender versus a mortgage banker.  While the mortgage banker has the same loan preferences as the direct lender, they typically will not keep the loan, may only keep a......
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How Real Estate Can Be Socially Responsible


Partners Joe Killinger and George Pino were recently guests of the "Lifetime Cash Flow Through Real Estate Investing with Rod Khleif" podcast. We've broken up the podcast into segments for convenience.

First topic of conversation is how #realestate brokerage can also be socially responsible.

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7 Low-Maintenance Ways to Boost Your Property’s Curb Appeal

  on 7 Low-Maintenance Ways to Boost Your Property’s Curb Appeal These days, most renters find their new home through online listings, not by driving around the neighborhood. However, that doesn’t mean property managers can afford to overlook curb appeal. If your properties fail to impress when a prospective tenant drives up, it won’t matter how good the online photos look. Even property managers in highly competitive rental markets should pay attention to curb appeal. A great-looking exterior doesn’t just get tenants in the door; it also attracts high-quality tenants who are more likely to treat your property with care and respect. Of course, if you’re managing a lot of properties or a single high-density property, you don’t have a lot of time to spend manicuring lawns and flower beds. So how can you create great curb appeal without spending a lot of time? These seven tips show you how. 1. Paint the Front Door Don’t underestimate the impact a fresh coat of paint on the front door can have. A cheery front door can make an otherwise unremarkable home stand out and leave passersby wondering what’s on the other side. A Blissful Nest recommends 10 hues that are perfect for front doors. In a multi-unit property, try painting each door a different, but complementary color to set the units apart. 2. Replace House Numbers Is that newly painted front door flanked by dated, faded, or missing house numbers? Make each unit easy to find by replacing house numbers with a new set that’s easy to read from the str......
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What You Need To Know About Rent Concessions

  on What You Need To Know About Rent Concessions With rent concessions on the rise nationwide we need to have an understanding what giving or offering a concession can do to your property value if not handled correctly. Let’s start with the definition of a rent concession, a concession is any “reduction in price, rent or other benefit provided to a potential tenant as an inducement to lease your property”. There are many ways to give a concession, reducing the first month’s rent, reducing rents for a contracted time or maybe even upgrades the property they are considering ie: an accent wall or upgraded appliances. Your goal should be to have all scenarios have about the same amount of rent paid.  Also, if you can get a new tenant to accept an upgrade to the unit as a concession, it can be even more beneficial to you. What you need to consider as you are offering your concessions is how do these concession affect my long term value of my investment.  If you find yourself wanting/needing to refi and you begin the underwriting process you will find that lenders are interested in how much income an asset is producing and how much income an asset can optimally produce. Concessions add an additional layer to the equation. When underwriting the Net Operating Income of an asset, concessions are typically subtracted from the Gross Rental Income in order to determine the Net Rental Income — which also factors in things like vacancy and unpai......
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What are the challenges in loan approval?

There are three distinct but equally significant components to loan approvals for all investor properties.  The first component is an analysis of the property, the second is a review of the borrower’s credentials, and the third is an internal lender approval of all third-party reports. Step One - Property Analysis In this analysis we are looking at a few separate aspects of the property.  In summary, this would entail a review of the rent roll, income and expenses, the property condition, past capital improvements, and finally how the asset competes in the market.   While it may seem that the most critical issue is current Net Operating Income, the property condition and market factors could affect the forward financial success or deterioration of that NOI.  Providing everything is acceptable, the underwriter now must input these findings into the lender’s own criteria standards and adjust accordingly to derive at the maximum loan amount, best rate and terms, and other conditions for final approval. Step Two - Borrower Review Every lender and loan program will have different standards for what constitutes an acceptable borrower.  In this review we do look at the entity itself, but the real focus is on the principals of that entity.  For over 95% of lenders, a principal is defined as anyone that owns more than 15 to 20% of the entity.  In cases where no one owns such a percentage, the underwriter will instead focus on the managing principals of the entity.   Whether recourse or non-recourse, the review is t......
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The Downside To Raising Rents

The Los Angeles rents are likely to rise an additional 2.9% in 2018, what this means to you as a landlord is higher rental income of course, but it could also mean additional vacancies or evictions as the rental rates are pushing the renters beyond appropriate rent to income ratios. Many of the renters are choosing to relocate to an area that has better rent for them but that sometimes means driving further which as we all know in L.A. can add a good amount of additional drive time, others may try to scrape the money together every month so they don’t have to move but that’s usually a short term prospect. As a landlord you will want to consider your current residents and face the facts that if they move the cost to replace them can be significant, down time for the unit (lost revenue), the expense to turn the unit and of course advertising and in some cases you will have to pay commissions to a realtor or property management company. It can sometimes behoove a landlord to meet the resident halfway on the increase, maybe setup a plan to gradually increase their rent instead of all at once or maybe consider not doing the full percentage increase but something that is comfortable for you both (keep in mind the higher rent will  exponentially  increase the value of your asset) and will allow them to stay in their unit. If a resident tries to make ends meet but can’t and y......
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What Type of Commercial Real Estate Investment is Right for You?

I often get asked how I first started investing in commercial real estate (“CRE”), and of course the next follow up question: “How do I start investing?”    I think the most important facet to begin investing in CRE is to identify what your goals are.  How much do you want to invest and why do you want to invest, is it to build equity; for cash flow purpose; or are you looking for larger future appreciation?  CRE can provide an avenue of long-lasting income; it can help diversify your portfolio, it can offer tax benefits, and by using properly selected real estate strategies, it can produce the potential for appreciation, in addition to cash flow. Many first time investors in CRE immediately go to multi-family apartment buildings.  Any multi-family building with 5 units or more is considered a commercial property.   There is a comfort level for most people in that they are familiar with the leases, how they operate, and what a tenant might expect of a landlord.  This asset class however, is one where the investor is typically very hands on with the investment.  There tends to be higher turnover of the units (advertising for new tenants), make-ready of the apartment once someone has moved out, and maintenance issues (emergency calls in the middle of the night).  An area many first time investors overlook is the budgeting for capital expenditures (roof or water heater replacement, repairs, etc...).    An alternative to an apartment building is either an office or retail bu......
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What Foreign Companies Should Know Before Opening in the US

By George Pino From demographics to understanding the permitting and planning processes of each city, there is much to consider when foreign companies look to expand into America. We’ve all heard it before… “The American Dream” and “America the Land of Opportunity.” We have heard it so often that it has all but become a cliché; however, it would seem the entire world has heard the saying and in many ways have taken it up as a call to action. Over the last decade, we have seen an unprecedented amount of foreign investment into the United States, not just in dollars, but in companies looking to expand into different markets.  For many foreign companies, the US has become their “emerging market.” Although the recipe for the American Dream is easier than in most other countries around the world, it still does require hard work, persistence, and a little luck.  For foreign companies and concepts looking to expand into America must also keep in mind other pitfalls, especially when it comes to commercial real estate and leasing. First and foremost is the securitization of the lease.  Many times a newly formed US-based subsidiary looking to lease commercial property may not have independent financials, credit history, or significant assets in the US. This may lead to some landlords requesting guarantees from the foreign parent.  Although this sounds like a pretty easy and straight forward solution many landlords will not accept a foreign entity to securitize a commercial lease as they are concerned about the collecta......
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The Effects Of The Blockchain On Real Estate

  Blockchain is an emerging technology which will transform the way we buy, sell and lease real estate. “A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order.  It allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically. Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin, blockchains – which use what’s known as distributed ledger technology (DLT) – are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record which cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.” (1) Real estate will not be passed over when it comes to the blockchain disruption either. There will be a need for education in order to transition from the current standard analog norms into the digital space for high value assets such as real estate. Blockchain technology introduces smart contracts on its platform. This allows assets like real estate to be tokenized, and be traded in the same vain as cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and others. You will be able track all information on real estate,......
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