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Rental Data Delays Are Not OK

Rental Data Delays Are Not OK
  "Life moves pretty fast." So said the wise philosopher Ferris Bueller in the 1986 classic movie.I can't help but think of that line sometimes when thinking about apartment rental rates. They move pretty fast, too. In fact, they're changing on an almost daily basis.To make the most effective decisions regarding pricing and concessions, apartment communities need access to real-time rental rate data, or something extremely close to it.The problem is, though, many operators are relying on data that – especially in the lightning-fast world we live in now – seems downright out of date.Delayed DataOperators rely on a number of data points when trying to determine how rates for their communities compare to the competition. These data points include everything from market rent, concessions (upfront and/or amortized) for each unit type, occupancy and leased percentage, traffic and leases, amenities, etc. To help ease the process of gathering all these data points, operators sometimes turn to market surveys compiled by third-party research organizations. These surveys are usually conducted at the market level and then a regression analysis is performed to determine submarket data. While this methodology seems to offer the most robust and logical look at how an entire market or metro is performing there are two key areas of concern: 1) the survey data is, in the best-case scenario, 30 days old and 2) the surveys don't provide true insight into the surrounding submarket, let alone at the property/comp level. It is a common practice for research firms to collect mar......
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Video Series: Planning For The Realities Of Aging & Failing Piping Systems

The ultimate deep dive video series that uncovers the critical issues surrounding the decision to repipe. Listen to industry experts discuss the national impact of aged-based corrosion, get insights on how to navigate critical insurance challenges, uncover the uniqueness of repipe based loans, and hear what's most important to seasoned multifamily professionals when it comes to simply smarter pipe replacement. hashtaghashtag  #repipe

 

 

 

 

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Your Insider's Look: The Laundry RFP

Greetings Gentle Readers! Typically when a property owner or manager needs a laundry proposal for their multifamily asset they contact a laundry company and ask for a “proposal” without giving the operator specific, if any,  guidelines in which they are interested.   And, usually when asked by the laundry vendor what the property wants to see in a proposal, the response is all too often a vague and less than strategic response: “Just give me your best deal”.    That response, unfortunately, is a nonstarter for a laundry vendor and leaves way too many options for the laundry vendor who sadly doesn’t have any idea what the property’s “best deal” looks like.   Too often neither does the property and it can result in multiple proposals, revisions, lost time and energy and missed opportunities for both counter parties. Let me give you an analogy that might help make the point.   1.      If I were to go looking for a roofing contractor, I would know at least 3 things, conceivably more, that are critical to my decision process.  In no particular order those might be: reputation, timeline for job and price.  I might also know that I prefer composite to tile and that I want 8 nails not just 6...all those are preferences that begin to outline my request. And it provides the contractors bidding the job a solid understanding of what I want.   2.      What I’m saying is the property owner/manager who knows at least three things, hopefully more, is in a better position......
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An inside look at laundry revenue (commissions)

Greetings Gentle Readers! Today's topic is one that is of some concern to multifamily apartment owners currently in a laundry lease or thinking about signing a laundry lease. "Commissions" is a colloquial term used by laundry vendors and property owners alike but in reality "commissions" are legally "RENT" for the space the machines occupy. Typically the property will receive a percentage of the gross revenue (collections) that the machines generate from usage by the residents on the property and in some cases off property usage. How that percentage is computed can be confusing.  There are 3 very broad categories of RENT payments that are computed and made typically monthly. First let's look at what some variables the laundry vendor will input to calculate any type of RENT payment. Capital investment (buying the machines and providing technology payment systems if suitable)  Operating expenses (installing, servicing, collection, processing, insurance, vent cleaning, etc., etc) Term of the lease (Typically, 5, 7 or 10 years) Contingency Risk (Occupancy, market risks, competition from in unit hook up) Revenue (collections) from historical performance over the past 12 - 18 months Condition of the property (new construction or existing) Class of Property (A, B, C, D) In unit connections Vend prices Competing laundromats in the area # of Machines Vandalism risks Type of Machines (front load or top load) Quality of Machines (Factory New or from Inventory)   Once those variables are collected and input the commission or RENT payments can be determined by the laundry vendor's software program. ​And, as I......
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Is Cost Segregation Analysis Worth It?

It has long been a question that has puzzled many commercial property owners. Many accountants suggest it, but it's worth is still rarely clear. Many owners barely even understand how it operates and is thus unable to determine its worth. As that’s the case, we’ll thoroughly explain what it is and what’s it for, but more importantly, whether or not it is worth it in the overall picture. What Is Cost Segregation? First of all, cost segregation is used by commercial real estate owners to reallocate property into personal property, to achieve accelerated depreciation methods and a shorter depreciable tax life. It is a practice that involves determining the exact assets an owner has and their costs, then classifying them for federal taxes. By using cost segregation analysis, you get the chance to determine which of your building’s costs that were classified with a 39 years depreciable life could now count as personal property or land improvement, subject to a 5, 7, 15, or 27.5 (for residential and multi-family buildings) years depreciation rate. All of your assets that get a new classification will enable you to defer taxes and reduce your tax burdens. The benefits of cost segregation are thus: Deferral of taxes Ability to reclaim depreciation deductions from past years Lower tax liability Subsequent higher revenues Looking at the benefits it provides, cost segregation is worth it. However, we still need to take a look at what’s involved and how much it costs to determine with absolute certainty its actual worth to ......
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How to Deal with Automatic Renewals in Laundry Leases...

Greetings Gentle Readers,  Disclosure:  I am not an attorney and any advice given here is purely from an anecdotal and  personal experience basis and should not be construed as legal advice.  Before taking any action against a laundry company, including recommendations included herein, please consult with your counsel.    Today's post deals with a recurring problem with which many property managers and owners suffer...the sudden realization that your property has a lease with an "Automatic Renewal" clause that may have been overlooked or forgotten.   If you are in the late hours of a laundry lease and the non renewal notice period has expired there is not much one can do.  However, this suggested practice is, IMHO, good advice for any property manager at any given time...find and review your laundry lease. 1st Step:  Review your lease and focus on finding out if it contains an "automatic renewal" clause - if it does then ensure you understand the "non-renewal" notification requirements.  For example, one lease may stipulate the "non-renewal" notice can only be sent no sooner than 180 days prior to expiration and no later than 90 days prior to expiration...another lease may stipulate that the "non-renewal" notice can only be sent during the first month of the final year (which is not January BTW it's the first month of the anniversary of the expiration...i.e. June 18, 2021 expiration = July 2020 notice requirement). 2nd Step:  Once you determine the "non-renewal" notice send a registered, return receipt letter to the laundry company's......
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Real Estate Contracts and Purchase Agreements Terms Explained

Real estate contracts or purchase agreements contain legal terms like any other business agreement. As they are complicated, get them adequately explained to you.  If you’re new to the business or need to know what these terms mean because you’re buying a property, read on as this article will explain them thoroughly. What are Real Estate Contracts or Purchase Agreements? These contracts or agreements are valid, legal contracts that act as safeguards for everything related to the purchase to work in a way both parties (a seller and a buyer) have agreed. They serve as legal safeguards because, as is always the case, buying real estate involves a lot of money, and everyone, especially the buyer, needs to have assurances that everything will go according to plan and nothing will go wrong. Once a contract or agreement is signed, both parties have assured legal rights and individual responsibilities they need to follow and fulfill. However, the difficulty with these contracts is that they are often very complex and something that only a lawyer can understand. As it’s quite easy to sign a piece of paper, but it’s next to impossible to break a contract without serious repercussions, so it’s crucial for you to understand what you’re signing. That’s why you must ask about anything in the agreement that you don’t comprehend. Ask as many questions as you need until you discern the entire deal. Only then should you sign. Requirements for Validity For a real estate contract or purchase agreement to be valid, some ......
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What Happens to Your Commercial Property During a Downturn?

Benjamin Franklin once said that there are no guarantees in life other than death and taxes but I believe we can also add a downturn in the real estate cycle to that list. Having been in the real estate business for over three decades I’ve experienced first-hand multiple cycles in the market. During these phases I’ve noticed a trend, people who operate their properties with a strong management team typically forecast the market turning and prepare in advance.  The market you’re in will have a lot to do with how properties are effected, Los Angeles and a few other major metro areas typically only see a drop in value of a few percentage points while other areas can take a bigger hit. Know your market prior to making an investment and NEVER make an emotional investment that your numbers cannot support.  During a real estate market downturn, real estate investment businesses which are equipped financially have a better chance of surviving and avoiding bankruptcy. If you’re going to be a successful real estate investor, you need to learn to budget for downturns and difficult times. Here are some tips to help you succeed. 1.       Consider extending your loan term now-it’s easier to refinance with your peak cash flow. 2.       Conduct cost benefit analysis to keep your expenses in check. 3.       Have an emergency fund/reserves to cover unexpected expenses or clients that cannot meet their lease payments. 4.       If you own a commercial property with multiple leases coming up at the same time you ......
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5 Inexpensive Makeover Tips to Put Your Leasing Space on Top of the List

image9.jpgHaving property is a good way of having an excellent income for the long-run, but sometimes that same leasing space won’t get you much unless you renovate from time to time. Properties that don’t receive a makeover regularly will be less attractive and will be more difficult to lease, and you’ll thus lose money. You can avoid this by doing some renovations or making changes that will cause the space to become more desirable. However, this can be quite costly, which is why we have prepared a list of tips for you to avoid unnecessary costs, and manage to make some effective makeovers for very little money. Clean Everything Cleaning is always the best way to make anything look good and appealing. Besides, it’s probably the cheapest option as well. You can easily do it yourself, or hire someone at a small expense. What you must remember though is that cleaning both the interior and exterior is essential – all of it together will have a significant effect on the desirability of your property. Give it a Paint Job A simple paint job is always a necessary makeover if you want your leasing space to be at the top of the list. It’s inexpensive and easy as the previous tip, and it’s sometimes enough to merely paint the areas that look bad and the areas where people will spend most of their time. Don’t forget the front door as that’s the first thing most people will see before entering the place. Improve the......
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Pros and Cons of Leasing a Fully Furnished Flat

Property owners usually face a dilemma – to lease a fully furnished suite or an unfurnished one? Which one is better? There’s no easy answer here. We’ve found that it’s best to consider the merits of one of the two – the fully furnished one. It’s always best to decide whether something is good or not by making a list of its good and bad sides. We will give you all the pros and cons of leasing a fully furnished residence, so you can get a clearer picture and decide if that’s the way you should go. The Price Some might think that the price is a negative for fully furnished apartments – as it’s expensive to equip an entire rental for your tenants. However, they are not looking at the bigger picture: fully furnished rooms will yield a higher rent making it a better long-term investment. Naturally, the price will differ from city to city, but the overall picture is clear – fully furnished always bring higher rent. Changing Tenants More Often Furnished units are usually rented by people who are only looking to stay somewhere temporarily. It usually means that your tenant turnover will be high. However, this is not necessarily the case. Some people are looking for long-term furnished rentals. Although, changing your tenants often is good for some landlords, as they get the chance to make upgrades to modify the price before getting a new tenant. Higher Deposits It depends on the state, but based on whether or not an apartment......
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