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Top Fastest Growing Metros in the US and Should I be Looking to Invest in Them?

Top Fastest Growing Metros in the US and Should I be Looking to Invest in Them?
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, many are deserting giant cities like New York City or San Francisco and looking to settle somewhere else. Rapid economic growth plays a vital part in what makes up-and-coming cities appealing landing spots as well as lucrative investments. Here is our list of the top five fastest-growing US metro areas and why you should invest in them: 1. Boise, Idaho In recent years, Boise has been experiencing substantial growth in its population and its home values. Just in the last ten years, its population rose by 12%. In the last five years, home values have risen by 75% on average, and just the last year alone, the average home value in Boise rose by $50,000. On top of that, the people migrating there are young professionals with money to spend. Boise also offers the perfect balance between rural access and an urban feel. Its economy is as robust as ever with plenty of available jobs. The city is a hub for many startups and is home to such giants as HP and Micron. Boise is also voted as the eighth safest city in the world.  2. Tacoma, Washington Homes are going fast in the Tacoma metro area, with 73.6% of houses sold in October 2020 going off the market in just two weeks. As a comparison, last year that number was only 51.3%. Tacoma offers better investment opportunities than for example the Seattle area, which can be pretty expensive. Cash flow opportunities are also better because the......
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Common Metrics/Terms an Investor Uses to Analyze Commercial Real Estate

Common Metrics/Terms an Investor Uses to Analyze Commercial Real Estate
It’s not a secret that numbers drive real estate investment decisions. But the real question is, which metrics are valid? Which metrics matter? Depending on your investment goals and property type, some metrics are more important than others. The following metrics/terms real estate investors commonly use when making portfolio decisions: 1. Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate) Cap rate is mostly used for apartment complexes and commercial buildings. Capitalization rate can also be used for houses and small multifamily properties, but the flip side is that operating expenses are unpredictable with houses since you can’t know how often or how bad your turnovers may be. Cap rate allows you to compare properties in the same asset class with different characteristics that make direct comparison impossible. The disadvantage of the Cap rate is that it’s only a snapshot. It says nothing about the expected growth in expenses, rents, property value, and whether using leverage will increase your return. 2. Cash Flow When evaluating rental properties, it’s vital to figure out your expected monthly cash flow. When determining total expenses, you should include: Property taxes Flood and hazard insurance Water Sewer Garbage Electricity Property management General maintenance and upkeep Capital expenditures Vacancy rate 3. Return on Investment (ROI) RoI is helpful for analyzing how well a deal did in the past. This measurement is always good to have because you can’t adjust your future investing unless you know how your previous investments performed. 4. Internal Rate of Return (IRR) The internal rate of return is used to m......
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Top Tips to Keep Traffic High for Multifamily Communities

It’s no secret that the pandemic has limited traffic to apartment communities. On top of that, the weather also limits traffic to multifamily communities in the winter. But what shouldn’t be limited during the colder months is traffic to your website.  This past year has challenged leasing teams to take their apartment marketing strategy to new heights. You may have seen an uptake in traffic to your apartment communities during the warmer months due to your hard earned marketing efforts, but now, you may be questioning why traffic seems so low. Or what are some ways to increase the traffic to your property, and how do you market vacant apartment units? Luckily, you won’t have to keep asking these questions for long if you follow these tips to increase traffic for apartment communities.   How to Get More Traffic to Your Apartment Community It’s not only important to market your multifamily communities online but to take it a step further, and market your properties in a real and transparent way. This is where prospective residents can learn more about what your apartment community offers and get comfortable with wanting to take a next step. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. So how do you increase traffic to your apartment community through video?   Video Tours One of the best ways to attract prospective residents during the colder months is through your website. Be sure to c......
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The 2020 City Center Shift to Suburbia

Across the globe, multi-family markets of all types have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 – having a varied impact on occupancy levels. With restricted amenities, online universities, and the option to work remotely, city centers are simply no longer able to demand the premium they historically did. With the desire for more space, and lower costs, we are seeing an increase in demand and renters in suburban areas with a departure and softening of the urban market. However, real estate professionals are struggling to fill vacant buildings now and are no longer in a position to wait for the future normal to arrive – they need to address today’s normal now. Here are some steps that real estate professionals can take today in order to minimize losses and turn a struggling balance sheet into a healthy financial reflection: 1.Leverage Proptech. One of the biggest advantages real estate professionals can capitalize on when utilizing proptech is the reduction of in person meetings to view/assess a property or a rental unit. By incorporating proptech into your business models you will be a step ahead of the game by having access to more potential tenants at any given moment in time. For example, instead of allocating one appointment slot to provide a tenant with a tour of a property, property managers can incorporate proptech such as VR (virtual reality) technology which provides access to multiple floorplan tours for various tenants at any given time without requiring the property manager to be on si......
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A Defining Leadership Moment?

"COVID-19 has challenged our treasured beliefs about what the future will hold." (McKinsey & Co.) 

This is true for everyone regardless of role across organizations: employees, managers, leaders and shareholders. I think it’s safe to say that we all feel it. And as the situation continues to evolve, it’s taking a toll on morale and zapping the energy in our workforces. 

If we borrow a page from the 2000 year old words of Epicteus, the Greek Stoic philosopher, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters,” then we ought to be thinking and acting now in order to protect the overall health and well being of our employees and the workplace. 

Below is a link to a thoughtful piece for any organization seeking to move forward and re-energize its people where possible in light of the circumstances. 

It discusses the impact of pandemic fatigue and how pragmatic optimism (optimism based in reality), compassion in the form of real connection (vs. programs), organizational resilience, and reimagining how we operate can help recharge the work environment. It also suggests ways in which organizations can be agile and adapt to a new reality based on changes that may endure well beyond the pandemic. Read the full article.

I hope it’s helpful.  

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What Does a Great Market Survey Experience Look Like?

What Does a Great Market Survey Experience Look Like?
Introduction The other day, there was a comment posted on Multifamily Insiders asking why people hated market surveys so much. This is a real issue that many property managers and agents face on a weekly basis...keep reading if you're interested in a solution! If you're familiar with property management, then you probably know what a market survey is. You also know how tedious, time-consuming, and stressful they can be. This is where Market Survey Tools (MSTs) come in. What are Market Survey Tools? MSTs help in the weekly compiling of property information such as: Move-Ins Move-Outs # of Tours # of Cancels These tools simplify and streamline the process, allowing agents to enter their weekly data and then share that data with their comps through a couple of clicks. What Makes a Good Marketing Survey Tool? Not all MSTs are made the same; a good MST: Is made for agents (and regionals) Automates for you Makes reporting easy Makes sharing easy Stores your data   5 Reasons You Need a Market Survey Tool 1. Market Survey Tools are Made for Agents (& Regionals) Whether you're an agent or regional, MSTs can make your life easier. With the right MST you can: Complete surveys View previous surveys View competitors' data Review your property's data Send reports 2. Market Survey Tools Automate for You With so much going on these days, it's tough to keep your schedule straight. A good MST sends notifications, reminders, and updates right to your inbox. Here's what a......
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Delivering Customer Service Through Modern Package Management

Delivering Customer Service Through Modern Package Management
There are a number of differentiators in multifamily that owners and property managers lean on to promote their properties. Location, amenities, technology, services and square footage all come at a premium. But with all else being equal, the tipping point is customer service.  Residents have spent more time at home during the pandemic than ever before, which puts a microscope on the service levels provided by on-site teams. It has been a challenging tightrope to walk, considering that recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local health departments have dictated restricted access to the very amenities and neighborhood hot spots that may have sold residents on the property in the first place. Renters have started asking how communities can continue to charge the same rates when residents don’t have the same access to amenities and property features. In an effort to protect on-site team members, management companies also limited their leasing office presence and person-to-person contact with residents. At least in part due to these staffing limitations, many companies stopped receiving packages on behalf of residents, as well. The timing is unfortunate, considering that the number of packages arriving daily at apartment communities since the start of the pandemic has skyrocketed. Renters have turned almost exclusively to e-commerce in their effort to avoid public spaces. The simultaneous elimination of package services, or an inability to adequately manage the new package flow, has had a significant impact on residents’ view of their communities’ customer care.  So, what happens when services are l......
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Control Community Exposure Through Contactless Package Management

Control Community Exposure Through Contactless Package Management
When the Covid-19 pandemic first arrived, multifamily management companies took immediate steps to facilitate social distancing and limit direct contact between team members and residents. Virtual and self-guided tours were deployed in the place of in-person guided tours with a leasing agent. Offices, lobbies, amenities and other community common areas were closed. Cleaning and disinfecting services were ramped up overnight. But many communities failed to address one glaring hole in their defenses against the virus – package deliveries. The problem escalated quickly as renters overwhelmingly turned to online retailers for most of their consumer needs in order to avoid direct contact with others. According to a report from McKinsey & Company, the U.S. had already seen a 20% increase in preference for contactless operations as of April. The trend has led to a staggering increase in package deliveries.  It’s an oversight that has created a number of new problems for property managers struggling to maintain the integrity of their contactless community. Access Control  The fact that residents have stayed home for the most part during the pandemic, coupled with the specific closures and protocols that communities have in place, has helped properties to reduce person-to-person and shared-surface contact. However, the sudden reliance on e-commerce has created a seemingly endless parade of package carriers coming and going from multifamily communities.  In most cases, operators have no idea how many different delivery drivers have visited their communities during the day, where they’ve been within the community and what personal precautions they’ve taken. One package......
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2020’s Impact on Multifamily Housing

  It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a roller coaster ride. This year has drastically impacted businesses across industries, including all sectors of real estate.  Though multifamily housing is no stranger to change, it is rare to see change at the accelerated rate we’ve experienced during 2020. In response to COVID-19, multifamily property managers, owners, and developers have had to adapt to social distancing, health concerns, and a demand for safer, contactless experiences. Here’s an overview of how 2020 has changed multifamily housing and what you can do to adapt to the circumstances, retain residents, and continue signing top-dollar leases.   Once amenities, now necessities Up until 2020, multifamily buildings set themselves apart from the competition with amenities. Once reliant on high-touch amenities — like 24/7 concierge and house cleaning services — multifamily housing eventually shifted to high-tech amenities. These amenities capitalized on technological advances and focused on adding convenience to residents’ daily lives. Now, in 2020, residents prioritize safety over convenience.    As COVID-19 remains a public safety threat, renters are more concerned with: How to avoid touching high-risk surfaces Who is entering their building How communal spaces are shared   Real estate professionals must step up and make an effort to adapt to residents’ shifting demands. This effort starts with adopting property technology (proptech) solutions to boost resident safety.   Using proptech to create safer buildings Technology has the power to keep your building secure and give residents the peace of mind they deserve. Property managers, owners, and developer......
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Which Commercial Real Estate Sectors Are Approaching Oversupply?

2020 and the years ahead won't come without difficulties for the commercial real estate market. In the United States, certain Commercial Real Estate sectors may be affected by oversupply. the Urban Land Institute states that construction during the current cycle has been below historical trends, but as the cycle matures, we need to look at whether markets are becoming overbuilt. Oversupply may be around the corner for these Commercial Real Estate Sectors: We expect to see some risk of oversupply in Class A multifamily and industrial properties, but the changes that have heightened the demand compared to historical norms should lessen the material impact on fundamentals, which are expected to stay solid. Please NOTE:    This is a general overview of the market sectors across the nation, your specific sub-market may be having substantially different experiences, please consult with a professional commercial real estate agent in your specific sub-market for more details. Industrial Real Estate Sector Industrial real estate also shows signs of overbuilding. Demand stays ahead of supply in both Europe and the U.S, leading to lower vacancy rates. However, as consumers continue to shift toward e-commerce, companies still have to adapt their supply chain strategies and drive the demand for well-located and high-quality logistics facilities. The industrial real estate sector is also heading for slower growth, according to a forecast by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services. The sector, which includes warehouses, flex spaces, distribution centers, and other industrial properties with storage facilities, has been facing sustained demand over......
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