Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

When and How Much Should My Community Charge for Parking

When and How Much Should My Community Charge for Parking
"How much to charge for a parking space" is a common concern we hear on a frequent basis. A lot of communities, specifically in the multifamily industry, struggle with knowing how much and when to charge for parking due to the concern of negative response or backlash from residents. It is an unfortunate reality, that offering free parking at a community such as an apartment complex or shared condo parking lot can lead to numerous issues and even place a higher long-term cost on the local community itself. Overcrowded lots result in unhappy residents that spend additional time searching for parking; which is just one issue that can arise when there is no cost tied to parking a vehicle onsite. Parking Lot Supply and Demand Considering if a multifamily community or apartment complex has fewer spaces than it has units or is above the average of 1.88 vehicles owned per household (according to the U.S. Department of Transportation), the demand outweighs the supply causing a parking deficit. This results in parking problems such as residents wanting to park their vehicle close to their own home only to find out the space has been taken by a neighbor's guest who has been occupying the space for far too long. This can be managed effectively by pricing out permits based on the deficit. Every city has building codes which allocate a specific number of parking spaces per unit, however depending on the data that was used at the time of construction, this may......
Continue reading
754 Hits
0 Comments

Data Visualization as a Revenue Driver

Data Visualization as a Revenue Driver
Accurate property performance data is among the most sought-after commodities in the apartment industry. Few metrics drive solid decision-making than those pertaining to genuine activity at a rental community. But the data itself often leaves something to be desired. It can create further questions and convolution if delivered in spreadsheet fashion with no further context. The data becomes truly powerful when it can be visualized within the context of a property, when an accompanying interactive map of the property augments the perspective of the raw numbers.  At first glance, adding map-based visualizations to a property’s performance data seems like a nice-to-have feature. But this additional dynamic can do more than add texture to the data. It can serve as a revenue driver by providing unique insights property teams would have otherwise missed.  Here are a few of the ways:  Unit premiums  Properties generally operate on logic when pricing different types of homes within a particular community. While the logic method is typically effective, leasing activity sometimes proceeds in a counterintuitive manner. For instance, conventional wisdom would suggest that creek-side homes with tremendous nature views would command a higher premium than units on the other side that overlook the fitness center. But over time, more residents are opting for the latter homes because the creek-side homes experience more background noise and are more echo-prone. While the view is spectacular, it doesn’t overthrow a quiet living experience.  Teams observing leasing activity within the context of a map will quickly notice the spike of lea......
Continue reading
578 Hits
0 Comments

Four Takeaways from NOI Session at InterFace Multifamily Southeast

Four Takeaways from NOI Session at InterFace Multifamily Southeast
Maximizing the net operating income of communities is always one of an apartment operator’s highest priorities.   But while operators are understandably focused on keeping expenses as low as possible, they frequently overlook the opportunities to capture more ancillary revenue and don’t realize how powerful this revenue can be in boosting NOI.   That was one of the major takeaways of the “Top 20 Marketing and Operations Ideas to Improve NOI in Today's Challenging Market” session at the recent InterFace Multifamily Southeast conference, held in early December in Atlanta.   I was honored to be one of the panelists, along with Sharon Hatfield, chief operating officer at CF Real Estate Services; Lisa Taylor, senior managing director, client services, at Greystar; and Marcie Williams, president of RKW Residential.   Here are four of my other main takeaways from the thought-provoking discussion:   1. New sources of ancillary revenue continue to emerge. From lease insurance and concierge services to short-term rentals and pet fees, today’s operators have no shortage of ways to bring in ancillary revenue.   Williams recommended capturing what she called “invisible dollars” by having all pricing end in a “9.” For example, when her company takes over a community and the application fee is $75, they will increase the fee to $79 to bring in additional revenue. If someone is willing to pay $75, then they will readily pay $79, she noted.   Hatfield recommended monetizing dead space and empty onsite retail space by, for example, creating storage areas that residents can ren......
Continue reading
1765 Hits
0 Comments

33 Ways to Generate More Property Income Beyond Fees

33 Ways to Generate More Property Income Beyond Fees
Last month, Multifamily Insiders published the latest edition of their study on the most common Ancillary Income types for apartment communities. (You can read the full report here.) I'll give you the top five types: Application Fees Late Fee Pet Rent Early Termination Month to Month Fee And here are a few more personal favorites: Lapse in Renters Insurance Fee Redecoration Fees Resident Discount Program (This seems counter-intuitive unless we're at CostCo.) Marketing Coordination Fee (to pay for social media at the property) Eviction Holdoff Fee (You can't pay, so we're going to charge you not to kick you out.) "We also have community gardens which we charge for" Does anyone else feel nickel and dimed? (There's a reason cable companies and airlines are among the most despised industries.) Please don't misunderstand this as a lack of empathy for the property owner and manager. I have zero issue with value-add services or fees that cover legitimate business expenses. There's a hard cost to process applications and run background and criminal checks. It makes total sense to apply a penalty to encourage on-time payments. Pets cause damage. But we want to charge customers more because we run an Instagram account? Or for the opportunity to plant a garden? I can't imagine too many customers feeling great about giving up their hard-earned dollars for fees like this. What's better than fees? Value worth paying for. It's not like we have to give everything away for free. There are better ways to generate ancillary......
Continue reading
8647 Hits
1 Comment

Shipping and Returns: A New Consideration for Package Management

One in three.  That’s right: 30 percent of every online purchase is returned.    We already know that ecommerce is bigger than ever with people spending more than a $200 billion annually – a steadily rising number. It is estimated that online shopping has grown more than 17 percent over the last decade. And as more and more brick-and-mortar stores close their doors ecommerce is projected to further skyrocket.  While online shopping offers a greater convenience with the ability to shop 24/7 and from various devices, it still lacks the sensory appeal that comes with shopping at a brick-and-mortar retailer. As such, 60 percent of returned packages are due to either damaged goods, the product looks different than what was online or it was simply the wrong item. A report released by Sanford C. Bernstein indicates that Amazon ships an average of 608 million packages each year, or 1.66 million daily. According to UPS, they deliver approximately 18 million packages daily during typical non-peak shipping periods while FedEx boasts 13 millions daily packages. While these figures don’t take into account the massive upswing in package deliveries during the holiday season (think double the volume), we are looking at roughly 9 million packages returned every single day. So the question becomes how does your property manage shipping and returns? By offering Shipping and Returns services, apartment owners and operators can:  •       Provide even greater convenience for your residents by allowing them to returns items they are unhappy with, as well as ship pack......
Continue reading
1358 Hits
0 Comments

Ancillary Income: Can Parking be a New Revenue Stream?

  As the preferences of residents in urban areas continue to gravitate toward newer, hip forms of public transportation, apartment owners should be watching eagerly.    Fewer and fewer residents in high-density areas are opting to own cars, causing them to place a higher priority on car-share and ride-share services than on parking. Initially, downtown communities might have met this trend with disdain, wondering what they were going to do with all those extra parking spots.     But the concept that spurred this trend – the sharing economy – is also the answer of how to address it. Those empty spots serve as an ancillary income opportunity that can not only generate additional monthly revenue, but add overall value to the community. While residents opt for alternative forms of transportation, you can fill those increasingly vacant spots by utilizing a park-share concept.   Even though some of your residents might not park at your community because they don’t have a vehicle, spaces are still at high demand for those who commute to the area for work or entertainment.   A look at a study by the National Multifamily Housing Council on Urban vs. Suburban Housing Preferences reveals a clear picture of the disparity of resident preferences. While parking is a primary interest for close to 95 percent of residents in areas with household densities in the 94th percentile or less, the number declines in markets at the top end of the scale. In turn, interest in bike-share and car-share programs eleva......
Continue reading
1629 Hits
0 Comments