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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Smart Apartments Make Safe Apartments

Smart Apartments Make Safe Apartments
Fire is a property owner’s worst nightmare, but advances in technology could help lower the risk of apartment fires using web-connected appliances. It’s a feature that many tech-savvy young renters are looking for, and it could pay dividends in reducing kitchen fires. Getting Smart from the Inside, Out Smart technology allows renters to control appliances and thermostats, set alerts, and control security systems inside the home with a smartphone app. Most apartment fires are started by stoves left on and unattended. If a renter sets up an alert that notifies them when they leave home and forget to turn off the stove, they can quickly turn the stove off with the app. These same apps can adjust a thermostat like Nest to help a tenant save money on heating and cooling, and they can be linked to smart smoke alarms so the tenant is immediately notified when an alarm is triggered. But, it’s not only what’s inside the apartment that counts. New door lock technology might make keys a thing of the past, connecting smartphones to locks via access code. That could also lower costs for landlords, since physical locks don’t need to be changed when a renter moves out. A new access code for the new renter, and their security is covered. A Customizable, Step-Wise Approach Little by little, technology is gaining a foothold in multifamily property management. The good news is that the investor can also incorporate that tech in baby steps. A Nest thermostat and smart door locks might be ......
Recent comment in this post
Ann Matheis
Thanks for sharing! Your blog post offers great insight on smart technology, its benefits and how property managers can integrate ... Read More
Thursday, 13 April 2017 17:21
Continue reading
2013 Hits
1 Comment

3 Reasons NOT to Ask an Employee Who’s Quit to Stay!

3 Reasons NOT to Ask an Employee Who’s Quit to Stay!
I worked for a big company as a Regional VP and was ready to leave. It was just time. The owner of the company, who had always driven Toyotas bought his first status car – a Jaguar. When I gave my notice, he said if I stayed I could use his brand new Jaguar for a year!   First, he didn’t have a clue what motivated me, although I’d worked for him almost 10 years. Second my mind was made up. But 3rd and most important, the notice period was very awkward because I wasn’t planning to stay and a good employer/employee relationship soured a little. So don’t do the “Jaguar!” Don’t ask the person to stay, offer them more money, or negotiate, no matter how tempting.  Even with your best employee ever. MAYBE there are exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, it’s not a good practice. Here are 3 reasons why: 1.Even the best employee has had to “divorce” you in his/her mind in order to accept another position. In fact, they have had to consider ways the next option is better, and possibly come up with things they don’t like about your company.  In most cases, even if they stay, they don’t stay long, so you still have to replace them anyway.   2.If you have to offer them more money to stay, there is always the question in the back of the departing employee’s mind: why wasn’t I worth that before I gave notice?  And that can turn it into a “bidding war” ......
Recent Comments
Guest — Cliff Webster, Jr.
I couldn't agree more. I've experienced this both as an employee and employer. Sometimes you can't see what you have until it's ... Read More
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 08:22
Mary Gwyn
That's right, Cliff! Thanks!
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 12:09
Guest — Terry W
So true! I have said this repeatedly to my team that asking someone to stay is only a short term fix and will usually result in a... Read More
Thursday, 13 October 2016 18:04
Continue reading
3098 Hits
8 Comments

Give Renters Modern Amenities to Stay Competitive

Give Renters Modern Amenities to Stay Competitive
Tenants want amenities that add perceived value to their monthly rent, but a recent National Multifamily Housing Council study has revealed an evolution of thought when it comes to what certain amenities are worth to renters. While the pool and the fitness center are still in the top five amenities your renters want, other common areas have become just as important to these potential long-term tenants. The Top Four Things Renters Want The most important amenity your renters want is close-in parking. Nearly 95 percent of the 120,000 resident surveyed said parking is their number-one, make-or-break issue when shopping for a new rental home. A community pool came in second on the most-desirable list, closely followed by fitness centers and gated community access. Improve Offerings and Services to Attract the Best Tenants It’s not enough to just have a fitness center anymore, however. Developers are consistently doubling the size of community fitness centers—and other common areas—to provide more value to renters who have come to expect it. Your prospects may be willing to pay more in rent for a property with more gym equipment, a saltwater pool, or the option of covered parking. Ultimately, renters want amenities that are more than a bullet point on a sales brochure. They want facilities and services that are modern, clean, and that they can actually use. If space is an issue, consider reducing the size of the leasing office; you won’t need space these days for all those filing cabinets, so take advantage of that an......
Continue reading
1680 Hits
0 Comments

The Benefits and Challenges of Multifamily Surveillance

The Benefits and Challenges of Multifamily Surveillance
“From day one of the initial placement of apartment security systems cameras onsite loitering and suspicious activity stopped entirely. What was once a safe haven for criminal-entrepreneur activity has now been returned to a much safer environment.” – Owner, Apartment Complex & client of Stealth Monitoring If this a statement you dream of being able to make of your own property, video surveillance may be the solution. There are many benefits to having security cameras on your property, including: They act as a deterrent—In a recent New York Times article, Larry Dolin, the chief executive of American Security Systems, said, “Every building is putting in cameras everywhere. And the truth is, you want them. They are a deterrent. People see a camera, they are less likely to do something if they know they are being recorded.” They make tenants feel safer—Renters are 85% more likely to experience a home burglary than homeowners. Many renters, for obvious reasons, consider security systems and surveillance to be an amenity and would pay more to have them. They make them feel safer. They help solve problems and crimes, when needed—Need an accurate detail of an event? You can’t get much better than a video recording. The catch to this ‘benefit,’ however, is that the cameras must be continually monitored. But before you run out and buy some surveillance equipment to throw up around your campus, there are legal technicalities of which you need to be aware. In a recent article, New York attorney, Lucas A Ferrara, said, “…the ......
Recent Comments
Guest — Andy Davis
Good article for a brief intro into an area that requires Texas state certification.
Tuesday, 08 November 2016 11:43
Guest — Stephanie
Great article! I didn't know about the liabilities you explained in the article, that was very helpful. But is there any type of w... Read More
Friday, 07 July 2017 13:42
Guest — Andy Davis
Yes Stephanie! Please call or email me and I will explain. We do it all and work with many multi-family, multi-tenant businesses. ... Read More
Friday, 07 July 2017 14:40
Continue reading
1990 Hits
3 Comments

Business Plans for Multifamily Properties

Business Plans for Multifamily Properties
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin How current is the business plan for your multifamily property? If you said “Years” or “Business plan? Why would I need a business plan?” we need to talk. According to the Small Business Association, a business plan is “an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.” The question isn’t “why would you?” it’s “why on earth wouldn’t you?” The business plan is your strategy for how you intend to make your business a success and every multifamily property needs one. But before you get overwhelmed in what you believe the minutiae to be for this process, take a breath. Now, follow these steps: Write a mission statement. This is a one-sentence explanation of why your property exists. Example: “Providing residents with professional, courteous, and timely service that exceeds their expectations is not an accident.” Write a vision statement. This is a one-sentence forecast of where how you see your property in five years. It’s the essence of what you want your property to become. Example: We are the leader in providing quality, smart growth, multi-family rental housing. Identify your market. Who is your target audience? Have you done any research to understand that typical consumer who comes looking for a place t......
Recent comment in this post
Guest — moses sefawe
please send me the business plan
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 04:41
Continue reading
3389 Hits
1 Comment

Top 3 Property Management Myths

Top 3 Property Management Myths
One of the most important decisions a multifamily property owner will make about his or her property is whether to hire a manager. Yet, many forego consideration of this option for the simple fact they have misconceptions about property management as a whole. These misconceptions tend to stem from the following 3 property management myths: Property management is too expensive. This is probably the biggest misconception about property management, but the truth is that it could be much more expensive to manage a property independently than to hire a professional. They not only have access to economies of scale that allow them to save money by hiring in bulk (maintenance), they also have lots of experience in marketing, assessments, and collections—aspects of property management that tend to drain the inexperienced property owner. Property management is only for large multifamily properties. Property management is a viable option for any size property. Fees are based on revenue, not a set rate; so a property manager’s services are designed to fit the needs of each individual property. Property management isn’t difficult. It takes experience to manage a property well. It is a full-time business with many facets. A professional property manager is going to handle every aspect of the investment for you from discovery and purchase, to marketing and tenant assessments, and collection and accounting. And even more. Property management done right is best done by someone who knows the commitment requirements and has the resources to dedicate to it. Bottom-line? Property management can make ......
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Mangrove Realty
This is a great share.. But the most important thing one should keep in mind is while hiring a property manager is that your prope... Read More
Friday, 11 March 2016 03:15
Continue reading
2178 Hits
1 Comment

How to Fire Your Property Manager

How to Fire Your Property Manager
Motivational speaker and bestselling author, Larry Winget, once said, “Firing is not something you do to someone: firing is something you do for someone.” If you’re a property owner and your property manager isn’t keeping up his/her end of the deal, then that someone you need to do something for is you. So, once you’ve determined the need to give your property manager the boot, use these tips to help ensure your bases are covered. Provide enough warning time. Property managers typically have a time restriction worked into their contracts that mandate at least 30-days’ notice. You must read your contract carefully, however, because it may be as many as 90 days. Put it in writing. It does not matter what kind of relationship or trust you have with your property manager. Every business agreement—and especially the termination of a contract—must be in writing. It should be dated, include the date of termination, and any additional instructions, such as how final payment will be handled. Give notice to tenants. No one likes change. Even if the decision to let a property manager go is because he is neglectful, tenants may react badly. So it’s best to give as much notice as possible (as soon as written notice is given to the property manager is ideal). Communicate it in a number of ways to ensure everyone gets the message (e.g., newsletter, email, notes on doors), and ensure tenants know who they can reach out to at any time, 24/7, should they have a need. The key i......
Continue reading
582 Hits
0 Comments

When to Fire Your Property Manager

When to Fire Your Property Manager
Do you find yourself wondering if it’s time to give your property management company the boot? The likelihood is great that if you’re questioning it, it’s probably time. But let us take this opportunity to detail some of the conditions that should raise your red flags.  Lack of Communication Has direct contact with your property manager become fewer and farther between? Do you find that it takes more effort to gain a returned phone call, or that it’s difficult to ‘catch’ him or her in the property office? It’s a pretty safe bet that a PM who is inaccessible to you is also inaccessible to tenants, which can significantly impact satisfaction, occupancy and the bottom-line. But, just as important, is the need to gauge the performance of your investment through your PM—something that’s hard to do with poor communication. Contract Fulfillment Depending on the type of contract you have with your PM, there are a wide variety of services he or she may provide. This can include marketing, bookkeeping, accounting, maintenance, and more. And, if a part or whole of the property management contract is going unfulfilled, you have reason to terminate the agreement. Fiduciary Duties Your PM has a fiduciary duty to act on your behalf, and that includes helping ensure the financial health of your investment. While no PM can help or overcome external forces such as market downturns, he or she can and should be able to negotiate costs for liabilities while also handling the influx of funds from rent. Part o......
Continue reading
641 Hits
0 Comments

Appeal to Family Focus When Marketing to Generation X

Appeal to Family Focus When Marketing to Generation X
Babies born in the cold-war-era between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s are labeled “Generation X.” As a group, this generation has been labeled rebellious, independent, skeptical, and entrepreneurial (AccountingWeb), but they also have a strong family focus. They don’t trust most marketing tactics, and they have a need to make a difference. Shift your focus just a bit when marketing multifamily properties to this generation, concentrating on: Family-friendly amenities: This is a major selling point for most people, regardless of generation identity. But, highlighting neighborhood location, property amenities like playgrounds or security, and local school ratings can boost your property’s appeal to Gen-Xers. If your property lacks a family-friendly atmosphere, invest in landscaping that encourages outdoor play for children. Or, focus on neighborhood features like nearby parks.  Truth in advertising: Don’t make this group promises you can’t keep. If your marketing material makes your property sound better than what it really is, you will lose the interest of these natural-born skeptics. Tailor your message to focus on their values and interests; but above all, be honest and you’ll earn their respect. Community: The Generation Xer who wants to be a part of something more will be moved by perks like community gardens, recycling programs, energy efficiency improvements, and community service partnerships for residents. Promote service projects by offering discounts on rent for hours worked, or host recycling contests or food drives that encourage friendly competition among teams of residents. Set up a community service group that adopts and maintains that nearby park. The possibili......
Continue reading
509 Hits
0 Comments

3 Simple Steps to Selecting the Best PM Company

3 Simple Steps to Selecting the Best PM Company
Background checks are common practice when vetting a potential renter, but what kind of due diligence do you perform when hiring a property manager? Property management companies can be an investor's most powerful ally, but before signing a management contract, it's just good business to do your research. Any good property management company will welcome scrutiny from a potential client; just follow three basic starting points when you start the investigation. 1. The Interview Hiring a property manager is just like hiring an employee, but on a larger scale. Develop a set of interview questions that you'll ask your prospects, and take notes when interviewing managers. Establish the basics, like how many employees are on staff and which contractors the company works with, and then move on to more philosophical business questions. By the end of the interview, you need to know precisely what level of reporting and involvement to expect as an investor. But, you also need to know what your renters should expect from a property management company. Ask about accessibility, troubleshooting and turnaround time. Learn about a company's average property, its rent rates per square foot, and its average occupancy rates. 2. Always Check References As part of your interview process, ask for the names of five investors with properties similar to your own or one you may purchase. The company's list of references should vary in location and the duration of the property management company's relationship; talk to old and new clients to gain more perspective on......
Continue reading
399 Hits
0 Comments