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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

The Americans with Disabilities Act for Landlords And Property Managers

The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as “ADA” is a federal civil-rights law protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The ADA places guidelines for access to: Employment State and local government programs, services and buildings Access to places of public accommodation such as businesses, transportation, and non-profit service providers Telecommunications George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; standing left to right Reverend Harold Wilkie, Sandra Parrino of the National Council on Disability; seated left to right, Evan Kemp, Chairman of the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, George Bush, Justin Dart, Chairman of the ‘s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Washington DC, USA, 26 July 1990. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). The scope of the law is fairly broad and addresses many of the obstacles affecting the participation of people with disabilities within society. Many of the ADA’s civil rights protections parallel the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the protections it established for racial, religious minorities and women. Occasionally, management companies may be faced with a lawsuit for non-compliance with ADA laws.  These compliance problems are usually preventable as many times they result from violations which stem from the lack of proper guidelines, policies, procedures, and/or practices regarding accessibility. Implementing current policies can go a long way toward avoiding the expense associated with ADA lawsuits. As owners, landlords, managers, and tenants can be jointly and severally liable in the event of non-compliance. Making it important to ensure you have safe practices in place to address......
Continue reading
1143 Hits
0 Comments

The Best Cities to Invest in Student Housing in Canada - 2017 Edition

  In late 2015, Places4Students published one of our most widely circulated blogs, The Best Cities in Canada to Invest in Student Housing – Province by Province. Since then, the market has grown considerably as more purpose-built student housing has developed throughout Canada, inevitably changing the market landscape. We decided to revisit this topic and once again highlight some of the best cities in Canada to invest in student housing.   The methodology for determining the best cities was based on collecting CMHC data, college and university enrolment statistics, average real estate prices and other rental market data. Other criteria included student enrolment and projected growth, average rental rates, availability of on-campus housing, vacancy rates, number of academic institutions and more.*The following data reflects vacancy, average rental, turnover and availability rates from 2015 to 2016. The average rental rates are based on two bedroom apartments.   Ontario – Peterborough: Last year, Guelph held the number one spot. According to Alan Mason from TrilliumWest, the three key success factors for Guelph included: low vacancy rates, coupled with limited housing options for students, increased enrolment and an improving housing market. Although Guelph is still a top city for student housing investment this year, the number one spot goes to Peterborough. Peterborough has some very favourable rental market conditions:   ·       Vacancy rate dropped from 3.7% to 1.0% ·       Average rental rate (2 bedroom) rose from $959/month to $980/month ·       Turnover rate of 17.4% is the fourth lowest in Ontario ·       Availability rate dropped from 5.1% to 2.2% ·&n......
Continue reading
1161 Hits
0 Comments

Not All Tenant Screening is Created Equally

You can’t always predict who will be a good tenant, but past behavior often indicates future behavior. Whether you’re a landlord, a property manager, or a real estate agent, you should be doing everything in your power to protect yourself from the hassle of dealing with bad tenants and bringing unwanted tenants into your community as they can be can be both time-consuming and financially destructive. Tenant screening can be handled in a few different ways, and one screening process is not always as successful as another. Making your decision solely on price can be a mistake, as many companies bypass certain steps in order to keep prices low. Here are some things you should know before deciding how to handle screening in the future.   Many companies advertise no on-site inspection for their tenant screening; however, you should know that these inspections are required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. While these companies can offer some valuable information about your tenant’s past, they are not providing full credit reports. Instead, these companies access public data to compile an independent score that only partially represents your tenant’s history. These companies tend to offer the cheapest prices, but at the expense of legality and comprehensive information. Many companies require the tenant to initiate the transaction. While this practice isn’t inherently problematic, it can cause certain problems. For one, because it requires tenant initiation, time can become an issue. In this scenario, the property manager loses some of the control. In some instances it also prevents ......
Continue reading
1188 Hits
0 Comments

Graduate Student Housing Shortage: An Underserved Market?

Graduate Student Housing Shortage: An Underserved Market?
In many college and university communities, there are complaints about too much student housing, but this problem tends to be the polar opposite for graduate student housing. In numerous rental markets across North America, there is a lack of on-campus graduate student housing available, often resulting in fierce competition and long application wait-lists.   The shortage of graduate student housing at many campuses has become a contentious issue, as the following cases illustrate.   At UC San Diego there was a reported 2,500-person wait-list for graduate student housing. Many are left to find alternative options in the off-campus housing market. At Brown University campus housing is not guaranteed for graduate students and only 100 of the university’s 2,000 graduate students live in Brown-owned housing, due to lack of options and availability. McMaster University, boasting a graduate student population of over 4,000, has no designated graduate housing at all. However, the university is exploring options to build their first graduate residence in the very near future. The University of Miami has foregone the idea of providing graduate student housing in their ten-year housing plan and opted to prioritize the undergraduate population.   Problems relating to a shortage of graduate or family housing are nothing new; however, the earliest mention of the issue we could find dates back to August 1947 at Harvard University.So why is there such a shortage of graduate student housing?   There are a few reasons that potentially attribute to the shortage:  Undergraduate student populations tend to be significantly larger than the amount of graduate s......
Continue reading
740 Hits
0 Comments

Student Housing - The End of Marketing to Millennials & the Rise of Gen Z

The term millennial doesn’t have a clear-cut definition but is ever-present when it comes to apartment marketing. Commonly, millennial is often used as a catch-all phrase referring to nearly any young renter that falls beneath the age of 30. But what is the actual period when millennials were born? Chances are, if you were to try to pin down the exact time frame for the millennial generation, you’d encounter some conflicting answers. ·     Born between 1977 to 1994 – Metlife ·     Born between 1980 to 2000 – Time Magazine ·     Born between 1982 to 2004 – Demographers William Straus and Neil Howe ·     Born between 1983 to 2000 – US Public Interest Research Group By and large, the consensus is that the last millennials were born around the year 2000, which would currently make the youngest millennials 17 years old; which is around the age most students graduate from high school and go off to college or university. This group is what we classify as the last millennial class. The proactive student-housing marketer knows that this is the end of the road for marketing to the millennial generation - but what’s next? Move aside Millennials – get ready for Generation Z. While the last class of millennials could potentially still have another 4 to 5 years in student housing, the focus will largely be shifted to Generation Z now. Much like the millennial generation, there isn’t a defined date range for Gen Z; but most often quoted as between 2001 to 2015. Using this timeframe would mean the eldest group of Gen Z would be heading off to college or university in the n......
Continue reading
3722 Hits
0 Comments

Using Google Trends To Determine Student Housing Search Popularity

Using Google Trends To Determine Student Housing Search Popularity
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, once stated, “It's difficult to imagine the power that you're going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.” The collection of big data online has increasingly played a vital role in analyzing consumer trends and popularity; and as of 2015, this data became even more accessible, thanks to Google Trends.  Google Trends allows the general public to access the world’s largest real-time datasets, enabling the average user to seek out data about what’s most searched and what’s most popular. This data is particularly useful to a marketer, who can analyze information for any respective industries.   Google Trends can be applied to the student housing industry in a variety of ways and can help in answering questions like:   When are students searching online for student housing most? What geographic areas have the highest search volume for student housing? What other topics related to student housing are users searching for?   To showcase how Google Trends can be utilized to gather information about student housing, we’ve provided a few different search query examples. 1. Determine the most popular states and provinces for student housing search queries:The graphs below show search data for ‘student housing’ from April 2016 – April 2017 for both the United States and Canada.For the United States, the top 5 states were Utah, Hawaii, Mississippi, Idaho and Colorado (honorable mentions to Montana and Rhode Island, who were a point or two behind Colorado).     For Canada, the top 5 provinces were On......
Continue reading
1145 Hits
0 Comments

Are Virtual Reality Tours The Next Big Thing In Student Housing?

Are Virtual Reality Tours The Next Big Thing In Student Housing?
Since 2003, one of our key recommendations for landlords looking to enhance their online rental listing has been great photography. Photography has been a staple in the multifamily rental industry for well over a decade now; but it may find itself eventually replaced by virtual reality tours and 3D floor plans.Student housing is a prime market segment that is likely to be at the frontier of virtual reality tours, especially as they become increasingly more affordable, accessible and easy to facilitate. Virtual reality tours go a step beyond photos and video, whereas they allow for an immersive and interactive experience for student renters, without leaving the comfort of their current home. Out-of-state or out-of-country students typically cannot arrange for in-person tours of accommodations, which is where virtual reality triumphs.So will virtual reality tours be the next big thing for marketing in student housing? The current market environment would lead us to believe so.There are already a handful of major student housing players that have adopted and started to implement virtual reality tours including:   Domus Student Housing Campus Suites Varsity Properties Campus Life & Style Campus Apartments   UForis VR that works with Domus Student Housing conducted a case study on the units they equipped with VR tours and saw a 20% increase in year-over-year monthly number of units rented. In addition, Domus Student Housing saw a significant decrease in workload for their leasing agents and estimated that it resulted in 40-50% less work.Even on-campus housing properties are taking an interest in VR, as MacEwan University Residence has......
Continue reading
958 Hits
0 Comments

Why Snapchat May Not Be a Viable Marketing Platform for Student Housing

Why Snapchat May Not Be a Viable Marketing Platform for Student Housing
Snapchat, as of late, has been a hot topic in the student housing market. Earlier in the year at the 2017 NAA Student Housing Conference & Exhibition, a session covered social media trends in student housing and highlighted Snapchat as a platform ripe with marketing potential. As NAA put it, Snapchat is dominating the student housing marketing conversation. But is the marketing potential all it’s cracked up to be? While there are plenty of great free Snapchat marketing techniques for resident engagement and interaction, paid marketing opportunities on the platform are limited for student housing providers.   Common advertising objectives such as getting new leases signed, driving website traffic to listings or booking on-site tours are just a few of the goals that would be difficult to accomplish through Snapchat marketing. Some other key limitations student housing providers should be aware of are listed below. 1. Extremely High Ad Costs: Snapchat currently only has three paid advertising options:   ·      Snap Ads: As of February 2017, there was a minimum campaign buy-in of $10,000/month.   ·      Sponsored Lenses: These cost between $450,000 to $700,000+/day, depending on the day and other factors.   ·      On-Demand Geofilters: The price depends on a few factors, such as the size of the Geofence area and the duration for which it will run. On average, Buffer puts the cost at about $5 per 20,000 square feet for a Geofilter. However, if a large area were to be selected, say the entire Drake University campus, the cost coul......
Recent comment in this post
Brent Williams
Excellent write-up.
Friday, 12 May 2017 15:24
Continue reading
1904 Hits
1 Comment

Chinese international students’ off-campus renting preferences in the United States Universities

Chinese international students’ off-campus renting preferences in the United States Universities
Author: Yiwei Chen&Shenchen Han According to the data from the Open Doors Report published by the Institute of International education (IIE), the number of Chinese students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 8.1% to 328,547 during the 2015/16 academic year, comprising 31.5% of all international students studying in the U.S. China has remained the leading place of origin for international students in the U.S for 7 years and this is the 12th consecutive year that the Open Doors data show growth in the total international students from China.     Chart Sources: The New York Times; Open doors report, Institute of International Education   These strong increases have profound influences on the economy of the United States. International students pay much higher out-of-state tuitions which provide considerable revenue to the host universities. Besides, international students contribute large amount of moneys into the local economies to pay for living expenses, such as accommodation, transportation, dining, supplies and health insurance. The housing market is one of the local markets which will be greatly benefited from the arrivals of Chinese students so the residential preferences of this group should be concerned.   An article written by Su Hua lists some personal and household characteristics of renters who are Chinese students in the U.S., including: (1)   Less than 30% of the Chinese renters have a car available. (2)   The average family size of them is pretty small, which is only 1.6. (3)   Very few of them are married and even less......
Continue reading
908 Hits
0 Comments

Showing Tenants Some Love - The Rise of Tenant Rewards & Perks Programs

Showing Tenants Some Love - The Rise of Tenant Rewards & Perks Programs
In recognition of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, we thought it would be fitting to discuss a clever new way for landlords and property managers to show their tenants some love.   A relatively new trend in the rental industry is the introduction of tenant reward and perk programs, whereby accommodation providers offer discounts, incentives, and prizes to their tenants.   Tenant satisfaction and retention are two central aspects of maintaining a successful rental housing business, which makes these reward programs an excellent way to help keep tenants happy. Tenant retention is a particularly tricky issue in student housing, as the average turnover rate is about 50% per year, according to Centurion Apartments.So what are some examples of these tenant reward programs?   While there are certainly no shortages of tenant reward programs that have popped up over the last few years, the following are a few of our favorites.  Killam Perks – Killam Properties operates several student housing locations across Canada which offer a program known as Killam Perks. Tenants receive a perks card which grants them access to discounts and special deals from a huge list of retailers.Our favorite offer at the moment? Save the tax at a fast-growing fresh food chain, Freshii.  MoolaPerks – One way or another, tenants have to pay rent; so why not get rewarded for doing it? RentMoola’s MoolaPerks program does just that. This third-party rent payment company allows their users the ability to be rewarded with a slew of discounts, freebies and perks from a plethora of retailers.Our favorite offer at the moment? A free $3......
Continue reading
1061 Hits
0 Comments