Expert Blogs

For stabilized multifamily everyday appliances include stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators and microwaves (built in).  Unlike disposals and locks, unless there is secure storage on site, keeping reserve appliances on hand is seldom a good idea. It's amazing how often a refrigerator can "grow legs" if left un-attended for several months. Here are a few options for just-in-time appliance buying. Buying Used.  For stoves,...

Research has shown that a person who resigns from your property management company is leaving for one of three possible reasons: a new career opportunity, an unsolicited job offer or for a grievance that has not been handled correctly.  Whenever a person resigns from your property management company for voluntary reasons it’s normally a surprise and it can be expensive to replace a valuable team member.  This article will outline three...

From a birds-eye view the multifamily market is poised to have a strong 2012 with at least modest rent growth gains and good absorption of new product.  Rent growth is pressured by limited increases in payrolls and paychecks, however, with limited new construction in the pipeline (as compared to historic norms) vacancy should tick down. If you are like me its difficult to watch the nightly news regularly.  First of all, we have so many other...

This is a discussion on selecting door locks for apartment communities.   Having this conversation ten years ago our consensus was that early in the 21st century we will all have paperless offices and key-less locks.  Guess what; didn't happen.  Is your office paperless?  Are your communities key-less?  The likelihood is low. Electronic locks are the future.  They provide a myriad of benefits to commercial multifamily...

It is well documented that third-grade reading levels tell us much about adult achievement. There is a direct correlation between personal income and educational attainment.  Over-stating the obvious, people with a college degree make more money that those dropping out of  high school. Can we select multifamily assets to acquire based on local school achievement test?  How about buying multifamily based on educational attainment of the...

Best service, especially in the property management industry, can be deceiving because the needs and expectations of your residents are changing and evolving rapidly.  In addition, your residents are comparing your apartment communities to both your competition and to best service with every company, product or service they experience.  By reading this article, you will learn the steps for developing a system so your residents can tell you exactly...

Steve Jobs had an affinity for Zen.  One of the concepts he deployed in business from this perspective was "the beginners mind".   In its most basic form "the beginners mind" allows us to believe that in any circumstance there are many possibilities.   Interesting.  Can we apply this to the annual budgeting process for our assets? The over-simplified budgeting process: take last years budget, compare it...

As property managers, we spend more real cash on flooring that just about any other item.  Excluding roofs, windows and boilers, flooring is often the one line item expenditure that pops on the annual profit/loss. Some property managers are flooring experts.  Most of us muddle forward executing a well-rounded flooring strategy that needs work.    With flooring, there is always the necessary balance between initial costs...

It's Thanksgiving.   This is a great tradition and one of the few originated in the United States with a 400 year history.  This is a tradition with deep roots- so much so that even the retail "noise" stops for twenty-four hours (assuming the television and laptop are turned off).   Thanksgiving is hard-wired into the American DNA.  It carries actionable thoughtfulness.  It represents the best of us; a...

Name three things that are outstanding about your real estate assets.  The three things that came to mind first, were they benefits or features?  People like features but they buy benefits.  This is a sincere question- what are the benefits to the end user derived from your asset?  Ok, shelter.  Check.  Every competitor offers this benefit.  Are you amplifying the positives? How about the on-site staff- can they name (at...

Here are eight ways to read a rent roll with an eye towards determining stability of the tenant base.  The objective is to provide insight into the stability of the asset by knowing the financial reality associated with the income stream from the multifamily asset. Baseline Data.  When beginning a review of the rent roll ask for two copies; one for the current month and one for the same month from the previous year (two years if you can get it)....

With pent up demand for multifamily why is the construction pipeline slow to respond?  Credit underwriting.  With a plethora of real estate assets available for sale why is sales volume year-over-year about the same?  Credit underwriting.  Real estate finance is not for the faint of heart.   The credit pipes "frozen" in 2008 continue to un-thaw three years later.  And reading demographic trend tea leaves is becoming...