This Year’s Renters Want More Space, Good Deals and the Great Outdoors

Winston Rowe and Associates

Renters are on the hunt for open-air amenities, more space, and a better deal in the city they already live in as 2021 unfolds, according to a recent RENTCafé survey on how renters’ preferences have changed as a result of the pandemic.

An improvement in lifestyle was the main driver for the more than 10,000 people who participated in the survey while searching for an apartment on rentcafe.com. The top features respondents searched for a year into the pandemic included open-air amenities (21%) and more space (20%)—data that stands in stark contrast to RENTCafe’s March 2020 survey, where top drivers were price and safety. In addition, space and open air amenities were more important to renters than WFH amenities like home offices.

The prospect of a better deal motivated 29% of respondents, while the need for a change of scenery prompted a quarter of those surveyed to move. And perhaps most interesting? Contrary to breathless pandemic-era reports of Americans ditching their cities for secondary markets, approximately 90% of renters were looking for long-term rentals with 48% looking to remain in the same city. A mere 4% of renters chose to move because they could now be more flexible by working remotely.

“This shows that improving housing conditions—not drastic change—is the goal,” RENTCafe notes in the survey findings. Of those surveyed, one-third (34%) reported they’d already moved once over the last year, with the majority doing so because of the pandemic.

“After months of staring at the same walls, it’s understandable that some people want to make a move now, if only for a change of scenery,” the survey findings note. “However, many of those who moved back in the spring of 2020 seemed to have done so out of need—not because they wanted to. More precisely, their reasons for moving during those uncertain early days of the pandemic were related to their lease being up or feeling financially insecure.”

The survey also revealed that space and open-air amenities were more important than work-from-home amenities. Only 10% said a good internet connection was crucial, and  5% said they needed a home office.

Despite this data, the multifamily industry is prepping to meet the demands of a growing body of WFH renters. Research last year from Newmark showed that multifamily owners are increasing floor plans to create more flexible spaces (think one-bedroom plus a den) and more outdoor space to accommodate workers who are staying home. The firm advises developers, however, to make more incremental changes to unit mixes and amenities since resident needs are still being hashed out as the pandemic wears on.

Source: globest.com

New York Apartment Demand Surges As The City Jumps Into Reopening Mode

Winston Rowe and Associates

A full year into the pandemic, New York City landlords are securing new leases at a rapid clip as depressed prices appear to be luring back—or holding on to—tenants willing to sign for the right deal.

New York buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, the number of leases signed during February beat a record set in 2012 during the comeback from the global financial crisis. The median rental price—lease value net of concessions—fell at least 11% across those boroughs last month, according to a new report by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

The news comes as New York City slowly begins to reopen. Restaurants will soon be able to operate at 50% capacity and movie theaters are once again beginning to show films. It’s been a brutal year for the city; the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 11.4% in December, a 7.8% increase over December 2019.

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers fled the city at the onset of the pandemic, to ritzy enclaves upstate, quiet towns in the Northeast and other pockets of the country. The coming months will help reveal how many intend to return, and whether rental prices will subsequently increase.

In light of the revived demand, some owners are temporarily keeping units off the market in the hopes of a sustained rebound that may help them get higher rates sooner than expected. According to UrbanDigs, a real estate insights firm, in Manhattan landlords took more than 1,800 apartments off the market in February, as the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week. For their part, renters are enjoying the reprieve from record prices, which peaked just before the pandemic.

Below is a closer look at the current New York City rental market, utilizing data from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants.

Manhattan

Non-luxury units offer the best deals, with apartments of three or more bedrooms having the biggest year-over-year discounts, possibly a sign that after living through lockdowns, renters are looking to live with fewer roommates. The median rental price dropped 22.7% over the last 12 months on those units. Two-bedroom apartments are down 8.9%, while studios are down 19.3%.

New signings are up dramatically from February 2020, but the overall vacancy rate remains high, at 5%, compared to 2.01% last year.  More than 40% of new leases come with some form of landlord concessions, the authors said, often one or more months of free rent during the first year after signing.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn saw the “highest number of new lease signings since tracking began during the financial crisis,” Miller Samuel reports, at 1,834 for February, a 133% year-over-year increase. Still, the median effective rent dropped 16.3%, more than any other year in almost a decade. Nearly 40% of new signings last month included landlord concessions.

Studios are commanding the best discounts; median rental prices fell 18.8% compared to last February, while second place goes to apartments with three or more bedrooms, at a 12.5% decline. Still, a glut of inventory remains; there are 3,438 listings in Brooklyn, up from 1,375 a year ago. That figure doesn’t even account for units that have been pulled off the market.

Queens

The story is largely the same in Queens, where February also set a nine-year record. Inventory is up 64% compared to last year, and 36% of signings include concessions.

Overall, the median rental price dropped 13% compared to last February, to $2,522, with studios taking the biggest hit at a drop of 28.7%.

Source: forbes.com

Suburbs Apartment Rents Close to Their Pre-Pandemic Peak

Though the rental market in major cities has been hard hit by the Coronavirus pandemic—plagued with a mass migration by remote workers seeking larger homes, as well as relocations because of social distancing concerns—it appears that the suburbs have not just survived COVID-19’s wrath, they’re thriving in spite of it.

While rents have declined steadily in the larger, denser, principal cities at the core of each metropolitan region, rents in the outlying suburban areas have, on the whole, rebounded to pre-pandemic levels,” according to a new report from Apartment List.

From June through September, rents dropped in cities but “quickly rebounded” in the suburbs from losses that were seen from March to June across all of the property type’s markets, the report stated. In October, rents were 0.5% higher than they were at the start of the year, and came in just under their pre-pandemic peak in March.

Suburbs are outpacing cities across the country. In 27 of 30 large metropolitan areas tracked by Apartment List, “principal cities are experiencing faster rent drops or slower rent growth than their surrounding suburbs. And in 11, including major economic centers like Atlanta, Dallas, and Philadelphia, apartments in the principal city are getting cheaper while at the same time apartments in the suburbs are getting more expensive.”

The data jibes with other recent research concerning the impact of move-outs from cities, and the resulting strength of the suburbs. A recent report from Redfin showed that in the third quarter 29.2% of Redfin.com users looked to move to another metro area—the highest share since Redfin started tracking migration at the beginning of 2017. The uptick is partly due to the pandemic, Redfin stated, as well as the now pervasive work-from-home culture.

Short-term suburban rentals—which it defines as one-to-two-year lease terms—could be demand drivers for residents seeking work-from-home space and outdoor access. Suburban renters typically seek larger units, such as two-to-three bedroom apartments.

If this work-from-home trend is going to be a little bit longer term, people will feel more comfortable with moving out into the suburbs.

Efforts to socially distance also are fueling shifts away from major cities to the suburbs people just don’t want to be in enclosed, dense areas.

Six Trends to Watch for in Multifamily Property Management in 2021

Pandemic creates opportunities to rethink how best to serve residents.

2020 has presented the multifamily industry with unparalleled challenges due to the pandemic with the secondary and tertiary effects forcing the industry to quickly pivot to meet resident and prospect needs. However, the pandemic has also created opportunities for multifamily owners to creatively rethink resident retention strategies and communication and how to demonstrate value. While some external factors will remain uncertain as we transition into 2021, here are six trends we expect for the future of the multifamily industry:

1. Service Will Be a Secret Weapon

Next year, enhanced customer service will become the most critical component for demonstrating value and increasing resident satisfaction across multifamily communities. While efficiency and timely communication remain two essential strategies for solid customer service, expectations are on the rise as more residents work from home. Although some prospects and residents may continue to request face-to-face (albeit socially distanced) interaction, we foresee most leaning into digital communication via smartphone apps, emails, or text alerts for updates and ongoing communication with on-site teams. For multifamily operators, that means expanding your digital resources and increasing the frequency of communication in 2021.

This also means accelerating response times and prioritizing maintenance requests since many residents are still working from home and spending ample time in their living space. It’s important for on-site teams to prioritize quickly and efficiently, especially as the volume of requests increases and residents expect almost real time responses. What was once a minor maintenance issue can now quickly escalate into an unsatisfied and angry customer as residents are experiencing the maintenance issue for more hours of the day. As we continue into 2021, on-site teams will have to provide an enhanced experience by quickly managing requests, clearly communicating all updates, and going the extra mile to offer the best possible management experience.

2. Prioritize the Retention of Top Qualified Talent

Employing a highly skilled property management and maintenance staff is paramount to resident satisfaction and successful day-to-day operations. However, finding and retaining top talent will remain a challenge in 2021 for several reasons. Multifamily is a highly competitive and growing industry with a surplus of opportunity. We’re now seeing an excessive demand for experienced, trained personnel, but a labor shortage of qualified candidates entering the market. 2021 will continue to expose the need for more highly skilled and passionate staff members. The companies that succeed in attracting top talent do so by offering competitive salary packages; providing training, education, and support; and continually looking for creative ways to “surprise and delight” employees. Example perks could always include an appreciation day for the teams, flexible work hours, or an unexpected day off. Onboarding a professional, qualified, and capable team translates to resident satisfaction and long-term resident retention.

3. Looming Economic Uncertainty Clouds the Industry

Although this year brought economic uncertainty with changes in income and employment status, rent delinquency for multifamily hasn’t been as significant as anticipated. Research conducted by the National Multifamily Housing Council reflects a 1.1% increase in overall delinquency in September 2020 versus the prior year, with a 4.8% decrease in on-time payments. We’ve had a similar experience at Fogelman. Rent collections have outperformed expectations during the early part of the pandemic; however, we recognize that many are still struggling financially, which might impact future collections.

It’s difficult to predict what delinquency will look like in 2021 since it’s dependent on employment recovery and what stimulus is available to help struggling renters pay their rent. Along with the rest of the industry, we’ll be monitoring economic conditions as we head into the new year.

4. Getting Creative with Resident Connection

Striking the balance between resident interaction and safety precautions will continue to be a challenge for multifamily teams in 2021. Residents may want to resume “normal” social connection and activities with the coming winter months, but the ongoing pandemic will challenge property management teams to rethink social events and connectivity. Though we’ve seen a lot of virtual happy hours, drive-by celebrations, and Zoom classes, it’s the teams that leverage creative programming to bring people together online that will have the most success in 2021. For safe, socially distanced resident activities next year, we expect to see more virtual scavenger hunts and trivia, virtual cooking and mixology classes, and community visits from local favorite food trucks.

5. Adapting to the Evolving Needs of Residents

We understand residents are using their living spaces differently in the wake of increased remote working. Apartment units have become a place of work and leisure, and there are no signs of that changing anytime soon. Some major companies, such as Google, Target, Salesforce, and Facebook, are delaying the return to a traditional office environment until summer 2021, and a handful of companies, like Microsoft and Twitter, are transitioning to a permanent remote status.

In 2021, management companies will need to continue adjusting their offerings to meet resident needs in the short and long term. Whether that’s providing better high-speed internet packages, creating socially distant co-working spaces, offering reservation-based conference rooms, or establishing wellness-focused areas like outdoor green spaces and trails. Those that adapt the fastest and implement feedback from their residents will be most successful in strengthening resident retention and satisfaction.

6. Go Digital, Stay Connected

Because of the pandemic, we’ll continue to see less physical interaction with residents, causing a greater demand for information and the frequency at which it’s delivered across online platforms. As mentioned earlier, digital communication tools like apps, emails, and texts are the industry standard and mainstay for properties in 2021. Another must-have for convenience is a web portal that allows residents to make payments, submit maintenance requests, and view discussion boards or upcoming events. For prospects, offering self-guided and virtual property tours will be an important, safer option. Overall success in 2021 requires that digital tools provide both convenience and ease of fast, frequent communication to help us meet our residents and potential residents right where they are—online.

Tech Companies Moving to Texas Fuel State’s Apartment Boom

In the last few months, several major California technology companies have announced plans to move to Texas—an exodus that will further fuel the Lone Star state’s ongoing  apartment construction boom. There are already currently 126,900 apartments under construction in Texas, making the state the national leader for new apartment construction, according to RENTCafe.

Nor is this influx likely to through the state’s supply-demand balance out of whack. “Texas holds the indisputable advantage of land use,” says Doug Ressler, manager of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix. “What’s great about it is that it enjoys an adequate availability to support population growth and migration, from dense cores to available exurban or suburban areas.”

Dallas is leading the state in new apartment construction with 49,000 new units under construction. In the last decade, more than 177,000 new units have been built in the market. Austin comes in second with 31,000 apartment units in the current construction pipeline and 22,600 of those units are located in Austin proper.

It isn’t surprising that these two markets, which account for more than half of the total apartment construction in the state, are also the primary locations for tech companies. Oracle and Tesla are both planning to move their California headquarters to Austin. Tesla alone says that it will create 5,000 new jobs and occupy 4 million to 5 million square feet of office space in the market. Oracle opened its Austin office campus in 2018, and the property supports 10,000 employees. Both companies have noted the business-friendly state and a large pool of tech workers as the reason for the move.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. is also moving to the Lone Star state, but the firm is relocating to Houston, where it is building a new campus. Houston rivals Austin in terms of new apartment construction, with 28,600 new units in the pipeline, and more than 17,000 are landing in Houston proper. The city has been named the most popular market for corporate relocation and expansion.

San Antonio rounds out the list for apartment construction in the state with 10,900 new units in the pipeline.

Apartment construction has been robust in Texas for the last decade, with more than 500,000 new units in 2,000 new apartment buildings delivered in that time. Dallas has led the apartment construction activity with 177,400 new units added in the last 10 years, followed by Houston, which has seen 131,000 new apartment units come to market.

The apartment boom has also helped fuel growth in surrounding metros. Suburban Texas markets have grown in popularity among renters, many of which are offering many urban-style amenities found in the urban core, without the price tag and congestion. Texas has eight cities on RentCafe’s list of the top 20 suburbs in the US.

Understanding Prepayment Penalties

Mortgage loans are expensive to originate.  It is not uncommon for consumer mortgages to cost upwards of $9,000.  Lenders typically recoup those costs through a combination of upfront fees and interest revenue over the life of the loan. 

If a borrower pays off a loan shortly after origination, the lender is at risk of losing money on the loan. Enter prepayment penalties.  A prepayment penalty is a contractual clause that states the borrower is going to pay the lender an additional fee if the borrower pays the loan off early.  This really isn’t a penalty at all.  It is a way for the lender to make sure they don’t lose money on a loan.

For example a standard prepayment penalties with a 5 year structure of 5/4/3/2/1 structure. This means that if the borrower pays off the loan in year one, they have a 5% prepayment penalty, in year two, a 4% prepayment penalty, in year three, a 3% prepayment penalty, and so forth. So, you might be wondering how this affects the borrower, and the answer is, it depends on your investment strategy. Let’s dive in.

The rental investors looking to grow a legacy of rental properties and hold on to them long term (we call these properties “permanent rentals”) are not really affected by the prepayment penalty.  Since their investment strategy focuses on the lifetime of the loan, paying off the loan in the first five years is a moot point.

On the other hand, investors looking to purchase rental properties with flexibility to sell in the foreseeable future (we call these properties “transitional rentals”) are very concerned about the prepayment penalty. These investors are interested in market conditions and want to be able to sell the property at the right time without worrying about paying a penalty fee.

What is Rent to Income Ratio and How to Calculate It, Winston Rowe and Associates

The Importance of Rent to Income Ratio

A rent to income ratio determines the monthly or annual gross income a tenant must earn to be able to afford rent each month. This ratio is a useful and simple tool that helps tenants as well as landlords enter into a smooth rental agreement.

Using an income to rent calculator, landlords can analyze the ability of tenants to pay rent each month. As a result, it simplifies the process of tenant screening and shortlisting applicants.

Calculating Rent to Income Ratio

Here are two commonly used ways to calculate this ratio:

Calculate net income against a fixed rent percentage

This will help you determine the maximum amount you can afford to pay in rent each month. The industry standard is 30% of your income. In other words, no more than 30% of your annual income should go toward housing costs.

Its mathematical representation looks like this:

(Net earnings per year / 12) X 0.3 = Maximum monthly rental income

For example, suppose an applicant earns $150,000 per year. The income to rent ratio will be:

(150,000/12) X 0.3 = $3,750

Now, if the rental site asks for $4,000 per month, the applicant would fail to meet this condition. This is because their maximum monthly rental income does not reach the required limit. Therefore, the landlord might not find the candidate eligible for renting.

Use a ratio multiplier

Another method to calculate the rent to income ratio is to multiply the monthly rent value with a ratio multiplier. In this method, the standard multiplier is 3. This means that the applicant should make at least three times their gross monthly income to cover rental expenses. The math would look like this:

Monthly Rent X 3 = Minimum monthly rental income

Let’s consider an example to better understand. Suppose you are interested in renting an apartment that asks for $3,000 per month. Three times this rent amount becomes $9,000. This means you must gross a minimum of $9,000 per month in income to be eligible for consideration.

Pros & Cons of Rent to Income Calculations

Each month, a tenant’s paycheck likely goes toward many different bills and obligations. By gaining an understanding on how much monthly income is remaining, you’ll get a better idea of the ability to pay.

When landlords are recruiting good tenants, the rent to income ratio plays a very important role. It is the primary way to determine income requirements to rent properties based on monthly or annual earnings. This helps ensure that the tenant is able to afford rent each month.

As a landlord, you might not want to invest your time on ineligible tenants for your property. Calculating the gross income to rent ratio is an important step toward securing the right people for your rentals. Rather than going through the hassle of the screening process, use the rent-to-income ratio as your simple criteria instead.

However, ideal rent to salary ratio situations are not always as favorable as they sound. We know a lot of people aren’t that consistent in paying rents. Whereas, applicants who may not satisfy the income to rent ratio could be more responsible when it comes to paying rent on time.

Plus, some complexes make their income to rent apartment policies 3:1 . This might look like a lucrative option but in actuality, it prompts to a significant decline. Some tenants demonstrate a consistent ability to pay rent while others, with higher rent to income ratio, fail to provide steady deposits.

On the other hand, the 30% rule is a popular guideline for determining what percentage of income should go to rent. However, there are two big flaws associated with this rule. First, it doesn’t account for inflation and rising rental prices. Although rent prices are climbing more rapidly in some areas than others, average wage growth has been relatively flat since 2007. So, while rental rates are climbing, incomes aren’t necessarily keeping pace.

The second problem with the 30% rule is that it’s not personalized to your situation. It doesn’t take into account, for instance, how much student loan or credit card debt you might be paying off. Moreover, it also does not consider how much money you’re earning, your financial goals, or the condition of the real estate market where you are planning to rent.

Alternative ways to calculate rent to income ratio

As a rule of thumb, your income should be 40 times your rent, which is basically the same as 30% of your total salary. Almost every rent to income ratio calculator you find online uses this alternative way to calculate the ratio.

For example, suppose your income is $100,000 per year, the amount of rent you can afford each month can easily be evaluated as 30% of your total income divided by 12.

The math will look like this:

(0.3 * 100,000) / 12 = $2,500

Alternatively, you can divide the net amount by simply 40.

( 100,000 / 40) = $2,500

How Landlords Can Protect Themselves?

Calculating rent to income ratio might seem quite effortless and manageable, but it might partly hold a deficit for the landlord. Why? Because the landlord is not able to acknowledge the total worth of the tenant because of unspecified sources of income. The potential tenant may seem to have other financial obligations like loan percentage, fixed rate for insurance, and indemnification.

Even after thorough screening, some people may delude and provide false income documentation. In any case mentioned above, the landlord is fully granted the right to access all additional financial information of an applicant. Tenants should likely provide all credit card details with a proper financial report.

Before letting in a tenant, make sure that all the certified funds, cashiers’ checks, money orders, and records of all previous taxes of a year are officially provided. Even if your tenant qualifies as per the 30% rule, they may be overburdened with extra expenditures. In such cases, landlords need to assure ways to protect themselves.

Here’s how landlords can protect themselves:

Set up recurring rent payments

Auto-pay services provide a convenient method of direct deposit with rent deduction on a specified date. It also provides more assurance of getting paid on-time each month if payments are set up to recur.

Request a large deposit as a backup provision from any uncertainty or loss

A larger security deposit offers greater security because it can cover the landlord’s losses in case of damages or missed rent. Also, introduce several methods of rent payment. Get rent default insurance coverage to keep your income stable and regular.

Specify a co-signer on the lease

The co-signer is responsible to pay the dues in case the primary leaseholder cannot. The landlord should vet the co-signer as thoroughly as the tenant.

Run a thorough background check

Check the tenant’s background and inquire about past rental history. Also, check what your tenant presents as evidence. Cross-check all the references provided. Verify and validate all means of income sources. Gather data regarding any individual or collective payments or transactions. Once the property is rented, conduct routine inspections to prevent huge problems.

Rent to income ratio can benefit the landlord and tenant in many ways. It can help with budget planning for tenants looking to comfortably afford their rent. Whereas, it can prevent landlords from having tenants who may have difficulties paying their rent.

However, when it comes to screening and shortlisting a tenant, the rent to income ratio may not reveal enough about the tenant, their level of responsibility, or honesty. Therefore, all landlords should be running tenant credit checks, in addition to, calculating rent to income ratios.

A Comprehensive Guide for Apartment Manager

Apartment Building Lending No Up Front Fees Winston Rowe and Associates

With growing sizes of building complexes, apartment management is becoming one of the most challenging jobs. As an apartment manager, you are not only responsible for maintaining the building but the owner and tenants as well.

The main task of an apartment manager is to improve the client-tenant living experience. They need to reduce costs and increase profit whenever possible.

Many property managers often face many challenges when trying to manage rental property. It’s essential that the management of a property run smoothly just like any other business.

If you are an apartment manager or owner struggling to do your job, these quick tips will guide you through managing an apartment efficiently. So let’s begin then.

Important Points to Consider for Apartment Manager

1. Following the Housing Laws and Policies

2. Securing Your Property

3. Making the Apartment Desirable

4. Selecting the Right Tenant

5. Maintaining and Upkeeping the Society

6. Resolving Resident Complaints Immediately

Important Points to Consider for Apartment Manager

1. Following the Housing Laws and Policies

Some specific laws and regulations govern the professionals responsible for managing properties. Every state has its own set of rules and regulations which needs to be strictly followed.

In recent years, there have been reported cases of property managers where their actions have resulted in the unauthorized practice of law. That’s why apartment managers should work closely with legal counsel. It will ensure that they don’t unintentionally violate the law.

Get in touch with the lawyers who are familiar with the housing field. They will guide you through relevant policies. Let them know about your intentions and what you plan to do with the property.

Furthermore, take advice on tax liabilities and potential credits related to renting properties.

We would suggest that meet two to three lawyers in the beginning. Talk to them about your renting plans and then,  decide with whom you can work for a long time.

Hiring a good lawyer will ensure that you always stay on the right side of the law.

2. Securing Your Property

Owning a residential rental property is a wise investment. But at the same time, it can be quite risky especially if you are new to this field. Without the right building insurance, you can face severe financial loss if something goes wrong.

The primary concern for any apartment manager or owner is the protection of the property from catastrophic events. Your apartment complex insurance should protect you against losses, damages, liability claims, and other issues.

Property insurance can seem complicated at first. But you can always take the help of your lawyer and insurance agent to guide you through.

Also, you should know that the insurance coverage and its cost vary. It depends on factors like the building’s location, type of construction, and more.

Some of the risks that apartment building managers/owners have to deal with:

    Liability for tenant, employee, and visitor injuries

    Theft or vandalism

    Advertising liability

    Fire, storms, and other catastrophic damage

    Invading the right to privacy

    Loss of rental income

    Discrimination lawsuit filed by disgruntled tenants

    Any allegations of fraud or misconduct by tenants

You can tailor the insurance policies to one’s need to address the risks as mentioned above.

3. Making the Apartment Desirable

You can’t ignore the fact that for each day your property stays vacant, you lose potential rental income. If you want to attract quality tenants, make your apartment as desirable as possible.

How do you do that? A few simple fixes to help you make your property desirable to prospective tenants.

    The first thing any tenant would look at is the exterior paint. If it is not at par, the tenant may not even want to come inside. A few ways how you can fix it:

        Add some quality landscaping to increase the property’s curb appeal

        Remove chipped paint and get a new coat of exterior paint

        Repair broken banisters and replace torn window screens

        Keep the compound clean. Remove trash, weeds, and debris

        Make sure the lawn and shrubbery are well-manicured

    If you want to charge a hefty amount in monthly rent, then, of course, you would have to go the extra mile. Provide luxuries that many tenants would be gladly willing to pay for. For instance, you can consider adding an in-house dryer, energy-efficient appliances and more.

These small tricks will help bring in the quality of applicants.

4. Selecting the Right Tenant

The next step in the apartment management process is selecting the right tenant.

Renting out apartments can be stress-free only if you have the right tenants. For that, you would need to advertise the vacancy to let people know about your rental space.

I. Advertise the Empty Space

Even in places with high housing demands, advertise your space stating all the facts and your requirements. This will help draw the right kind of applicants to your rental house.

The ad should contain information such as your contact number, details about your apartment, and what up are looking for. Some of the places where you can advertise it are:

    Post it on newspaper

    Display it on Internet classified sites

    Connect with a real estate broker

II. Screen Tenants

Of course, you are not allowed to discriminate your tenants based on caste, creed, race, sex, etc.

However, you should screen tenants before renting your apartment to anyone. Make sure that they are financially sound to pay your rent and do not have any criminal background.

Otherwise, unsystematic screening and tenant selection often result in some significant headaches. You might end up with a tenant who pays the rent late or not at all and poorly maintained the place.

Your screening criteria should be the same for all. It should include:

    Run a background check on each applicant to ensure that they won’t conduct any illegal activities in your apartment

    Obtain a credit report to see if they can afford your rent and will be able to pay your rent on time

    Ask for references from previous landlords or other personal references if any

III. Get it in Writing

Once you have chosen your tenant, make sure that you have a lease agreement in place. It should contain all the terms and conditions agreed by both the parties.

Having it in writing will protect both you and your tenants in case of any conflict in the future. The rental agreement helps create good relation by specifying things. It includes clauses like how and when you handle tenant complaints and repair problems, notice period if the tenant decides to leave, and more.

The lease agreement should contain the following information:

    The names and signatures of the tenant(s) and landlord

    The starting and ending dates that the property will be rented

    Rent costs and due dates

    Policies on security deposits and lease termination

    The tenant’s responsibility to maintain the unit and pay for damage caused by any neglect

    Strategy and procedure for dealing with tenant’s complaints and repair request

    Mention the restrictions if any on tenant alterations on their apartment without your permission

    Information on any environmental hazards present at the property

    Other optional policies as required

You can always find lease templates online or even talk to your lawyer about what information to put in one.

Furthermore, a written agreement helps in running the property smoothly and enhance resale value. Make sure that the tenants are aware of all the clauses included before signing the lease.

IV. Ask For Security Deposits

Security deposits are used to cover the expenses in the event of any damages or other faults with the apartments when a tenant moves out. To avoid any dispute over the security deposit when the tenant moves out, it’s better to inspect and document the condition of the unit before they move in.

Specific regulations are governing the policies regarding security deposits. With the help of a lawyer, establish a system of setting, collecting, holding, and returning security deposits.

Also, check with your state’s Landlord Tenant Act to know how long before you can return the deposit and/or a settlement statement.

5. Maintaining and Upkeeping the Society

At times it may become difficult for the apartment manager to choose between areas which need more focus than others. But thanks to the technological advancement, the apartment management software that comes to our rescue.

Using society software, you can streamline all operations and handle it from a single place. Following these five quick tips will help in a better apartment management system:

I. Automate Society Billing & Accounting

Financial issues are always a serious matter. When the apartment size keeps getting bigger, maintaining accounts can get too time-consuming and challenging at times.

The process of accounting and bookkeeping, penalty calculation, and income and expense tracking should be streamlined for smooth functioning. The best way to do that is to employ a society management software that automates your billing and collection efforts.

Some of the essential modules of tenant management include document depository, penalty calculation, maintenance charge payment, payment gateway, request for quotation, and more. It integrates with the current system in place without disrupting the whole operation.

II. Communicate With Your Tenants Effectively

As an apartment manager, it’s essential that you maintain a healthy relationship with all your tenants. For that, you need to find an effective way of communication.

The smart move would be to incorporate an apartment management software that offers communication tools. These tools can post notices and reach out to everyone. Furthermore, it assists in other activities like securely sharing pictures from community events, broadcasting essential messages, and maintaining functions calendar.

You can also create and publish articles on waste management guidelines, festival celebration forums, and more. It will help you create one active community with the ease of the housing software.

III. Manage Apartment Facilities and Staff Smartly

Again, you will often find complaints about how the apartment facilities are not well maintained.

You can save yourself some time by automating all your task such as asset tracking, inventory management, maintenance staff, and more. With the help of society management software, you can save yourself the pain of manually overlooking every activity.

Moreover, the software will also empower your tenants to book an apartment facility online. You can keep records of visitors for security purpose. These are a few of the many benefits a useful apartment management software has to offer.

Provide a superior experience to residents by managing all apartment facilities smartly.

IV. Skillfully Manage Society Data

One of the many benefits of using society maintenance software is that you can easily centralize all your data in one place.

You need to maintain a directory of residents, the number of flats in the apartments and more, to systematically reach out to them. Using maintenance software will save you a lot of time and help effectively manage the condo.

6. Resolving Resident Complaints Immediately

Resident complaints will always be an issue for apartment managers. It is therefore essential to have a system in place that will help resolve their problems immediately.

Having a central tracking of resident complaints or suggestions can be a good idea for efficient management. That’s why the whole process of filing complaints and the manager resolving the issue needs to be automated.

To immediately attend to the tenant’s problem, you can do the following:

    Use software that will help you track the complaints at various stages. It should also send alerts in case of unresolved complaints

    Give tenants a number where they can reach the management department 24/7, to handle any emergencies

    Always have a few handymen on standby who can repair your apartments when need be

It will help you manage the apartment much better and increase resident satisfaction. Thus, it will enhance their faith in the management committee.

Wrapping it up

Apartment management may seem like a daunting task at first. Especially when there are tenants who try to create menace in society.

Sometime you would also need to take legal actions when necessary. Some tenants do not pay rent on time or conduct illegal activities on the premises. Sometimes, they even cause damage to the property or violate the lease agreement. In such cases, talk with your lawyer and proceed in the right way.

Or you can take the help of a mediator to work with you and your tenant to reach out a settlement on the issue. Either way, make sure that other residents in society do not face any inconvenience.

The Ins and Outs of Apartment Building Construction

Apartment Construction Lending No Upfront Fees Winston Rowe and Associates

In nearly every metro area of the country, building developers and contractors are scrambling to keep up with the growing demand for rental apartments. In 2014, nearly 350,000 apartments began construction. A number that increased by nearly 14% from 2013, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

However, even with a large number of projects underway, there are certainly no shortages of challenges that come with apartment construction and there are a number of variables to take factor in when considering the overall cost of commercial apartment construction.

From what type of amenities you will include with the building to the building’s walkability in the surrounding area and construction variables such as labor, weather, trade tariffs, it can be a challenge to construct the building of your dreams while staying within budget.

As apartment sizes are shrinking, tenants are turning to the amenities to help meet all of their needs while living there and driven property owners to great lengths to include must-have amenities for everyone. But when it comes to designing an amenities package and choosing what amenities to include there can often be a lot of “push and pull.” It is a careful space-planning exercise.

According to a 2015 survey from the National Multifamily Housing Council, amenities such as fitness areas, pools, and in-unit laundry machines were of greater interest to Millennials than to baby boomers and nearly 60% of the 120,000 person survey said they are interested in having a lounge area or party room in their apartment building.

For owners and developers, it is important to know which amenities will give the most return on investment. When designing a new apartment construction project, it pays to stay up on the trends of potential tenants.

Some amenities require not only an allocation of space, but significant ongoing maintenance and expenses while others can be installed at little initial or ongoing cost. Some can even save you money over time. The type of amenities you should include will come down to which amenities are valued most by renters, as well as age group and lifestyle.

Location and Walkability

Determining what amenities are right for any one community can be a challenge, but some amenities can be scaled back if the apartment exists within a surrounding community.

For some renters, location is the number one amenity. In a 2015 nationwide survey by the National Association of Realtors, roughly eight out of 10 people said that being in walking distance to community features like shops and parks was very important to them when considering a new place to live. Tenants care about the walkability of their living situation. If tenants live within walking distance of restaurants, bars, and gyms then forgoing some of those features can save on apartment construction cost.

However, apartment construction in a walkable city can be a challenge because there is limited space. Not only that, but land costs are also much higher for walkable, urban locations as opposed to rural areas. As a building developer, you will want to find ways to work with a municipality to provide useable sidewalks, trails, and open spaces to attract new renters and encourage a pedestrian-friendly experience for everyone.

Amenities and walkable communities aren’t the only things developers and contractors struggle with when it comes to apartment construction as there are a variety of other factors that can affect the final price.

Many apartment developers are fighting off price increases for things like labor shortage, weather conditions, and building materials due to international trade tariffs. In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), even the threat of trade tariffs can affect the price of steel and lumber. In August of 2018, the producer price index for steel mill products jumped by 19 percent compared to the year before and while lumber and plywood also saw a sharp rise in the spring and early summer.

If you are planning to build an apartment building or are a current property owner looking to make upgrades, click below to contact us today!

Winston Rowe and Associates Construction Lending

Free Business And Real Estate Investing eBooks

Contact Winston Rowe and Associates

Welcome to Winston Rowe and Associates knowledge blog, scroll down to the right for posts about commercial real estate.

This is a list of free books about real estate investing, commercial real estate financing and business strategy.

We’re always on the lookout for great free books so bookmark this blog and check back for monthly updates.

These links are not affiliate marketing links, just publications that we feel may add value to people and businesses.

Commercial Real Estate Finance

The eBook Commercial Real Estate Finance, by Winston Rowe & Associates discusses the fundamentals of the different types of commercial property, the various options that are included with properties and the capabilities that you will have as a commercial property investor.

Real Estate Investing Articles

This is a link to 1226 real estate investing articles written by industry veteran’s.

25 Productivity Tips for Successful Business Owners

Productivity is critical to your success at work. Business owners, managers and executives all want to get the most from their employees. If you’re not performing as efficiently or effectively as others, your long-term job prospects could be in trouble.

Real Estate Investing: How to Find Cash Buyers and Motivated Sellers

“Real Estate Investing: How to Find Cash Buyers and Motivated Sellers” teaches real estate investors and those interested in learning to invest in real estate how to define and target ideal cash buyers and motivated sellers. The book covers absentee owners, rehab investors, Section 8 landlords, and other buyer types. Some of the marketing topics include mailing lists, postcards, both online and offline marketing strategies along with examples. Anyone who wants to wholesale a house or is curious about flipping houses should pick this book to get educated on cash buyers and motivated sellers for their real estate investing.

Real Estate – Breaking Bad How to Flip Decaying Real Estate Properties for Profit

Tired of working 9 to 5? You should think of making money with real estate! Yes, the effort is well worth it! You just have to ditch the misconceptions and embark with all the passion you have in store for this amazing trip of rehabbing old houses and giving them a new look and a new owner.  Your reward? A nice profit!

Real Estate Forms Portfolio

A FREE and ready-for-download eBook consisting of a comprehensive collection of real estate-related forms for real estate investors.

Real Estate Secrets Exposed

This FREE e-Book sheds some light on the often mysterious and sometimes daunting world of real estate.

Use 1031 Real Estate Exchanges to Create Multiple Streams of Income

Discover how to use 1031 tax-free exchanges, tenants in common interests, and zero cash flow properties to create new sources of income. Learn how to offer bundled services and attract new clients. This FREE, ready for download eBook is perfect for anyone involved in real estate, taxes, mortgages, insurance, or law.  Download it now!

Make Money Through Real Estate Renovations

Download this FREE eBook and learn how a successful investor makes thousands of dollars from real estate renovations. Download it now!

Discover the Secrets of How to Fund Your Real Estate Deals with Private Lenders

Download this FREE e-Book, and discover the new secrets of funding real estate deals in the post-bubble real estate market, where traditional lending sources are getting very difficult to obtain. Download it today!

Real Estate Investing Strategy for Rehabs

This eBook is about residential rehabbing and the multiple strategies that can be used to maximize profits in this current economic climate. My goal has always been to share knowledge with folks that are truly interested in rehabbing and view it as not only for monetary gain but also see is as an “art and science” like I do. Happy Rehabbing!!

How to Be A Super Property Investor

A FREE, step-by-step guide that will help you become a super real estate property investor. Learn all the basic and some advanced investing techniques that have generated millions for property investors. Ready for download now!

Financial Terms Dictionary – 100 Most Popular Financial Terms Explained

This practical financial dictionary helps you understand and comprehend more than 100 common financial terms. It was written with an emphasis to quickly grasp the context without using jargon. Every terms is explained in detail with 600 words or more and includes also examples. It is based on common usage as practiced by financial professionals.

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science.

The Science of Getting Rich by W. D. Wattles

This book is pragmatical, not philosophical; a practical manual, not a treatise upon theories. It is intended for the men and women whose most pressing need is for money; who wish to get rich first, and philosophize afterward. It is for those who have, so far, found neither the time, the means, nor the opportunity to go deeply into the study of metaphysics, but who want results and who are willing to take the conclusions of science as a basis for action, without going into all the processes by which those conclusions were reached.

Sun Tzu Art of War

Written in the fifth century B.C., Suntzu and Wutzu still remain the most celebrated works on war in the literature of China. While the chariot has gone, and weapons have changed, these ancient masters have held their own, since they deal chiefly with the fundamental principles of war, with the influence of politics and human nature on military operations; and they show in a most striking way how unchanging these principles are.

Make Extra Money Flipping Houses While On Vacation by Jason Medley

Reveals his simple and proven systems to automate, delegate and outsource nearly every function of his business except cashing his checks. He shows the exact steps that has allowed him to go on multiple vacations with his family throughout the year while having his system continue to flip houses for him.

Achieving Wealth Through Real Estate: A Definitive Guide To Controlling Your Own Financial Destiny Through a Successful Real Estate Business

Have you ever thought about making money with real estate? In Achieving Wealth Through Real Estate: A Definitive Guide to Controlling Your Own Financial Destiny Through a Successful Real Estate Business, author and entrepreneur Kirill Bensonoff takes you through the process of starting your own real estate business step-by-step, featuring his expert tips and tricks.

Business Loans Uncovered

Knowing if you qualify is one of the most important things to know when applying  for a loan of any type. Blindly applying for a loan and being declined increases the chances of you being declined again and again because you not only lower your credit score each time you apply, multiple inquires also serves a red flag to other lenders and as a result lenders put you in a high risk category and charge higher interest rates in the event of an approval Includes: ​Traditional Lenders, Government Sources, The 7(a) loan guarantee program, SBA Low Doc loan program, SBA Express loan program, Factoring, Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors.

50 Simple Secrets To Be A Happy Real Estate Investor

Discover the secrets used by successful real estate investors to create happiness in their lives and businesses. Naturally create more happiness for yourself by implementing time-tested secrets to happiness used by other real estate professional and investors just like you. Start to experience more productivity, satisfaction, and success immediately.

Real Estate Finance and Investment

This course is an introduction to the most fundamental concepts, principles, analytical methods and tools useful for making investment and finance decisions regarding commercial real estate assets. As the first of a two-course sequence, this course will focus on the basic building blocks and the “micro” level, which pertains to individual properties and deals.

Introduction to the Law of Property, Estate Planning and Insurance

Introduction to the Law of Property, Estate Planning and Insurance is an up-to-date textbook that covers legal issues that students must understand relating to real estate (an especially important business asset), as well as estate planning and insurance.

The text is organized to permit instructors to tailor the materials to their particular approach. The authors take special care to engage students by relating law to everyday events with their clear, concise and readable style.

Defensive Real Estate Investing: 10 Principles for Succeeding Whether Your Market is Up or Down

As the real estate market changes after years of aggressive growth, investors everywhere are faced with uncertainty, wanting to know how to prepare for a potential real estate bust and make sure they don’t lose money.   In his authoritative new work, Defensive Real Estate Investing, bestselling author and real estate expert William Bronchick provides guiding principles to safe investments for beginning to intermediate real estate investors.

Private Real Estate Investment: Data Analysis and Decision Making

Fiduciary responsibilities and related court-imposed liabilities have forced investors to assess market conditions beyond gut level, resulting in the development of sophisticated decision-making tools. Roger Brown’s use of historical real estate data enables him to develop tools for gauging the impact of circumstances on relative risk. His application of higher level statistical modeling to various aspects of real estate makes this book an essential partner in real estate research. Offering tools to enhance decision-making for consumers and researchers in market economies of any country interested in land use and real estate investment, his book will improve real estate market efficiency. With property the world’s biggest asset class, timely data on housing prices just got easier to find and use

Construction Funding: The Process of Real Estate Development, Appraisal, and Finance

Construction firms operate on narrow profit margins and the success of construction projects is hinged upon proper financing. Construction Funding is the only single volume, concise text on the financial aspects of building and developing.

The book acquaints the reader with a set of procedures specifically designed to solve the unique financial challenges facing the construction industry. It guides the reader step-by-step through each phase of financing a development project, from simple one-family residences to large multi-unit complexes. Construction Funding also addresses raising capital, selecting markets, rating sites, insurance, joint ventures, loan options, and cash flow management. Separate sections are devoted to the conduct of profitability studies and to finding after-tax rates of return. Construction Funding, Fourth Edition, has been updated to provide current costs and funding methods and additional learning features such as key terms, review questions, and learning objectives.

How to Make Money With Real Estate Options: Low-Cost, Low-Risk, High-Profit Strategies for Controlling Undervalued Property….Without the Burdens of Ownership!

I have dabbled with real estate for years usually making good money and sometimes being hammered (like with the last crash in the RE market). But overall RE has been good to me. Be that as it may, I have lost enough to know that I wanted to minimize my risk while still having plenty of upside potential. Real estate options are a vehicle to accomplish this goal. Thus, I started educating myself on the subject and found this most excellent book. Mr. Lucier is thorough and detailed and relates the reality of what it takes to profit (not like some of these dream weaver real estate gurus who like to sell you on how “easy” it is).

50 Simple Secrets To Be A Happy Real Estate Investor

Discover the secrets used by successful real estate investors to create happiness in their lives and businesses. Naturally create more happiness for yourself by implementing time-tested secrets to happiness used by other real estate professional and investors just like you. Start to experience more productivity, satisfaction, and success immediately.

Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Photography

One of the biggest problems that real estate photographers have once they have set up their business as a legal entity, obtained all the right equipment and perfected their technique is obtaining new clients.

Clients and customers are the lifeblood of any business, but how do you obtain new clients after starting your business?

By developing and executing a strategic marketing plan tailored to your business.

This short guide has been written to help real estate photographers develop their marketing plan and assist with winning new business.

It includes a series of digital and direct marketing strategies along with useful tips and lessons the author has learned from his own experiences that can save you time and money when growing your business.

A marketing action plan template has been included to help photographers execute the strategies learned in this guide book.

Books by Dr William Edward Deming

William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900 – December 20, 1993) was an American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant.

Educated initially as an electrical engineer and later specializing in mathematical physics, he helped develop the sampling techniques still used by the U.S. Department of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In his book The New Economics for Industry, Government, and Education Deming championed the work of Walter Shewhart, including statistical process control, operational definitions, and what Deming called the “Shewhart Cycle, which had evolved into Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA). That was in response to the growing popularity of PDCA, which Deming viewed as tampering with the meaning of Shewhart’s original work.

Deming is best known for his work in Japan after WWII, particularly his work with the leaders of Japanese industry. That work began in July and August 1950, in Tokyo and at the Hakone Convention Center, when Deming delivered speeches on what he called “Statistical Product Quality Administration”.

Many in Japan credit Deming as one of the inspirations for what has become known as the Japanese post-war economic miracle of 1950 to 1960, when Japan rose from the ashes of war on the road to becoming the second-largest economy in the world through processes partially influenced by the ideas Deming taught

Commercial Loan Programs

Commercial Loan Programs

Winston Rowe and Associates has almost 200 capital sources nationwide. This enables us to provide a full spectrum of options to clients that traditional banks and many lenders can-not.

Capital Deployment:

  • $1,000,000. – $50,000,000.
  • 48 Contiguous US States Only
  • SBA, Hard Money, Bridge, Portfolio, CMBS, Conventional, Private Capital, Preferred Equity, Mezzanine and Private Equity.

Loan to Value Criteria:

  • Refinance 70% – 80%
  • Purchase 70% – 80%
  • Cash Out Refinance 70% – 80%

Documentation Criteria:

  • Full and Limited
  • No FICO or Low FICO Score
  • Asset Value Only
  • Income Approach / Cash Flow Only

Basic Underwriting / Due Diligence Criteria:

  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Purchase Agreement
  • Three Bureau Credit Report
  • Use of Proceeds for Cash Out
  • Valid Government Issued Photo ID
  • Completed and Signed Transaction Summary Questionnaire from Winston Rowe & Associates
  • Populated Supporting Document Due Diligence List. Pursuant to the specific transaction type.

Commercial Property Types:

  • Our capital sources will consider vacant and occupied commercial properties.
  • All commercial property types considered.