3 WAYS WE KEEP OUR FINGER ON THE PULSE
Making sure our investment is solid
It would be nice if we could just “Set it and forget it” as the infomercial used to say.
That might work for kitchen gadgets like toaster-ovens or crock-pots. Most of the rest of real life requires a bit more
Sometimes people purchase investments such as stocks and mutual funds and kind of forget about them for months and even for years. Others find ways of regularly taking a look at their investments and making adjustments as needed.
We put a lot of our owning and operating apartment complexes into systems. But, we still regularly keep our finger on the pulse of our investments.
Learn about three ways we maintain situational awareness of our investments as well as make strategic adjustments in their operation.
The first way we keep our finger on the pulse of our apartment complexes is through our property managers.
One of the nice aspects of larger properties is the ability to hire skilled people to manage the day to day operations of the apartments. They collect rents, handle maintenance issues, supervise the staff, secure new residents, and more.
A good professional property manager is a key to operating a large multifamily property. Through regular reports and meetings we can be sure the complex is running effectively.
Property managers take care of the day to day operations that are required. There is a lot to do.
We work to establish systems for communicating with residents, maintaining and improving the property, keeping track of income and expenses, etc. They implement those systems. These assets require working those systems well, week after week.
Recently, our Property Managers have been scheduling and supervising our “turn crews” as they clean out vacated units, put in new cabinets, replace light fixtures, install new floors, paint, and in other ways prepare empty apartments for new residents.
MANAGING THE ASSET
The second way we keep our finger on the pulse of our complexes is what we call “asset management”.
Some have called this “managing the property managers.” It is bigger than that. The apartment complexes are multi-million dollar investments. We have responsibilities to our investment partners to manage the asset itself well.
Even though we have property managers and staff onsite to handle the day-to-day operations we can not just “set it and forget it”. We have the ongoing responsibility of managing the asset as a whole.
We still need to make policy decisions, establish budgets, supervise the work of the property managers, gather and analyze the financials and other data related to the asset. We keep a finger on the trends with rent collections, the time it takes to solve maintenance issues for residents, the expenses, etc.
We are the ones who hire the property managers, oversee their work, and even replace them, if needed.
We are currently adjusting the rents on one of our complexes. During a conversation with the property managers we discuss how they are tracking the rents for other similar complexes nearby. We want to keep our rents affordable and just under market to keep high demand for our units. We also want to retain our current good residents. After analyzing the data and exploring different approaches, as the asset managers, we confirmed a plan for raising rents.
Every six months or so we analyze the larger market in which we have assets to determine if we wish to make any long-term changes in our plans for each asset. For example, we regularly look at the economy, is it growing or shrinking. We look at population trends and crime trends. We learn of new units coming on the market and which properties have recently sold and for how much. This is part of our asset management, whether to sell or keep longer.
Fortunately, our property managers handle the day-to-day operations. This gives us time to step back and oversee their work and look out for the longer-horizon issues needing to be addressed and decisions needing to be made.
KEEPING UP WITH MULTIFAMILY ASSETS NATIONWIDE
We have a third way of keeping a finger on the pulse of our assets. We do this by maintaining up-to-date awareness of what is happening with multifamily assets nationwide.
Here are some ways we do this…
· READING AND LEARNING. We are constantly reading about apartments and multifamily housing trends. We go over the quarterly and annual research reports of the big players in this field, such as Marcus and Millichap or the National Multifamily Housing Council among others.
· PODCASTS AND INTERVIEWS. We listen to podcasts by operators and others in this space. We recently were on a podcast with Old Dawg Network. There are many in this space who are doing research or can tell stories of the issues they are facing and the solutions they have found.
· CONFERENCES. Every year each of us participates in conferences and webinars put on by people like Robert Helms of The Real Estate Guys or the folks at Bigger Pockets.
This brings us into the larger community of multifamily operators and professionals. We hear from economists, attorneys and others who share their insights from their research and expertise.
We meet people at these conferences and keep in touch. The in-person and online communities help us keep our finger on the pulse, ask questions, learn from the experts, and build relationships with our peers.
· OUR MEETUP GROUP. We run a monthly meetup group of other investors and professionals in this field.
The name of the group is Strategic Multifamily Investors. We meet once a month on the 3rd Wednesday, from 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) on Zoom. If you would like to receive the zoom links, click: MEETUP ZOOM LINKS SIGN UP
We invite national speakers to share the latest information with our group. We also network with each other, talk about current issues among ourselves. Recently, we learned from one of the best Commercial Brokers in our region. Previously, we spent some time with an operator with decades of experience.
· MASTERMINDING. We meet with a small group of like-minded real estate operators from around the country in a small mastermind. One is in California, another in the Upper Midwest, and two of them are in South Florida.
We share ideas, confront common problems, and learn from each other. Over the years we have built a solid level of trust with one another and respect for each other. We find significant support and challenge in this mastermind. We learn a lot here.
Some things in life can be set and then forgotten.
Many people do this with some of their investments. They might buy a mutual fund and not pay much attention to it for years. That may be appropriate at times.
But, with our multifamily investments, our apartment complexes, we consistently watch and gather data and learn and explore different approaches and make decisions and do it all over again.
We have three main ways of keeping our finger on the pulse of our investments – our property managers, our skills as asset managers, and our commitment to constantly be learning.
LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER BETTER.
Attune Investments provides a better return for our investors. And we make a positive impact in people’s lives and in our world.
If you want to learn more about how others are investing with us then we invite you to join our club and request a conversation with us. See below.
We have a meetup group called Strategic Multifamily Connections. We meet once a month on the 3rd Wednesday, from 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) on Zoom. If you would like to receive the zoom links, click: MEETUP ZOOM LINKS SIGN UP
Through the power of a syndication partnership with other investors like you, working with managing partners who are experienced in managing apartment complexes, you can own multifamily assets.
Or you can choose to loan money, get in with a clear return, and get out earlier.
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Harland leads our Investor Relations. He is a “repurposed” Pastor and Army Chaplain. He is an author, speaker, mastermind facilitator, and coach. Harland lives with his wife, Barbara, in DeLand, Florida.