Best Ever Apartement Investing Blog Posts

If you are reading this, you are probably interested in making some smart, life-changing decisions in the real estate industry. Without question, apartment investing can be a great path to take. Multifamily properties are often easier to finance than others, for one; additionally, you can grow your portfolio quickly, and property managers can take a lot of stress off your plate.

Whether you have never invested a penny in real estate before, have been in the industry for decades, or fall somewhere in-between, I believe I have the tools, knowledge, and experience you need to make the most money—and, in turn, get the most out of your time.

A great way to start would be to check out my multifamily and apartment investing blog posts, which can provide you with a foundation of knowledge and answer a lot of questions you may have.

Want to learn how to add value to apartment communities, how to figure out if you should be getting into passive or active apartment investing, or how to spot commonly overlooked expenses? Maybe you’d like to know how to effectively evaluate a multifamily deal and save thousands of dollars on your taxes.

All of this, and other tips regarding apartment investing, can be found below. If you like what you read, I encourage you to also read the rest of my blog posts, of which there are hundreds, and to check out both volumes of my book, Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever.

Residential Lenders Tighten Their Lending Standards – Why This Is Good News for Multifamily Investors

A little more than a year before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, I wrote a blog post entitled “Why I Am Confident Multifamily Will Thrive During and After the Next Economic Correction” (which you can read here).

The economy was experiencing a record long expansion and showed no signs of stopping. However, like most economic expansions, various economic and real estate experts were warning about an impending recession.

“The stock market is inflated” and “real estate prices and rents will not increase forever” they said. 

However, whether the economy continued chugging along or experienced a minor or massive correction, I was confident is multifamily real estate’s ability to continue to perform. 

My confidence was not emotionally driven or biased because I am a multifamily investor. It was based on my analysis of the facts. The most telling fact was the change in renter population

Historically, more people rent during recessions (which is one of the reasons why I was attracted to multifamily in the first place) and more people buy during economic expansions. The former held true for the 2008 recession as more people began to rent. However, during the post-2008 economic expansion, the portion of renters continued to increase (more US households were renting in 2016 than at any point in 50 years). 

Therefore, I predicted that the portion of renters would increase or, at minimum, remain the same during and after the next correction. 

Then, coronavirus hit and induced an economic correction (or a temporary slowdown, depending on who you ask).

But, sure enough, a study published on June 17th, 2020 projected a decline in homeownership and concluded that  “the demand for rental housing will increase somewhere between 33% and 49%” between 2020 and 2025.

In both my January 2019 article and the June 2020 study, one of the reasons why more people are renting is due to tightened lending standards (other reasons were student loan debt, inability to make a down payment, poor credit, and people starting families later).

A metric that is used to measure lending standards is the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). The MCAI is based on a benchmark of 100 set in March of 2012 and is the only standardized quantitative index that solely focuses on mortgage credit. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening while an increase in the index are indicative of loosening credit.

Between December 2012 and November 2019, the MCAI was steadily trending in the positive direction, increasing from the high-80s to the high-180s.

  

However, starting in December 2019, the MCAI began to decline. The three largest drops were in March 2020 (decline of 16.1% to 152.1), April 2020 (decline of 12.2% to 133.5), and August 2020 (decline of 4.7% to 120.9, the lowest since March 2014).

Joel Kan, Mortgage Bankers Association’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting said in the August 2020 report, “credit continues to tighten because of uncertainty still looming around the health of the job market, even as other data on loan applications and home sales shows a sharp rebound. A further reduction in loan programs with low credit scores, high LTVs, and reduced documentation requirements also continued to drive the overall decline in credit availability.”

People will always need a place to live. Their only two options are to rent or to own. As indicated by the massive MCAI declines since the end of 2019, less and less people will be able to qualify for residential mortgages. The programs available to people with low credit or who cannot afford a high down payment have disappeared. 

Therefore, by default, more people will be forced to rent.

One last interesting thing to point out is how the MCAI during the current economic predicament compares to the 2008 recession. 

Here is an expanded MCAI graph that shows credit availability back to 2004. The pre-2011 data was generated biannually, making it less accurate than the post-2011 monthly generated data. However, the graph still highlights an important point. At least as it relates to the availability of credit at the time of this blog post, the current economic recession is nowhere near as severe as the 2008 recession.

To receive the monthly MCAI report, click here.

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The CDC Eviction Moratorium – What You NEED To Know

You may have seen recent headlines referring to an “eviction crisis”: 

The COVID-19 Eviction Crisis: an Estimated 30-40 Million People in America Are at Risk – The Aspen Institute 

 

Experts fear the end of eviction moratoriums could plunge thousands of people into homelessness – CNBC

President Trump signed an eviction moratorium order that effectively bans evictions nationwide through the end of the year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), the moratorium order has been issued to provide housing stability and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. However, it is important to note that rent is NOT cancelled through the end of the year. Let’s dive into how this order effects landlords and owners of real estate…

 

According to the moratorium, there are stipulations in order to receive this “eviction protection.”

Those who are eligible must meet additional criteria before presenting their landlords with a declaration, which will be made available on the CDC website. This criteria includes: 

  1. The resident has sought all available government rental assistance
  2. The resident will earn no more than $99,000 in 2020 (or $198,000, if filing jointly)
  3. The resident can’t pay their rent in full due to a substantial loss of income 
  4. The resident is trying to make timely partial payments, to the extent they can afford to do so
  5. The resident would, if evicted, likely end up homeless or forced to live in a shared living situation

What to do if you (the landlord) receives a CDC Declaration from a tenant?

 

According to Colton Addy from Snell & Wilmer Law, if a landlord receives a CDC Declaration from a tenant, the landlord should respond in writing to the tenant to encourage the tenant to make partial payments of rent (and similar housing-related payments) to the extent the tenant is able, in accordance with the CDC Declaration. Additionally, the landlord’s written correspondence should remind tenants that the rental amounts are not forgiven and will ultimately need to be paid. 

 

Additionally, many tenants may not be aware of the government assistance programs that are available to tenants to help tenants pay their rent during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Landlords should include a list of available resources that tenants can use to pay their rent. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has stated that nonprofits that received Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) or Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds under the CARES Act may use these funds to provide temporary rental assistance to tenants. 

 

The following websites provide information on federal assistance that is available:

 

www.hudexchange.info/programsupport

https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus

https://home.treasury.gov/policyissues/cares/state-and-local-governments 

 

Additionally, landlords should include other programs that may be applicable in their jurisdiction. Landlords may also consider filing an eviction proceeding for one of the reasons permitted by the CDC Order, but landlords should use caution in pursuing such actions as eviction proceedings in the current climate are likely to draw additional judicial scrutiny.

 

Penalties:

 

The penalties for individuals who violate the Order are severe, including:

 

 

  • A fine of up to $100,000 and up to one year in jail, if the violation does not result in a death; or
  • A fine of up to $250,000 and up to one year in jail, if the violation results in a death.

 

The penalties for an organization violating the Order are even more severe.

In summary, the moratorium order provides temporary relief to those residential tenants facing eviction who submit the required declaration, through the end of the year.  The order, however, does not absolve a tenant from paying rent or restrict a landlord from applying penalties, interest, or late fees on the tenant’s account for non-payment of rent.  Additionally, the order does not relieve landlords of their debt service obligations if a tenant seeks relief under the order. 

 

Disclaimer: The materials contained in this blog post are for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog post is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice. Readers are advised to obtain legal advice from their own legal counsel. Additionally, please note that the orders and laws related to the COVID-19 Pandemic are changing on a daily basis and your jurisdiction may have stricter rules related to evictions in place. Please verify the rules currently affecting your property at any given time.

 

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How to Underwrite an Apartment Deal with Incomplete Financials

A frequently asked apartment syndication question is “how do I underwrite an apartment deal when the seller doesn’t effectively track financials?” 

The two important items needed from a seller to underwrite a deal is a rent roll and a T-12. The rent roll provides information on the current rental income. The T-12 provides information about the historical income and expenses.

The typical underwriting process at a high level is as follows: Armed with the rent roll and T-12, the apartment syndicator populates a cash flow calculator with the current rents, T-12 income and expenses, and their assumptions for how they will operating the asset after acquisition. Once debt terms and other acquisition terms (i.e., general partner fees, renovations costs, limited partner compensation, etc.) are added, the apartment operation can determine an offer price based on the cash flow. 

Therefore, without the financials, it is very difficult to calculate a fair offer price.

Does this mean you should only underwrite deals that come with a detailed rent roll and a T-12? 

Of course not. Often, these can be some of the best deals. You will also have minimal to no competition. 

Before you can benefit from these types of deals, you need to understand how to successful underwrite deals without financials, which is the purpose of this blog post.

Types of Deals With Missing Financials

Most on-market deals listed by a broker will have a rent roll and a T-12. A broker usually won’t bring a deal to market without obtaining clear financials from the seller. The broker knows that it is difficult to sell a deal with missing or incomplete financial for the aforementioned reasons.

Therefore, deals with missing or incomplete financials are generated through off-market lead generation strategies. More specifically, financials are lacking on off-market deals owned by mom-and-pop owners who self-manage.

This does not mean that the all deals with missing or uncomplete financials are off-market, mom-and-pop, self-managed apartments. Nor does it mean that financials are only lacking on these types of deals. It is always important to request a rent roll and T-12 on all deals, on-market or off-market.

If you request the rent roll and the T-12 and either one or both are missing, the process that follows is how to best underwrite the deal, which was inspired by an interview we did with Chris Roberts of Sterling Rhino Capital.

What is the Secret Short Cut?

The first thing to realize is that there is not a shortcut to underwriting a deal without financials. Essentially, the overall underwriting and due diligence process is the same. The major difference is that you will need to create the missing or uncomplete financials from scratch.

However, creating the financials from scratch is time intensive and must include the efforts of the seller. Therefore, this creation process usually will not start until the deal is under contract.

Submitting an Offer

The actual offer price is less important when the financials are missing or incomplete. For example, the final sales price on Chris Robert’s deal was approximately 20% below the original contract price after negotiations were completed. Therefore, determine what the price at which the owner wants to sell. Assuming this is at least in the ballpark of recent sales comparable, do not worry about an intensive back and forth negotiation.

The most important part of the offer are the terms. The earnest deposit needs to be 100% refundable or deposited after the financials are created. The official due diligence process, which starts with an inspection, shouldn’t begin until after the T-12 and rent roll are created. There need to be adequate contingencies in place, like an inspection contingency and a financing contingency.

When you create the proper offer terms, worst case scenario is the loss of time without the loss of money.

Work with the Seller Directly

Once the deal is under contract, the next step is to create the financials. This is best accomplished by working with the seller directly. Therefore, if a broker is involved in the deal., the first step after placing the deal under contract is to bypass the broker to work directly with the seller. 

Even if they broker is against you working directly with the seller at first, it is likely that the deal will reach a stand still where the only way forward is directly connecting you with the seller or canceling the contract. 

This is what happened on Chris Robert’s deal. He attempted to work through the broker to get the seller to create the financials to no avail. Eventually, because the deal was stalling, the broker caved and let Chris speak directly with the seller. 

When speaking with the seller, Chris discovered the point of contention. The seller was under the impression that is was Chris’s responsibility to create the financials by himself, which is impossible. He told Chris, “why am I doing your work for you?” 

Chris replied, “Look, we are in this together. You are not going to sell your apartment unless you have financials, because neither I nor anyone else is going to be confident in investing a deal without historical numbers. I am willing to work with you to create these financials so that we can both get what we want.”

By showing the seller that it was in his best interest, Chris was able to convince the seller to take the required steps to create the financials.

How to Create the Financials from Scratch

Working directly with the seller, the next step is to create the rent roll and T-12 from scratch. 

The first step is having the seller connect with their CPA. The CPA can use the seller’s bank statements and tax returns to generate the profit and loss statement. Additionally, on Chris’s deal, he sent the seller a T-12 template and asked the seller to update the template each month.

To build a rent roll from scratch, your property management team will need a copy of each lease. Your management team should be local to the market, which means they can travel to the property to create the rent roll. 

Re-negotiating the Price

Once you have the rent roll and T-12, you can officially underwrite the deal and renegotiate the price accordingly. 

At this point, you can follow the standard due diligence process. Whenever you come across a step where a financial document is unavailable, you and the seller will need to work together to create it from scratch.

 

The total time between receiving the lead and closing will depend on the cooperation of the seller and the level of missing documentation. For Chris’s deal, it took nine months. In general, I wouldn’t expect to close in the traditional 60 to 90-day time frame.

The main different between a traditional deal and a deal with incomplete financials is the time required to work with the seller to create the financials from scratch. It may be a lengthy process but it is a great way to acquire a deal below market, especially in a competitive market.

 

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Debunking a Common Myth About Apartment Insurance Rates

A common practice when underwriting multifamily apartment deals is to assume a stabilized insurance expense equal to the T-12 insurance operating expense. In other words, the assumption is that the insurance premium paid by the current owner will remain the same after acquisition.

This practice was indeed correct for the past five to ten years. However, according to commercial insurance expert Bryan Shimeall, who was interviewed on the Best Real Estate Investing Ever podcast, this is no longer a safe assumption.

Due in part to the onset of coronavirus, as well as to the increase in the number of people entering the commercial real estate investment realm, insurance rates are rising fast.

Towards the end of 2019, the insurance market transitioned from a soft market to a hard market. 

In a soft market, insurers are competing for apartment investors, resulting in more competitive rates. Therefore, when underwriting deals, apartment operators were assuming the T-12 insurance rate would remain the same after acquisition, or even potentially decrease. 

However, in a hard market, the opposite is true and apartment investors are competing for insurers. As a result, insurance rates are rising. 

The magnitude of the increase is geographically driven. According to Bryan, an apartment investor should expect between a mid-single-digit and up to a 20% increase in the insurance rate when underwriting deals.

He also said that insurance companies are pickier about the types of apartments they will insure, as well as offering non-renewing insurance policies. If an apartment qualifies for insurance, there is no guarantee that it will continue to receive the same rate, the same coverage, or any coverage at all once the initial contract has expired.

Now that you know about these recent changes to insurance rates, what changes should you make when underwriting apartment deals?

The most important thing you need to do is have a conversation with your real estate insurer. If you do not have one, you need to find an insurance company or broker that specializes in real estate.

Ask the insurer about the insurance rate increases in the market you invest in.

Another important factor besides geography that is driving the rate increases are the history of losses. Bryan says it is more important than ever to provide your insurer with the history of losses as soon as possible.

Once you know you are serious about a deal, email the listing broker (if on-market) or the owner (if off-market) and request a copy of the history of losses for the apartment. 

Your insurer will need accurate and complete information about the history of losses at the property to provide an accurate insurance quote. Without the history of losses, the insure will generate a quote based on a clean history.

If your insurer obtains the history of losses report that isn’t clean, the insurance rate will be higher. Depending on the type of losses, the insurer may decide to not provide insurance at all. 

The worst-case scenario is your insurer receives the history of losses and won’t provide insurance on the apartment after you’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars into due diligence. Another bad scenario is the new insurance quote is significantly higher than your original projections and you need to back out of the deal or renegotiate a new purchase price.

Therefore, to avoid canceling contracts and wasting thousands of dollars, do not assume an insurance rate that is the same as the current insurance rate. Instead, have a conversation with your insurer prior to submitting a contract to understand the projected rate increase in the market. Then, obtain a history of losses as soon as possible so that your insurer can provide you with the most accurate quote before you have progressed further into the due diligence period.

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High Net Worth Frugality – How To Save Like The Wealthy

Frugality has played a major role in my life, starting in childhood and being brought up by two very frugal parents. I have tremendous gratitude looking back on the lessons learned and seeing the impact that saving money has had. In this post, I want to share with you some interesting data I recently came across and a unique perspective on frugality.

Americans spend the majority of their money on three expenses: Housing, Transportation and Food, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor StatisticsYou probably already knew that, so I want to dive a bit deeper in a direction I think we could all benefit from. I want to share with you how High Net Worth Individuals save and spend their money compared to everyone else in these three primary categories. Obviously, there is no official handbook or methodology that all wealthy individuals follow; so I compiled some data and research so we can take a peek behind the scenes. 

#1 Housing 

You might be familiar with the fact that Warren Buffett paid $31,500 for his home in Omaha nearly 50 years ago and he has not increased his spending in this category ever since. This is an extreme example, but how much do you think the average American spends on housing as a percentage of household income? To my surprise, the data shows nearly 30% of household income is spent on housing costs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Now let’s take a look at another High Net Worth example; we’ll use Tim Cook (the CEO of Apple). Tim Cook has an estimated net worth of 650 million dollars and he bought his California residence for 1.9 million dollars. This home purchase represents less than 3% of his net worth (if he paid cash) or a mortgage payment of approximately $7,500 a month if he financed the home with a traditional loan and 20% down payment. If the house is mortgaged, that means Cook spends approximately .072% of his annual income on housing costs based on the 125 million in compensation he received from Apple in 2019. It’s interesting that Buffett and Cook have the ability to buy nearly any home they desire, but they chose to embrace a reasonable frugality in this category. There are, of course, hundreds of other High Net Worth examples like these, but it is fascinating to consider this mindset when the majority of American homeowners max out their debt leverage to buy the most expensive house they can afford.  

 

#2 Transportation

According to a study done by researchers at Experian Automotive (and published on Forbes), 61% of wealthy individuals (defined as earning $250,000 or more in income per year) drive Hondas and Toyotas and Fords. You may also be familiar with the fact that many billionaires drive inexpensive vehicles as well, many of which are valued under $30,000. A few examples include:

 

  • Steve Ballmer (Billionaire) Ford Fusion Hybrid MSRP $30,000
  • Mark Zuckerberg (Billionaire) Acura TSX MSRP $30,000
  • Jeff Bezos (Billionaire) Honda Accord MSRP $20,000
  • Ingvar Kamprad (Billionaire) Volvo 240 MSRP $25,000

 

According to AAA research agency, the average American spends $9,282 a year on their vehicle, which equates to $773.50 a month. The median household income (for 2018) was $61,937 according to Current Population Survey and American Community Survey, which are surveys conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. Americans dedicate nearly 15% of household income to a vehicle. 

 

#3 Food

This is one of my favorite topics when it comes to personal finances. In this post, I will keep it brief, but you can check out some of my other blogs and articles that dive deeper into the topic. According to The National Study of Millionaires, which is a 71-page nationwide study conducted on 10,000 U.S. millionaires and their spending habits, it was found that 36% of millionaires spend less than $300 each month on groceries and 64% spend less than $450, and only 19% spend more than $600 a month on groceries. The punchline; non-millionaires spend about 57% more on groceries compared to millionaires. But that’s just groceries, so what about restaurants and dining out? I’ll get right to the point on this one… 

 

To turn a profit, many restaurants charge around a 300 percent markup on the items they serve. When you go out to eat, you are paying for service, convenience and atmosphere. There is certainly a time and place for restaurants, but if you are eating out frequently, consider that you could make a $15 meal in a restaurant for $5 at home. The statistics are also interesting. According to a study from the JPMorgan Chase Institute that focused on fifteen specific metropolitan areas, studying credit and debit card purchases from more than fifteen billion anonymous transactions and characterizing them by quintiles of income, the poorest 20% spent 16.6% of their income at restaurants, trailing the wealthiest income quintile at 17.8%.

 

Takeaways

Perhaps it’s time to remove “The Joneses” from our life and start keeping up with ourselves instead. 

 

There are two sides of the money coin. One side is about making money and the other side is about saving money. Long-term financial success requires a commitment to both. We can’t forget about mentors like Mike Tyson, who amassed over 300 million dollars in a career and filed for personal bankruptcy in 2003 after going completely broke. Or perhaps the more recent example of Johnny Depp “losing” his 650 million-dollar fortune due to wild spending habits like $30,000 a month on wine and renting 12 storage facilities to store his “memorabilia”. We all know of athletes and celebrities who unfortunately were not taught about frugality, or simply chose not to pay attention. The goal for you and I may not be to join the Billionaires Club, but perhaps it’s a worthwhile pursuit to find a balance between having enough and living life on your own terms. 

 

To Your Success

Travis Watts 

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9 Things to Consider When Converting Apartments to Condominiums

Besides the traditional three apartment investment strategies (turnkey, distressed, and value-add), condo conversions is another less common business plan that can be very lucrative.

The condo conversion investment strategy involves purchasing an apartment community, converting it from individual rental units to individual condos, and reselling the individual condos for a profit.

This post isn’t going to discuss which investment strategy is the best, because like most things in real estate, it depends on what you are interested in and what your goals are. However, if you do decide to pursue the condo conversion investment strategy, here are the 9 things you need to consider:

 

  • Speak to an attorney: First and foremost, speak with a real estate attorney that specializes in condo conversion projections. You need to know the state and local laws on condo conversions and the step-by-step process you must follow.
  • Vacating the property: The largest potential challenge is the process for vacating the apartment building. An attorney will tell you the laws that protect the rights of the existing residents. In some markets, the residents must be given a specific time frame of the notice to vacate. You may even be required to cover their relocation costs and give them a chance to purchase a completed condo. The longer it takes and the more expensive it is to vacate the property, the greater the holding costs.
  • Hidden fees: There are a lot of hidden fees involved in condo conversions, which the attorney can help you uncover. There are application fees with the city, surveying fees, attorney fees, and fees related to code compliance. Once the conversion is completed, the city will inspect the condominium for code violations, which you will be required to address. Therefore, another fee is associated with hiring a private condo pre-inspection specialist to inspect the property to give you an opinion on potential code violations and the costs of the repairs. Another hidden fee is the increase in insurance costs. Insurance on condominiums is generally higher than apartment insurance, so make sure you obtain a quote for the new insurance premium. Last are the upfront and backend fees you charge for putting together and managing the project.
  • Financing: You will need to speak with a mortgage broker who specializes in condo conversion projects to securing financing. This conversion needs to begin prior to placing the deal under contract so that you can estimate the debt service and other important loan terms, like I/O periods, loan term, interest rates, prepayment penalties, financing fees, and closing costs.
  • Timing: To determine the holding costs and hold period, you need to know the estimated timelines for each step in the condo conversion process. First, how long will it take to vacate the building? Once vacated, how long will the renovations take? How long will it take to list the condo units for sale after the renovations are completed (i.e., post-conversion requirements like setting up the HOA, inspections, etc.)? Lastly, what is the average days on market and closing timeline? Add these all together and you have the hold period and can calculate the holding costs.
  • Holding costs: The holding costs are the ongoing expenses paid during the hold period. These include insurance, taxes, utilities, and debt service. Since you will be generating no cash flow (or some cash flow in the beginning while vacating the property), these expenses must be covered by initial equity.
  • Renovation costs: There are four aspects of the renovation costs to consider. One is the cost to convert the apartment units into individual condos. Two is the investment amount is required for the common areas. Three is the cost to address deferred maintenance. Last is the size of the contingency budget.
  • Sales process: The first thing you need to know is the projected after-repair value of the condominium units, which requires a sales comparable analysis. You also need to consider the costs associated with marketing and selling (i.e., the broker’s commission) the condo units.
  • Limited partner compensation: Lastly, you need to determine the compensation structure offered to the limited partners who invest. What type of return will you offer (i.e., preferred return, profit split, or both) and when are they paid (i.e., after each condo is sold or when all condos are sold)?

 

To address all the above, you will need to work with at minimum an attorney, a mortgage broker, and listing broker, and a contractor – all who specialize in condo conversions.

Purchasing an apartment community and converting the rental units into individual condo units is an alternative to the traditional apartment investment strategies. However, you need to understand the laws surrounding condo conversions, the added costs, and the required team members to properly underwrite the deal, successfully complete the conversion and conserve and grow the investors capital investment.

 

 

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How to Create a Compelling Property Management Incentive Program

As an apartment syndicator, your most important team member is their property management company. The property management companies main responsibilities are to manage the day-to-day operations and implement your business plan.

However, what if – due to market conditions or lack of skill on the part of the property management company – the your net operating income projections aren’t being met? Occupancy is low. Collections are struggling. Rental premiums aren’t being met.

One strategy to turn operations around, or to avoid operational challenges all together, is to create a property management incentives program.

Why Create an Incentive Program?

An incentive program creates an alignment of interest between you and the property management company. The better they perform, the more money you, and your investors, and they make.

What is an Incentive Program?

An incentive program is an agreement between you and the property management company in which the property management company is given an objective, and if they complete the objective, they are rewarded.

Two Types of Incentive Programs

Incentive programs fall into one of two categories. 

  • Type 1: Incentive programs that begin at acquisition and end at sale. 
  • Type 2: One-off incentive programs that end after a fixed amount of time.

Examples of Type 1 Incentive Programs

The most obvious and common is a program in which the objective is to effectively manage the property and the reward is a property management fee equal to a percentage of the collected income. Plus, they aren’t fired.

Other objectives are investing their own money in the deal, acting as a loan guarantor, or bringing on their own investors. The reward for all three is more equity or cash flow.

You can also create type 1 incentive programs for key performance indicators, or KPIs. For example, the objective is to grow total revenue by a certain % each year. Or maintaining or exceeding a specified occupancy rate. 

Just make sure the objective results in alignment of interest. For example, a bad objective is to grow the occupancy by a certain percentage each year, because there is a maximum occupancy rate. Once they achieve high-90’s, it will become impossible for them to achieve their objective without first sabotaging occupancy so that they can then increase occupancy again to receive a reward.

Examples of Type 2 Incentive Programs

Type 2 incentive programs are used when you want to target a specific KPI that is underperforming. For example, if occupancy drops below 90%, you can create an incentive program. The objective is to achieve a specified occupancy rate within a specific time frame (i.e., achieve 95% occupancy within two months). 

Once the desired objective is achieved, they receive a reward and the incentive program expires.

Type 1 vs. Type 2 Incentive Programs

Both incentive programs can be beneficial.

The type 1 incentive programs create alignment of interest from the start. Whereas the type 2 incentive programs can be used during the business plan to improve a specific lagging KPI. 

However, you need to be careful and mindful when creating incentive programs. For example, if you set an occupancy-based type 1 incentive program (i.e., maintain 95% occupancy), the management company can accomplish this goal by offering unnecessary concessions to increase occupancy. Or for a “number of new leases”-based incentive program, the management company can let in unqualified renters to inflate the number of new leases.

Therefore, type 2 incentive programs are the ideal option for KPI-based objectives. If a KPI is lagging, target it with an incentive program. Whereas the type 1 incentive programs are ideal for non-KPI-based objectives, like effectively managing the property, investing in the deal, etc.

Other Best Practices

The objective of the incentive program needs to be realistic and attainable. For example, an objective to raise occupancy from 85% to 100% in two weeks is too unrealistic. A good strategy to ensure that the incentive program is practical is to plan a brainstorming session with key members of the property management team and discuss objectives and rewards.

Also, be creative with the rewards. They can be financial based, like a gift card or bonus. However, other reward ideas are dinners with you or someone in your company, an extra paid vacation day, a free education or training course, a special trophy or plaque, etc. 

Lastly, the best incentive programs do not punish property management companies for failing to achieve the objective. If they miss the mark on an incentive program, don’t reduce their management fee. However, this doesn’t mean that you NEVER punish (i.e., fire) a property management company

Overall, incentive programs are a great way to create extra alignment of interests with your property management team and can help you target specific KPIs that are lagging behind.

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President Trump Signs Coronavirus Relief Executive Orders

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Saturday night after negotiations reached a deadlock in the House over another coronavirus relief package.

Click here to read the full memorandum.

Here is everything you need to know about the executive orders:

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits include an additional $400 per week, retroactively starting August 1st. The federal government would contribute $300 and the states would contribute $100.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Sunday that people could expect checks in a couple of weeks.

Eviction Moratorium and Renter Assistance

The executive order did not provide specifics on a renewed eviction moratorium or renter assistance. Instead, it defers to other governmental agencies to make that determination.

The decision to ban evictions will be decided by the Health and Human Services Secretary and Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Director.

The decision to provide financial assistance to renters will be decided by the Treasury Secretary and Housing and Urban Development Secretary.

Student Loan Payment Deferrals

Student loan debt interest would be waived through the end of the year. This only applies to loans held by the Department of Education, so it does not apply to privately held student loans.

Payroll Tax Cut

The federal tax withholding for the payroll tax would be deferred (not forgiven) starting September 1st and through the end of the year for people earning less than $100,000 a year.

The Treasury Secretary may also exercise his authority to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of the tax, meaning it may be forgiven. He could also extend the program for a full year.

 

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Why Multi-Family? Why Now?

Why Real Estate? 

Most people who are career focused and have money to invest or people who are coming to the end of a professional career, often look to real estate as a viable investment option either for building equity or for income generation. Unfortunately, real estate investing is typically thought to be a sole ownership strategy. Very few people are aware of the passive investing opportunities in multi-family private placements or “apartment syndications”. 

Why Multi-Family?

Syndications and/or private placement offerings are all about “pooling” your money together with other investors to purchase large assets that may otherwise be unattainable as a sole ownership purchase (for example, a 300-unit apartment building). If you have 10 million dollars to use as a down payment, you might have the means of purchasing an asset like this individually; however, if you prefer to only invest $100,000, that’s where a syndication structure can be a huge benefit and allow you to participate in a deal of this size. 

Why Value-Add?

I tend to invest in value-add projects. In this business model, the General Partner or Managing Partners and their teams often add value to the apartment community in a number of ways. Common value-add strategies include renovating the units, updating to modern appliances, countertops, in-wall USB ports, smart thermostats, on-site storage lockers, improve the landscaping, renovate the clubhouse, gym, pool, parking lots etc. Every property is unique and the business plan will be different for each; the overall goal is to update the property and match the current market demand while increasing below market rents along the way.

The value (price) of an apartment complex is primarily derived from the NOI (net operating income), which is comprised of the total collected rents and income minus expenses to operate the property. When the net operating income increases, the value of the complex increases. For example, let’s say the annual net operating income on a property increases by $100,000 a year. A $100,000 a year rent increase could potentially bump the purchase price up by nearly one million dollars (for example/educational purposes only). 

Why Invest? 

Multi-family real estate investing has a lot to do with diversification of an investment portfolio. There are two common reasons why people invest in real estate. Most people either invest and wait for the property to increase in value or “force” the appreciation (equity investing) or they rent it out and collect the cash flow (income investing). Why not do both? Value-add business plans are often designed to capture both of these strategies. 

Multi-family real estate is a diversified asset in itself. This is largely due to the fact that when you buy an apartment building, you are investing in many units. With single-family homes, you have (1) unit and (1) tenant. If your tenant moves out or doesn’t pay rent, you are 100% vacant and 100% unprofitable. With a 300-unit property, it is not uncommon to have the ability to lose 70-90 tenants at any given time, and still be profitable. The diversification does not stop there. Many people invest passively in syndications because they can spread out their risk geographically among several properties and Sponsors.  

Why I Decided to Invest in Multi-Family

In 2015, after a complete burnout of trying to expand my single-family portfolio, I decided to return to the drawing board in search of a more sustainable and scalable approach to investing in real estate. I was desperate to become a hands-off investor after realizing how active this business can be. In 2015, after reading 52 books, listening to podcasts, networking in real estate groups and seeking mentors, I ultimately decided that multi-family real estate was my solution. More specifically, investing passively in apartment communities via private placement offerings (syndications). 

These Were a Few of My Reasons:

  • I needed a hands-off approach to invest in real estate 
  • I wanted tax advantages equal to or exceeding single-family 
  • I wanted geographic and asset type diversification 
  • I was seeking a recession-resistant asset class
  • There was (and still is) a nationwide demand for affordable housing 
  • I wanted to leverage other people’s expertise, track record and deal flow

Whether you decide to be active or passive in the multi-family space, I wish you success in your journey. This asset class has truly been a blessing for my family and I. I have a passion for helping educate others in real estate. If you have any questions, please reach out anytime. I would be happy to connect on a call or email to help in any way I can.  

 

To Your Success

Travis Watts 

 

 

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“You Shouldn’t Use the Radio to Generate Leads” Myth Debunked

“Don’t waste your money or time advertising on the radio.”

“The radio is prehistoric.”

“No one listens to the radio anymore.”

I am certain you’ve heard one or a version of the above in your real estate career. Consequently, most real estate investors believe they should not use the radio to generate leads.

However, the statistics on radio usage may surprise you. Radio is still one of the most powerful mediums in the United States with a weekly reach of around 90% among adults. Since adults are listening to the radio and adults own real estate, the radio can be a great way to generate leads.

But the myth isn’t quite debunked just yet… Enter Chris Arnold.

We interviewed Chris on the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. He has closed on over 2,500 real estate deals. And guess what? Every single deal came from a lead generated using the radio!

Now, the myth is officially debunked.

One of the main reasons why Chris has had so much success using the radio is because most people believe the myth this blog post is attempting to debunk. How many real estate investors do you personally know who use the radio to generate leads? For most of you, I bet the answer is a big fat zero.

Many people are listening to the radio yet very few real estate investors utilize it to generate leads. Therefore, there is a massive supply-and-demand imbalance from which Chris is benefiting, and so can you.

How can you replicate Chris’s success on the radio? Here’s his simple four-step process:

Define Target Audience: First, you need to define your target audience. Chris’s target demographic are people over the age of 50, because this is the demographic that is likely motivated to sell a home due to things like retirement, inheritance, tired of being a landlord, etc. Since defining a target audience isn’t the purpose of this blog post, click here and here to learn more about this topic.

Create the Advertisement: Once you’ve defined your target demographic, the next step is to create your advertisement. Like any advertisement, it needs to touch on the pain points of your target demographic, as well as include how you will alleviate that pain point and a call-to-action. Chris says you can either record the ad audio at home or, if you don’t have the proper equipment, you can use the local radio station’s studio.

Find a Radio Station: After you’ve created your advertisement, you need to find the right radio station on which to air your advertisement. Selecting the right radio station is easy. You’ve already defined your target audience, so all you need to do is determine the type of music they prefer. Since Chris targets the 50+ demographic, he airs ads on classic or old school rock stations. If your target demographic is rural, he says country music radio stations are best. Or R&B stations if your target demographic is urban.   

Negotiating the Costs: The last step is negotiating the costs of the advertising spot. Chris says the average person calls into a local radio station, asks for their media packet, and pays that price. However, Chris pulls reports on the value of the radio station prior to calling. Based on the reports, he calculates how much the advertising spot is actually worth. Then, once he calls the radio station, he tells them how much he is willing to pay based on his research rather than asking how much do pay. As a result, Chris is able to pay $1,500 for 100 sixty second ad spots per month.

 

One of the major benefits of using Chris’s method is that it is a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. Record the ad, send it to the radio station, and wait for the phone to ring. This is contrasted with other, more active marketing strategies like cold calling, direct mail, or driving for dollars.

And, as I mentioned previously, the number 1 benefit of using the radio to generate leads is that no one else is doing it. 

Chris’s episode is scheduled to air July 22, 2020. Be sure to mark your calendars so that you can listen to his episode to learn even more about this powerful lead generation strategy. 

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How to Navigate 2020 – 5 Tips for Real Estate Investors

What a crazy year this has been! It has certainly been a rollercoaster to say the least, but the good news is that there are ways you can not only survive, but thrive in 2020 as a real estate investor. 

Here Are 5 Tips That Can Help:

#1 Educate, educate, educate. Working from home? Can’t travel? Attend some online events, webinars, read a few books, listen to podcasts, watch “how-to” videos, get on BiggerPockets and read blogs. 

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin 

#2 Re-define your goals and investing criteria. What are your long-term goals? What do you REALLY want to gain from investing in real estate? It’s not all dollars and cents and it’s not all about cashflow vs equity. Take a couple hours this summer to write down what it is you really want to achieve in life. Money can only be exchanged for experiences or “things” – what are you after? 

“You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for” – Ted Turner

#3 Volunteer your time – seek mentors. Learn from other’s successes and failures. Mentorship can come in many forms, but the most effective is usually in the form of having a personal coach or mentor. This has made the biggest impact in my life over the past decade. Have money to spare? Consider hiring a coach or mentor. Don’t have money to spare? Consider volunteering your time to add value to others in exchange for mentorship.  

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks. Everyone else looks for a job” – Robert Kiyosaki 

#4 Get your personal finances in order. What can you do to reduce overhead or save additional cash? Could you start a side business for some additional income? Stay focused and disciplined on your long-term objectives. Any time you spend money on things you don’t need, you move further from your goals.

“Personal finance is only 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior” – Dave Ramsey 

#5 Learn from mistakes. You will make mistakes and you will likely lose money based on inexperience; I know I have. Reading biographies, seeking mentors, asking people about their “lessons learned” can help you cut the learning curve. 

“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes” – Warren Buffet 

I hope you find these helpful. Even if you only implement ONE of these, you will be 90% ahead of most. This year, more than ever, is a time to grow, expand and thrive. 

To Your Success

Travis Watts 

 

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Senate Announces HEALS Act Stimulus Package: Here’s What You Need to Know

On Monday afternoon, the Senate Republicans unveiled the Health, Economic, Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, the second stimulus package meant to offset the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Here’s what we know so far about the potential terms of the second stimulus package based on the HEALS Act:

Second round of stimulus checks: Like the CARES Act, the HEALS Act should send payments to qualifying individuals and families. The payment amount was up to $1,200 per person in the CARES Act, and the HEALS Act will likely follow the same payment model. What is undecided are the eligibility guidelines. However, it seems like the negotiation is between keeping the eligibility guidelines the same or allowing more people to receive the payment. Therefore, people who were eligible for the CARES Act stimulus checks will likely be eligible to receive a second payment. The goal is for people to receive checks in the beginning of August.

Unemployment benefits: People who applied for unemployment for the first time due to COVID or were already collecting unemployment will receive a weekly payment on top of the ordinary unemployment benefits. People who were unemployed received $600 a week from the CARES Act. However, the HEALS Act would reduce the extra payment to $200 a week and over time increasing to $500 a week.

Payroll Protection Program (PPP): The PPP program provides forgivable loans to small business to cover payroll (and other costs) as an incentive to keep employees on the payroll. The HEALS Act is expected to target the hardest-hit small businesses with PPP loans. 

Employee retention tax credit: This tax credit program was introduced in the CARES Act. Companies receive tax credits for wages paid to their employees during the pandemic as another incentive to keep employees on the payroll. The HEALS Act proposes to include additional tax relief for companies who hire and rehire workers. 

Return-to-work bonus: If an unemployed person gets a new job and begins working at a previous job again, they will receive a bonus of up to $450 a week on top of their wages.

Renter assistance: The renter assistance programs proposed would help tenants pay their rent, help landlords pay expenses and put another hold on evictions for up to a year.

The next step is for the House to negotiate the terms of the act to finalize the bill. Hopefully, Congress comes to an agreement by next Friday, August 7th, which is the last Senate session before a month-long recess. 

We will keep you posted on any developments regarding the next stimulus package.

 

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How to Go From Solopreneur to a Business That Can Run Without You

Want to go from working 20, 30, 40 or more hour per week while doing one deal a month to working an hour per day while doing over 100 deals per year?

Mike Simmons, a wholesaler and fix-and-flip investor who Theo interviewed on the podcast, was able to go from a solopreneur to operating a business that runs without him by following one simple trick.

For nearly five years, Mike worked 7:30am to 4:30pm in a W2 job. After work, on weekends, and sometimes even during his lunch breaks, he would work in his fix-and-flip business. Since it was just him, he did it all. He found the deals. He negotiated the contracts. He attended closings. He managed the contractors. Overall, he spent 20 to 30 hours on his business each week, resulting in one deal per month. 

Flashing forward to present day, Mike almost never sees the houses that he buys. He doesn’t attend closings. He doesn’t find deals or buyers. Yet, he completes over 100 deals per year.

His secret? Every step in the flipping and wholesaling process is automated, and he has hired an employee who is responsible for overseeing each of these processes.

When to Hire?

The first step in going from solopreneur to a business that can run without you is knowing when to start delegating. In other words, when do you hire your first employee?

The answer depends on how quickly you scale your business. 

Here are three examples of when you should hire your first employee.

You identify a bottleneck. Mike’s first bottleneck was the process of ensuring a wholesale transaction is completed once a deal is under contract and an end buyer is identified. He spent more time on this part of the process and less time finding deals and finding buyers (among other things). So, his first hire was a transaction coordinator to oversee this step in the process.

Your business is generating enough income to pay the salary of an employee. Mike paid his first employee $12 per hour. So, he was generating at least that much income in his business

There is something you really dislike doing or are really bad at. Another reason why Mike’s first hire was a transaction coordinator was because he had poor attention to detail skills. He needed an employee who was detailed oriented.

Who to Hire and In What Order?

As I mentioned above, you hire your first employee when you’ve identified a bottleneck in your real estate process and/or when there is something you don’t like doing or are not good at. Also, when your busines generates enough income to pay an employee’s salary.

After you’ve first hire, who do you hire next?

The decision on who to hire next is similar to deciding who to hire first. Either there is something else you don’t like to do or are bad at, or a new bottleneck is created by the previously hired employee.

Mike’s second hire was a salesperson. Mike thought of himself as a decent salesperson. However, he didn’t like it. After hiring a salesperson, not only was he able to focus on aspects of the business that he enjoyed more but he was also able to complete more transactions due to the higher level skills of this new hire. 

Mike made his third hire based on a newly created bottleneck. The salesperson was responsible for answering the phone calls for income leads. This took time away from the salesperson getting in front of potential sellers and negotiating contracts. To remove this bottleneck, Mike hired a person to answer the phones. That way, the salesperson could spend more time negotiating contracts and less time on the phone qualifying leads.

Now that Mike had a dedicated person to answer the phones, he had the capability to handle more leads. Therefore, he hired a marketing person to generate more leads to keep the person who answers the phones busy.

Overall, the order in which you hire new employees usually starts with tasks you don’t like doing and eventually evolves into alleviating bottlenecks created by a previously hired employee.

Doer vs. Leader

When you are a solopreneur, you are wearing all the hats in your business. You are working in your business.

Once you start to hire employees, you slowly work less “in” your business and more “on” your business.

When you work in your business, you are a doer. When you work on your business, you are more of a leader.

The skills required to be a real estate doer are different than those needed to be a real estate leader.

One tip Mike provided about how to be a better leader to your employees is to document a process prior to hiring someone to oversee that process. A bad leader hires an employee for a role and says, “just get it done.” A good leader hires an employee for a role and says, “here is what you need to do in order to be successful.” But rather than telling them what they need to do, you can provide them with documentation with the step-by-step process for how to successful in their role.

 

To go from a solopreneur to operating a business that runs without you requires hiring employees. To ensure that the business runs successfully without you, make sure you are hiring employees for the right reasons and in the right order. And as you hire more and more employees, make sure you are improving your leadership skills.

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5 Tips for Raising Money from Family Offices to Buy Apartments

The typical progression for raising money for apartments goes like this:

  • For the first deal, you raise money from your family and/or closest friends
  • After the first deal, you continue to raise money from your family and/or closest friends. However, people who you are less familiar with begin to invest. Examples would be extended family, less close friends, work colleagues, and others who you’ve known for a few years or less
  • As you do more and more deals, you begin to raise money from investors who were referred from other investors. You also attract passive investors from your thought leadership platform
  • Eventually, you transition to raising money via 506(c), which allows you to advertise your deals to raise capital

The commonality between all steps in the above progression is that you are raising money from individual investors (or two investors who are a couple). 

Another, more advanced model for raising capital is to pursue private institutions. An example of a private institution from which you can raise money are family offices.

According to Investopedia, family offices are private wealth management advisory firms that serve ultra-high-net-worth investors. They are different from traditional wealth management shops in that they offer a total outsourced solution to managing the financial and investment side of an affluent individual or family. 

Family offices can be a great source of equity for advanced apartment syndicators. Seth Wilson, the founder and managing director of Clarity Equity Group, raises money from family offices for his real estate deals. 

We recently interviewed Seth on the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. His episode is scheduled to be air on 9/16/20. In that interview, Seth provided his top five tips for raising money from family offices.

1. You Must Have Relevant Experience

The first step before you even consider raising money from a family office is that you must have experience. If you’ve never done a large apartment deal in the past, a family office isn’t going to take you seriously. If you’ve only been doing large apartment deals for a few years, a family office still isn’t going to take you serious.

It took Seth over 12 years and $65 million worth of real estate in order to raise money from family offices.

There is not a shortcut. If you want to raise money from family offices, the first step is to have years of experience successfully buying, managing, and selling apartment buildings.

2. You Must Be An Expert

It is likely that if you meet the “experience” requirement, you will meet the education requirement as well. 

The reasons why you need the relevant experience and need to be an expert on apartment investing are two-fold. First, family offices are entrusted by an individual or family to invest on their behalf and, more importantly, preserve their net worth. The individual or family did adequate due diligence on the family office prior to using their services. The family office did adequate due diligence before hiring their employees. Therefore, they are going to do adequate due diligence on you and your business.

Secondly, and because of reason number one, they are generally more sophisticated than your family, friends, and others you are used to raising money from. They are going to ask more complex, detailed questions about you and your business plan. When you are an expert, you can hold your ground when these questions are asked. They must be confident in your ability to conserve and grow their client’s investment.

3. Put Together the Look

Whether you like it or not, Seth says that a book is judged by its cover, especially in the higher echelons of investing. 

A family office is most likely not going to invest in your deals without seeing you in person. Therefore, you need to wear the proper attire. And there isn’t a one-sized-fits all approach. 

The acceptable attire when visiting a family office based out of Denver is a lot different than one in Manhattan. Seth says that the best way to learn the dress code is by asking. Call the receptionist, ask what the dress code is and dress one notch higher.

4. Speak to the Right Contact

When you are ready to raise capital from family offices, maximize your chances of success by speaking with the right contact.

If you are reaching out to a family office who manages the wealth of a second-generation or later family (i.e., the wealth was created by the parents, grandparents, etc.), the best person to speak with is the Chief Investment Officer. Seth said that more established family offices will have an investment committee who sign off on all investments. The CIO typically sits on this committee. If you can win over the CIO, you’ll have your inside person on the investment committee to argue your case.

If you are reaching out to a family office who manages wealth for a first-generation family (i.e., the wealth was created by someone who is still alive), you want to speak to the patriarch or matriarch of the family. The person who made the wealth is likely heavily involved in investment decisions.

5. Take Massive Action

Like all things in real estate, raising money from family offices requires massive amounts of action. Seth recommends having one or two great phone calls with family offices each day. Use resources you already have to add value and take care of them.

Focus on building a business relationship and a personal relationship. For example, if you come across something that you think they would personally be interested in, text them. 

You also want to make sure you are physically meeting them in person. Seth has no problem flying out in the morning, having an hour or so meeting with a single family office in the afternoon, and fly home in the evening. 

Raising money from a family office is a great way to take your apartment syndication business to the next level. But it is a strategy that takes time to work up to. You must establish relevant experience and expertise before making the jump from “family and friends” to family offices.

Once you have a track record, make sure you dress the part, know who to speak with, and take massive action.

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Demand for Multifamily Rentals to Increase by Nearly 50% in Next Five Years

On January 18th, 2019, I published an article on my blog entitled “Why I Am Confident Multifamily Will Thrive During and After the Next Economic Recession.” 

In summary, historically, homeownership rates decrease during economic recessions and increase during economic expansions. 

During the post-2008 economic expansion, the Dow Jones tripled, unemployment was cut in half, and the GDP rose by nearly $5 trillion. At the same time, the renter population increased nearly every single year and grew by more than 25%. 

The reasons why more people decided to rent than own during the most recent economic expansion include high student debt, poor credit, tighter lending criteria, people starting families later, and inability to afford home payments. 

Since these reasons aren’t going away, I predicted that when the next economic recession occurs, the same percentage of people or more will rent. And when the economy begins to improve, the same percentage of people or more will rent.

Flash forward over one-and-a-half years and many experts believe we have entered the next economic recession, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.

So what are people saying about the demand for multifamily rentals?

A study released by apartment properties acquisition and management company, Middleburg Communities, projects a drop in homeownership rates and a significant increase in demand for rental housing over the next five years.

Here is an excerpt from a GlobeSt.com article published on June 17, 2020 entitled “As Homeownership Declines, Demand for Rental Housing to Climb.”

“The June 11 report projects a decline in U.S. homeownership to 62.1%, the lowest rate in more than 20 years, before a partial recovery to 63.6% in 2025. Depending on the effects of the recession, the demand for rental housing will increase somewhere between 33% and 49% over that time period, the report concludes.

The analysis points to changing demographics playing a role in the changing demands. Married households are more likely to own homes, and their numbers are declining. The numbers of households with incomes of more than $120,000 is expected to drop while those with incomes of less than $30,000 are projected to increase.

“We do not claim to know the precise trajectory that household incomes will take over the next five years,” the report said. “However, with 19 million jobs lost as of this writing, the direction of household incomes in the near future is clearly negative.”

The number of non-white householders, who typically rent at a higher rate, is also growing.

But demographics alone are a “weak” explanation for homeownership shifts, according to the report. Student loan debt, inability to make a down payment, tightened lending standards, high rents and a shift in preferences play a role, too.

The report also zeroed in on three variables that offer a “reasonable” explanation for slumping homeownership: “lending standards, as measured by the average credit scores of mortgages, median net worth by age of householder, and the previous year’s deviation from the demographic-based projection, essentially inertia.”

The report notes that additional stimulus packages from the federal government could bolster homeownership rates.”

(Emphasis Added)

Like I said over one-and-a-half years ago, homeownership decreased during the economic expansion due to people starting families later, student loan debt, inability to make a down payment, and tighter lending standards.

Therefore, this study reinforces my thoughts on multifamily investing – there will be the same or increased demand for rentals during and after the current economic recession.

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An Investor’s Secret to Doing Large Apartment Deals with No Experience

The more investors you speak with, the more you realize that a lot of the traditional real estate advice simply is not true. 

For example, “you need to have experience in order to do large apartment deals.” 

The main reason? We are told that sellers and brokers prefer to work with established apartment operators because their proven track record increases the probability of a close. Whereas a sale is more uncertain when working with a less experienced apartment investor, or one who has not taken a large deal full cycle in the past. 

Therefore, we are told to focus on smaller deals (single family rentals, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, etc.) to build a reputation of being a closer and someone who can successfully manage multifamily properties. 

However, I have spoken with countless real estate investors who have gotten into the large multifamily space without following the above advice. They didn’t slowly acquire larger and larger properties. Instead, they either made gigantic leaps or skipped the smaller properties and started off investing in large multifamily properties.

For example, I was able to go from single family rentals to a 150+ unit apartment community.

Another example is Hamza Ali, who Theo interviewed on my podcast, Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever. He currently owns 1,000 doors in Houston, TX. 

Hamza Ali of Gray Spear Capital is an example of an investor who went straight to multifamily investing. He acquired a 24-unit apartment community from a broker without any previous multifamily experience. 

How was Hamza able to win over both the seller and the listing broker?  

He brought a large, local multifamily investor to broker meetings.

Once Hamza decided to pursue larger multifamily deals, he joined a local apartment meetup group. At the meetup, he met a local apartment operator who owned 1,000 units in the Houston, TX area. After establishing himself as someone who was serious about buying apartment communities, he invited this larger apartment operator to broker meetings.

One of the broker meetings was with an individual Hamza met at the meetup. This is the broker who sold Hamza his first deal – the 24-unit.

After putting the 24-unit under contract, the large apartment operator even walked the property with him.

Overall, Hamza was able to leverage someone else’s experience to close on his first apartment deal with no multifamily experience. 

The large apartment operator didn’t have an official role in the deal. He didn’t sign on the loan nor was he given a stake in the deal. However, by attending broker meetings, he was implying to the brokers that Hamza was a trustworthy individual who would be able to close.

If Hamza attended the meetings alone, chances are that we isn’t awarded the deal. But the presence of a well-known, big-time apartment player instantly increased his reputation in the eyes of the brokers.

 

Now, Hamza applied this strategy to winning over apartment brokers with no apartment experience. However, the concept can be applied elsewhere.

Want to raise money from passive investors but lack experience? Bring a big-time player onto the General Partnership.

Having trouble finding this big-time player? Do what Hamza did, which is to start attending local meetup groups. Even better, start your own. The strategy at the meetup group is to establish yourself as a serious real estate professional. Show up to every meetup on-time. Ask educated questions. Offer valuable information to others. Maybe even offer to work for free for the big-time player from which you want assistance.

Thousands of investors have skipped the beginning or intermediate steps and jumped straight to large multifamily investing. Almost all of them did so by leveraging the experience and reputation of an established operator.

If you use Hamza’s strategy, you will be on your way to building a 1,000 or more unit apartment portfolio.

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11 Tips for Collecting Rent During the Coronavirus Pandemic

he first of the month is right around the corner. In the previous months, rental property and apartment owners knew that the vast majority of their residents will submit their rent in full and on-time. It was something that they really didn’t even think about. However, this first of the month will be different. It will be the first time rent is due during the coronavirus pandemic.

Between now and when rent was last due, many people have lost their only source of income. They’ve been furloughed indefinitely or laid off.

The US Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill March 25th which will be voted on by the House this March 27th. According to MSN news, “the bill would extend $1,200 to most American adults and $400 for most children, create a $500 billion lending program for businesses, cities and states, and establish a $367 billion employee retention fund for small businesses. It would direct $130 billion to hospitals and provide four months of expanded unemployment insurance, amount other things.”

This is good news for real estate investors, as they may be able to take advantage of the $500 billion lending program and their residents can cover a few months rent with the direct cash payment. However, even if the bill passes through the House on Friday, neither you nor your residents will receive the benefits before rent is due on April 1st. So, what do you do?

I’ve scoured the Internet to see what other real estate investors are doing to collect rent this month and here are the top 11 tips I came across:

 

The first pieces of advice came from our Best Ever Show Community on Facebook.

Justin Wright’s plan is simple: offer a small discount to residents who pay their full rent early or on-time. For those who cannot pay their full rent on-time, he will offer a re-payment plan to allow residents to make up for unpaid rent later (more information on a potential rental repayment plan later on in this post).

Julie Fagan came up with a very unique approach to collect rent on the first of the month. First, she will allow her residents to apply their security deposit towards a reduced monthly rent payment. For example, if a resident has a $1,000 per month rent payment and a $1,000 security deposit, their monthly rent is discounted to $500 so that they can cover two month’s rent with their security deposit. In return, the resident must sign a new 12 month lease and sign-up for security deposit insurance. The residents pay $10 per month per $1,000 in security deposit insurance, which covers damages and unpaid rent.

The next two ideas came from a Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show podcast interview Theo did with Daniel Purcell (which will air in early April). The first tip is to communicate with all of your residents to understand their ability to pay rent in full and on-time. You definitely don’t want to skip this step. Not every single resident will have an issue paying their rent. All of Daniel’s long-term rental residents will be able to pay rent on-time (it is a different story for his short-term rental portfolio). Click here to learn how we are communicating with our residents as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. You need to understand who will struggle to pay rent to determine if you need to take any extra measures to maximize your rent collections.

Daniel’s other strategy was very interesting. Half of his portfolio consists of long-term rentals, which – as I mentioned – he doesn’t expect to be impacted by the coronavirus. The other half of this portfolio are Airbnb rentals, which are obviously impacted immensely by the coronavirus. While he is attempting to pivot his strategy on those properties to traveling nurses, he doesn’t expect to find renters for all of this units. Therefore, rather than have the units sit vacant, he plans on volunteering his units to professionals who are traveling to help with the coronavirus, like Red Cross workers. He said “the worst case scenario is that you help someone else.”

Brandon Turner of BiggerPockets created a YouTube video with his strategies for collecting rent during the coronavirus pandemic. His five step plan included three great strategies. First was to keep an eye out for federal and local programs that will be created to help residents pay their rent (like the $2 trillion stimulus bill discussed earlier). Second was to have residents pay their rent with a credit card. Third, which is the last option he offers, is to offer an emergency rent deferral program. His program allows residents to defer paying rent for up to two months, at which point a 10 month repayment program will commence. For example, if a resident misses a $1,000 rent payment in April and May, they will owe the regular $1,000 rent payment in June and will owe $1,000 plus $200 per month for 10 months.

A few others ideas I came across are to provide a month of free rent to residents who can provide you with a financial hardship letter from their employer, stating that they have been laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus. The other was to reduce rents to the point where you don’t make any money but are still able to cover all your expenses.

 

The 11 tips are to:

  1. Offer discounted rent to those who pay rent on-time or early
  2. Offer a repayment plan
  3. Allow residents to apply security deposit to rent
  4. Ask residents to pay for security deposit insurance
  5. Communicate with residents to see who can and cannot pay rent
  6. Volunteer your units for free to coronavirus volunteers
  7. Use federal or local programs created for landlords and renters
  8. Ask residents to pay rent with a credit card
  9. Offer an emergency repayment program
  10. Provide free rent to residents who lost their job
  11. Reduce rents to breakeven

 

What other strategies do you plan on implementing to collect rent?

 

Are you a newbie or a seasoned investor who wants to take their real estate investing to the next level? The 10-Week Apartment Syndication Mastery Program is for you. Joe Fairless and Trevor McGregor are ready to pull back the curtain to show you how to get into the game of apartment syndication. Click here to learn how to get started today.

 

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2019 H1 Cap Rates of the Nation’s Top 50 Multifamily Markets

Every 6 months, CBRE releases their bi-annual North American Cap Rate Survey, which calculates cap rates and expected return on cost based on recent transactions and interactions with active investors in markets across the country.

Download CBRE’s first half of 2019 report here.

The cap rate is the rate of return based on the income that an asset is expected to generate More specifically, it is the ratio of the net operating income and the current market value of the asset (cap rate = net operating income / current market value). Generally, at the same net operating income, the higher the cap rate, the lower the property value.

In multifamily investing, the cap rate is used by appraisers in order to determine the value of an apartment building being purchased or sold. Therefore, as investors, the cap rate can be used on the front end to help us determine a fair purchase price – although it is not as important as cash-on-cash (CoC) return and, if you’re an apartment syndicator, the internal rate of return (IRR). However, the cap rate is very important on the back end, because it is used to determine how much the investor or syndicator can sell their asset for, which determines how much profit they can make at sale.

 

Here are the cap rates at the end of the first half of 2019 of the nation’s top 50 tier I, II, and III multifamily markets for Class A, B, and C asset classes .

 

Tier I Markets

CBRE Research

 

Tier II Markets

CBRE Research

 

Tier III Markets

CBRE Research

 

Are you a newbie or a seasoned investor who wants to take their real estate investing to the next level? The 10-Week Apartment Syndication Mastery Program is for you. Joe Fairless and Trevor McGregor are ready to pull back the curtain to show you how to get into the game of apartment syndication. Click here to learn how to get started today.

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Does Your Apartment Deal Qualify For Agency Debt?

One of the most sought after loan programs by apartment investors and apartment syndicators alike is agency debt. That is, a loan secured from either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs generally have better, more competitive terms (i.e., interest rates, loan length, interest-only payments, etc.) compared to other common loan programs offered through your traditional banks or bridge loan lenders.

If you want to secure Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac debt, you not only need to find a deal that meets their loan requirements, but you as the borrower will also need to meet their experience requirements.

Here are the five questions you need to answer, which will determine whether you and your deal will qualify for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac agency debt:

 

1. What is The Purchase Price?

The price at which you’re purchasing the asset will determine if your deal exceeds Fannie Mae’s or Freddie Mac’s minimum loan amounts and is below the maximum loan amounts.

If you are pursuing a non-rehab loan, the minimum loan amount is $750,000. To determine the minimum purchase price, you need to divided the minimum loan amount by the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) offered, which is 80%. Therefore, if the purchase price is less than $937,500 (i.e., a loan less than $750,000), the deal will not qualify for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac debt. If the purchase price is greater than $937,500, the deal may potentially qualify for agency debt – assuming the other requirements outlined in the next sections are met.

The agencies also have a maximum amount of money they are willing to loan. Freddie Mac has a $100 million cap on the amount of money they will loan for a non-rehab project, which means the purchase price must be below $125 million. Whereas Fannie Mae is more flexible with $100 million plus loans.

If you are pursuing a rehab loan, the minimum loan amount is $10,000,000 with no maximum and the maximum LTC is 80% for Fannie Mae. Therefore, the purchase price plus total project costs must exceed $12,500,000 in order to potential qualify for a Fannie Mae rehab loan. Freddie Mac is more flexible with their rehab loans and base the loan amount on the LTC (up to 85%) and debt service coverage ratio (DSCR).

 

2. What is the DSCR?

The debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) is calculated by dividing the debt service by the current net operating income. If you know the DSCR and current net operating income, you can calculate the debt service (debt service = current net operating income / DSCR). Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have minimum debt service coverage ratio requirements, which essentially mean that the deal needs to exceed a certain net operating income level to qualify for agency debt. If the net operating income is too low, you will likely need to put down a lot of money to qualify, which will likely reduce the returns to the point where the deal won’t make sense.

If you are pursuing a non-rehab loan, the minimum DSCR for Fannie Mae is 1.25. That is, the current net operating income must be at least 25% greater than the debt service. The minimum DSCR for Freddie Mac varies based on the market:

  • Top markets: 1.20 DSCR
  • Standard markets: 1.25 DSCR
  • Small markets: 1.30 DSCR
  • Very small markets: 1.40 DSCR

If you are pursuing a rehab loan, the minimum DSCR is 1.25 for Fannie Mae and 1.10 for Freddie Mac.

 

3. What are The Occupancy Rates?

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have physical and economic occupancy rate requirements for their non-rehab loan programs.

Physical occupancy is the rate of occupied units and economic occupancy is the rate of paying residents. If the physical occupancy rate is less than 85% and/or the economic occupancy rate is less than 80% ninety days before the closing date, the deal will not qualify for agency debt.

However, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not take occupancy levels into account for their rehab loan programs.

 

4. What are The Renovation Costs?

In order to qualify for a renovation loan through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the per unit cost must exceed their minimum amounts and must not exceed their maximum amounts.

If the per unit cost to rehab the apartment deal is less than $10,000 or greater than $60,000 per unit, which includes interior and exterior capital expenditure projects, the deal will not qualify for a rehab agency loan.

 

5. What is Your Experience?

In order to qualify for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac debt, you or someone else signing on the loan must have previous multifamily experience.

If you are pursuing a non-rehab loan, you must have a strong track record in the multifamily industry (although, some exceptions are made if you are a local owner). Additionally, the person or people signing on the loan must have a net worth equal to the loan amount and liquidity equal to 9 months of debt service.

If you are pursuing a rehab loan, you must have a strong track record in multifamily rehabilitation.

 

Above at the minimum requirements to qualify for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac debt. However, is you and the deal meet all of the above requirements, it doesn’t mean you will qualify for all agency loan programs. The purpose of this blog post is to give you an idea of whether you will qualify for one of the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan programs. If you and the deal meet all of the above requirements, the next step is to contact a commercial mortgage broker to discuss your options.

 

Are you an accredited investor who is interested in learning more about passively investing in apartment communities? Click here for the only comprehensive resource for passive apartment investors.

 

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5 Most Desired Apartment Amenities in 2019

They type of amenities you have to offer at your smaller rentals or larger apartment community will have a direct impact on your bottom-line.

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), 20% of renters say that the reason why they’ve decided to move to a different apartment community is to seek out better community amenities.

Therefore, if your target renter demographic doesn’t like the amenities offered at your multifamily property, there is an increased likelihood that they will vacate and move to one of your competitors.

One way to determine the amenities that are in demand in your market is to create an amenities checklist when underwriting deals. That is, locate the most sought-after apartment communities in the market, create a spreadsheet that lists out all of their exterior and interior amenities, calculate the rent per square foot, and determine how much you could raise the rents at the property you are underwriting if you were to add those amenities (along with an interior value-add business plan).

Another strategy is to determine what prospective residents are searching for when looking to a place to live. Here are the top amenities categories renters are searching for on Apartments.com, the most visited apartment listing site in the country, in 2019:

 

1 – Shared Outdoor Amenities

The first category of amenities that renters are searching for are shared outdoor amenities. The top amenities are outdoor community spaces like fire pits, brick ovens, rooftop terraces, private balconies, hiking and bike trails, bike cleaning station, pet cleaning station.

In fact, “balcony space” and “dog-friendly” were top keywords searched on Apartments.com.

 

2 – Shared Indoor Amenities

Similarly, renters are also searching for shared indoor amenities when considering a place to rent. These indoor community spaces include coffee shops, movie theaters, spas, salons, music rooms, golf simulators, and wine cellars.

68% of renters search for 1-bed and 2-bed units on Apartments.com, so shared outdoor and indoor amenities allow them to meet neighbors and enjoy activities that obviously don’t fit in their smaller units, all without having to leave the apartment grounds.

 

3 – Smart Devices

In the age of constant technological innovates, renters desire Smart devices in their homes in order to automate tasks that were previously manual. These include smart locks so that they can unlock and lock their doors from their phones, and smart thermostats that allow them to change the room temperature on their phones.

 

4 – Eco-Friendly Amenities

Eco-friendly amenities are also popular among renters. NMHC found that 75% of renters are interested in recycling options and 65% are interest in green initiatives.

Examples of desired eco-friendly amenities include sustainability and green programs, like low-flow showerheads or Smart showerheads that allows you to track water usage and control the water temperature on your cell phone cell phone, on-site renewable energy, and car sharing services.

 

5 – Artistic Amenities

Lastly, and surprisingly, renters are interested in having nice art in their units. A great amenity is a digital art frame, which allows renters to choose artwork from the best artists and change them as frequently as they want.

 

 

Overall, you want to make sure you are staying up-to-date with the types of amenities your renter demographic desires. As you can see from this blog post, the hottest trend right now are smart devices. For more information on the best smart device brands, click here.

 

Are you an accredited investor who is interested in learning more about passively investing in apartment communities? Click here for the only comprehensive resource for passive apartment investors.

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Looking at The Sales Comparison Approach (SCA)

The approach is used as the basis for comparative market analysis (C.M.A.), which is an analysis of the prices of recently sold properties that are similar and within the same geographic area. It’s important to note that the sales comparison approach is not an official appraisal, and if a property is unique, a formal appraisal might be needed. One of the best ways to determine multifamily and commercial investment real estate value is by doing a thorough analysis of the property’s physical and financial status. CAP rates are another good way to compare your sale price with others who have sold in your area.

To get sales comparison information you can do things like:

  1. Visit websites like apartments.com and craigslist.com to search for similar properties and units
  2. Get the comparison from your broker
  3. Get survey for rents from your property manager
  4. Access a local MLS listing
  5. Walk the property and visit apartments yourself physically

Make sure that you compile all that data to the spreadsheet and focus on rent per square foot mainly to compare your property to another.

A few great places to start your search is by looking at research from the major real estate brokerage companies in your area as well.  A few of the national real estate brokerage firms that have great research reports are Marcus and Millichap and CBRE.

These companies produce research reports each quarter that you can get for free by registering on their websites.  These research reports can tell you very valuable information such as; what properties have sold in your area, what they sold for, going CAP rates in your area, and comparable price per unit sales information.  They can also tell you how your area compares to the rest of the US and their forecasts for how these numbers might change in the future.

As you may know we have a book when it comes to starting your syndication business from the ground up called “Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book”, so make sure you grab your copy and start making investments in yourself and building your real estate business and if you are you an accredited investor who is interested in learning more about passively investing in apartment communities? Click here for the only comprehensive resource for passive apartment investors.

 

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tall apartment buildings in a line

Best Ways for Apartment Investors to Manage Difficult or Bad Tenants

You feel like pulling your hair out over the tenant in Unit 355. Again.

Thankfully, most of your apartment building’s tenants are good. Unfortunately, there are some bad apples in the bunch, too. And these bad apples are causing you to have a pretty rotten landlord experience.

The reality is, sometimes you have no choice but to deal with difficult or bad tenants. The good news, though, is that you can handle them with confidence and thus protect your real estate investment long term. Here’s a rundown on how to deal with band tenants.

Record Everything

An important step to take to protect yourself against bad tenants is to keep a written record of everything you do and say when interacting with each tenant.

Yes, this will add more to your workload. However, it’ll also reduce the likelihood that a bad renter will attempt to dispute something with you—like a certain charge. So, it’ll pay off in the long run.

Remain Rational

Your first reaction when a tenant tries to pull one over on you or ignore your request is to become livid. And understandably so. But you won’t make the situation any better by being hot-tempered.

Before you confront bad tenants, make certain that you haven’t allowed your feelings to take over your rational thought process. To do this, consider going through a cool-down period—maybe even an overnight one—before you speak with the tenant.

The truth is, a bad tenant will likely be much more willing to listen to you if you approach him in a calm and collected manner.

Create a Positive Atmosphere for Your Tenants

Another way you can diffuse a difficult tenant is to be overly kind in your dealings with him or her. In other words, if you’re wondering how to deal with bad tenants, go above and beyond in your efforts to be hospitable to the renter.

For instance, you can respond right away to the tenant’s calls or emails, or show extreme patience when interacting with him or her. This may seem counterintuitive, but if you treat bad tenants with respect, they may be more willing to work with you.

Set the Standard for How You Will Be Treated

Although being kind, patient, and helpful when interacting with bad tenants is certainly important, you also need to establish the standard for how your tenants will treat you.

As an example, let’s say that a tenant fails to pay his rent in a timely manner. If you don’t penalize him with a late fee, he may assume he can repeat this “mistake” again next month without consequence. In addition, other tenants may be studying the situation to see how you react to it.

If you allow the problem to fester, your other tenants may attempt to get out of paying their rent on time, and you’ll quickly lose control of your tenants and your property. However, if you institute a fee for your late-paying tenant, he may be more apt to pay his rent on time in the months ahead. And your other tenants will follow suit.

Now, let’s say you penalize your late-paying tenants but still cannot get them to pay up promptly. In this situation, follow up with the tenants constantly. By doing this, you’re showing the tenants that you won’t forget the problem and that they need to address it right away to avoid future negative consequences.

Utilize Property Management

Sometimes tenants will be difficult even if you take extra steps to satiate them. For this reason, if you’re wondering how to deal with bad tenants, consider hiring a property manager to help you.

A property manager will chase down late payments for you and facilitate necessary unit repairs. Thus, using a property management company will save you time and eliminate unnecessary stress for you.

Just be sure to hire a manager who has extensive experience in managing apartment properties. Also, verify that your prospective manager is comfortable with handling all of the tasks you’ll need assistance with. In addition, choose a manager who has positive online reviews and/or references.

Get Rid of the Difficult Tenants

You may get to the point where you can no longer handle a tenant. In this situation, you should ask the tenant to move out. Getting bad tenants to vacate the premises can certainly be challenging. However, it’s not impossible.

To eliminate your difficult tenants, just send them written notices to vacate. They’ll leave if they don’t want additional trouble. However, to make moving out even more enticing, offer to return their security deposits to them if they move out within a certain timeframe.

If this doesn’t work and they refuse to move out, you’ll need to begin the process of evicting them.

Evict the Bad Tenants

Evicting a tenant can be a costly and time-consuming process, so it should be your final resort if you’re dealing with a difficult tenant.

As a general rule of thumb, you have legal grounds to evict tenants if they’ve failed to make their rent payments. You can also evict a tenant who doesn’t move out after his or her lease has ended. Finally, eviction is possible if your tenant has violated his or her lease terms.

Take a good look at your lease to see if you need to add extra clauses that will protect your best interests in the future. For instance, you may want your lease to include a clause about drug and criminal activity being grounds for immediate lease termination.

Protect Yourself Against Bad Tenants Today

Figuring out how to deal with bad tenants isn’t always easy. And it’s certainly not fun. However, it’s critical if you want to remain a successful real estate investor in the years ahead.

I can help you to safeguard your real estate investing business by dealing appropriately with bad tenants. Get in touch with me today to learn more about how to handle difficult tenants in the most personally beneficial manner possible.

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What Are the Cap Rate Trends in Your Target Apartment Investment Market?

Each year, Integra Realty Resources (IRR) releases their ViewPoint report, which analyzes commercial real estate trends and forecasts performance for the coming year. One of the factors they track are the market cycles for the top MSAs (which you can find here). Another important factor they track are cap rates.

The cap rate is the rate of return based on the income that an asset is expected to generate More specifically, it is the ratio of the net operating income and the current market value of the asset (cap rate = net operating income / current market value). Generally, at the same net operating income, the higher the cap rate, the lower the property value.

In multifamily investing, the cap rate is used by appraisers in order to determine the value of an apartment building being purchased or sold. Therefore, as investors, the cap rate can be used on the front end to help us determine a fair purchase price – although it is not as important as cash-on-cash (CoC) return and, if you’re an apartment syndicator, the internal rate of return (IRR). However, the cap rate is very important on the back end, because it is used to determine how much the investor or syndicator can sell their asset for, which determines how much profit they can make at sale.

IRR tracks the cap rate for urban and suburban Class A and Class B multifamily products both nationally and regionally, as well as the year-over-year change (measured as BPS, or basis points, where 1 BPS is equal to 0.01%).

Here is the most recent cap rate data for multifamily real estate from IRR’s 2019 ViewPoint report:

 

National

  Cap Rate YoY Change (BPS)
Urban Class A 5.30% +2
Urban Class B 6.11% -3
Suburban Class A 5.47% +2
Suburban Class B 6.32% 0

 

 

South Region

  Cap Rate YoY Change (BPS)
Urban Class A 5.39% -1
Urban Class B 6.23% -4
Suburban Class A 5.54% -8
Suburban Class B 6.48% -2

 

East Region

  Cap Rate YoY Change (BPS)
Urban Class A 5.33% +14
Urban Class B 6.28% 0
Suburban Class A 5.70% +27
Suburban Class B 6.60% +5

 

Central Region

  Cap Rate YoY Change (BPS)
Urban Class A 5.97% -2
Urban Class B 6.83% -2
Suburban Class A 6.01% -2
Suburban Class B 6.85% -2

 

West Region

  Cap Rate YoY Change (BPS)
Urban Class A 4.52% 0
Urban Class B 5.12% -4
Suburban Class A 4.71% 0
Suburban Class B 5.34% 0

 

Are you an accredited investor who is interested in learning more about passively investing in apartment communities? Click here for the only comprehensive resource for passive apartment investors.

 

 

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Here’s Why Buying Apartments is the Most Timeless Investment Strategy

We’ve all read articles that tell us how much money we would have made if we had invested in a major stock when it first became public. If we would have invested $100,000 in Apple in 2009, it would be worth over $1 million today. However, if you waited and invested that same $100,000 in Apple in 2014, you would have lost over $70,000. So, in order to make huge gains in the stock market, you must “time the market” or, in other words, speculate.

That is one of the major advantages that real estate investing, and multifamily investing in particular, has over investing in the stock market. As long as you follow my Three Immutable Laws of Real Estate Investing, you will make consistent cash flow without having to time the market.

And as evidence to support this claim, here is how much money you would have made if you invested $100,000 into a multifamily building every five years starting in 1985, according to the NCREIF Property Index:

 

If you invested $100,000 in 1985, you would have made $43,370 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
1985 11.14% $11,140
1986 6.93% $6,930
1987 6.78% $6,780
1988 9.97% $9,970
1989 8.55% $8,550
Total 43.37% $43,370

 

If you invested $100,000 in 1990, you would have made $26,130 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
1990 5.69% $5,690
1991 -1.31% -$1,310
1992 1.71% $1,710
1993 8.47% $8,470
1994 11.57% $11,570
Total 26.13% $26,130

 

If you invested $100,000 in 1995, you would have made $59,260 in five years.

Year NPI (%) Cash Flow
1995 11.19% $11,190
1996 11.07% $11,070
1997 12.33% $12,330
1998 13.43% $13,430
1999 11.24% $11,240
Total 59.26% $59,260

 

If you invested $100,000 in 2000, you would have made $51,020 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
2000 12.41% $12,410
2001 9.06% $9,060
2002 8.48% $8,480
2003 8.62% $8,620
2004 12.45% $12,450
Total 51.02% $51,020

 

If you invested $100,000 in 2005, you would have made $18,640 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
2005 19.68% $19,680
2006 13.89% $13,890
2007 10.91% $10,910
2008 -7.20% -$7,200
2009 -18.64% -$18,640
Total 18.64% $18,640

 

If you invested in 2010, you would have made $62,570 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
2010 17.19% $17,190
2011 14.63% $14,630
2012 10.80% $10,800
2013 10.03% $10,030
2014 9.92% $9,920
Total 62.57% $62,570

 

Since NCREIF began calculating their property index, apartments have seen a positive cash flow during every five year interval, even during the period that includes the 2008, 2009 economic recession. The best five year period is 2010 to 2014 (62.57% NPI) and the worst five year period was 2005 to 2009 (18.64% NPI).

If you are interested in seeing the quarterly NPI breakdown for apartments, other commercial real estate classes, click here.

 

Are you an accredited investor who is interested in learning more about passively investing in apartment communities? Click here for the only comprehensive resource for passive apartment investors.

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FOUR (LITTLE KNOWN) KEYS TO FINDING THE BEST MULTI-FAMILY DEALS IN YOUR MARKET

Four (Little Known) Keys To Finding The Best Multi-Family Deals In Your Market

Finding the best apartment deals can be a bit tough if you have no idea how to go about it.

You find yourself asking questions like:

  • How do I go about it?
  • Do I use a broker or not?
  • Where can I find the best apartment deals?
  • How can I get these deals when I find them?

It’s alright; everyone starts somewhere. And today, you’re going to learn a straight forward, direct approach to finding off-market deals in your area.

Let’s get started!

 

Start on the internet.

Sounds simple right?

That’s because it is…

No matter what your investing criteria, chances are you can find a list of matching properties on ListSource. From there you can skip trace to find the owner’s contact information.

Get in contact with the owners by sending them emails, using cold calls and sending text messages – using multiple contact channels increases your likelihood of getting them on the phone (which is where most real estate deals actually get done).

 

Buy directly from the seller if you can

I interviewed James Kandasamy, owner of Achievement Investment Group, who told us “Both of my first two properties were bought directly from the seller. We use our own strategy to get in touch with the sellers and work directly with them. That’s the primary point on why we were able to get it at a good price/door.”

It’s hard to depend on brokers because they have a responsibility to make sure that they get the highest price for the sellers as well. The best deals will typically come directly from the owner.

There are a lot of sellers out there with problems that they do not want to bring to the market, which makes it easier to get the best price directly from them.

The key is to build a relationship with the seller. Any real estate deal of this type needs to based on trust; without it, you’ll be lucky to get past the front door, much less to the signing table.

How do you build trust with a seller? By being honest and true to your word over time. But beyond that, the way you communicate and carry yourself throughout the deal will have a big effect on whether the seller feels they can depend on you.

As an example, here’s the text James Kandasamy sent directly his sellers;

“Hi, I’m an apartment investor in this region (Central Texas) and I saw your property at XYZ, and I’m interested in buying it. You can sell it directly to me, without any broker’s commission. Would you like to talk further?”

 

You have to be persistent.

Truth is you might have to send over 500 text messages to get a deal. The response you’ll get back will be about 1%.

But all the money is within that 1%. It’s a numbers game, like so much in our industry.

The key to building a stable deal pipeline is persistence in following up and staying in contact with the sellers. Most investors follow up once or twice and lose interest. See this as what it is: an opportunity. A truly dedicated and dogged investor can make headway, even in a crowded market.

 

Be a problem solver.

James Kandasamy advises, “The money you make is a direct correlation to the value you provide. For me, it’s always you have to solve some problem to get extraordinary returns. If you are doing a deal which is stabilized you may get a good deal, but you’ll get a much better deal if there’s a problem in that deal and you’re able to solve it.”

Be a problem solver and you’ll be able to handle deals that other investors will be forced to walk away from.

Let us know in the comments about some of the biggest problems you’ve solved in your deals!

 

Image credit: Pixabay

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Navigating the Mechanics of an Apartment Deal

Navigating the Mechanics of an Apartment Deal

From the types of roof, electrical wiring, heating and cooling to the parking lot condition, windows and hot water heaters there are alot of checklist items to consider when negotiating your apartment deal.

Nathan Tabor shares his insight into some of the the nitty gritty so you won’t be left in the lurch after closing. Read on to find out what you may not have been thinking about for your ideal setup.

 

Check for city complaints

How do you know if the plumbing is alright? Or the electrical connections are okay?

“So the number one thing on top of my list that I do first when I start due diligence is to go to the housing authority or whoever is writing city complaints and get the last two years’ worth of city complaints. The reason why – I got burned on this.” says Nathan Tabor.

This will give you a general idea as to what issues you’ll be facing. From the housing complaints, you can determine what else is probably wrong with property revealing any expenses you will incur so you can factor them into your deal.

 

Thinking about the roof

The type of roof you have not only impacts your installation and maintenance costs, but plays a part in insurance costs as well.

Let’s look at pitched vs flat roofs. A flat roof is cheaper to install but that’s about as far as the benefits go. A pitched roof has a longer life span and has a more appealing appearance while flat roofs have an institutional vibe. You see a flat roof and the first thing you’re thinking about is a medical facility as opposed to something that feels like home.

Usually, flat roofs cost more to insure because they’re not going to last for very long and also have a greater chance of developing leaks. Not to mention the host of other problems a leaky roof would present in your apartment building.

Nathan on flat roofs: “…[With flat roofs] you’ve gotta climb up there often, make sure that the drains are unstopped… Depending on where you are in the South, flat roofs just make your electrical bills more, because in the summer it’s hotter, and in the winter you don’t get the sun.”

 

Look out for fire hydrants and mailboxes

Nathan sheds light on some other hidden costs:

“Do you know who owns the fire hydrants on the complex you’re getting ready to buy?”

Most folks would never think of this until there’s a gigantic puddle next to the fire hydrant. Sure, you can call the fire department to come over and fix it, but since it’s on private property you could be on the hook for a surprise $6,000 expense.

Nathan on multi-unit aluminum mailboxes: “I just thought hey, it’s stamped on the side of it “Property of the USPS”, they maintain it. Guess what they don’t do? They don’t maintain them.”

When Nathan looked into the replacement cost of a 4’x4’ mailbox seven years ago it was…wait for it…$1,800.

 

Water metering

Having one meter on a multi-unit complex means you’re footing the bill for your tenants no matter who is taking 20-minute showers, outside washing their cars or letting their faucets run. Having individually metered units means you can bill your tenants individually holding them responsible for their own water needs. If you’re looking at buying a complex with a single meter find out the the average cost of the total water bill. Then weigh the cost of conversion and savings over time to help you decide which route you want to take.

What does your due diligence look like? Let us know in the comments.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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