Closing 2021…

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As the second year of a “new normal” comes to a close, we want to take a moment and reflect on what we, as a community and an industry, have learned, how we have grown, and what we want to carry forward into the new year.

Throughout 2021, we’ve seen our staff, investors, clients, and partners face each day with…

Creativity: If we had to choose just one trait that embodied this year, creativity would be a strong contender. We’ve truly seen “if there’s a will, there’s a way” in action throughout the past 18+ months. While we hope there’s significantly less need for creativity in the new year, we are grateful and amazed by the creative ways we’ve seen investors diversify, our property managers attract tenants, and construction adapt to changing needs. We will be channeling this creativity to always better serve our community in the days, weeks, and years to come.

Increase Property Value With Smart, Eco-Friendly Proptech

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When you can prove to investors that your properties save water and energy, you increase their value. The less capital owners and investors throw down the drain (no pun intended), the more they can invest in amenities, renovations and other profit-generating projects. It’s easier than you think to increase property value with smart, eco-friendly proptech.

We’ll look at leak detection systems, smart thermostats, trash management and indoor building health. Residential and commercial property managers alike will find many of these tips profitable, and they are great additions to highlight in your property marketing.

Executive Director Message

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One must wonder…, but to me, it appears that the City of Los Angeles and its elected officials are a circus in search of their “Big Top” tent.  From the perspective of this rental housing provider, the acts being performed today within City Hall of the once great “City of Angels” only make sense when one realizes that the roles of the elected are being portrayed by a bunch of clowns.

As the Stephen Sondheim song goes, “Send in the clowns.”  Yes, we have all heard that song and apparently the voters in the City of Los Angeles have listened and heeded the songs advise.  “Send in the clowns…” and that we have.  Unfortunately, the actions being undertaken within the City of Los Angeles are not just “a little night music.”

How To Save Money On Utilities Despite Inflation, Using Ratio Billing

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Contributed by the Team at LIVABLE

Livable often hits double-digit utility usage decreases for buildings that implement the RUBS program – Ratio Utility Billing System. For example, in a fully occupied four-unit building, water and electricity use went down 31% in the first year that Livable’s RUBS was implemented.  In another case, with a 300-unit (plus) building, there were 24-percent reductions in usage and an 89-percent recovery rate. The result was over $180,000 recovered in just one-year of RUBS.

“Energy costs are getting higher, and the cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use.” ~ Paul Pettipas

RUBS helps get residents actively engaged with saving on utilities. Whether your property has multiple units varying in size, retail space, and/or common areas, Livable can customize allocation factors and billing frequency for your unique property and accurate billing to each Livable resident. 

Should landlords raise the rent just because they can?

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This is a provocative question that depends on a host of factors. Assuming a rent increase is permissible, is it advantageous to raise rents now? That’s what we attempt to answer here.

We were asked in this town hall webinar to make a prediction on how the outcome of the Presidential election would impact the rental housing community and we dodged the question a bit on a day when we awoke to an orange tint in the sky. Our response was that as the future got stranger and stranger, we were living day to day with the hope that we all would return to some semblance of normalcy soon, but had no understanding of what would occur next.

New Data Reveals How U.S. Property Managers can Better Meet Their Residents’ Expectations

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Stacy Holden

The one commonality between the various real estate markets across our nation is that everywhere, things have changed significantly in the past two years. And while much has been written about the state of both local and national residential markets, there is a gap when it comes to data that helps property owners and managers better understand the changed motivations, expectations, and perceptions that U.S. renters have of their property management companies or landlords. As a result, AppFolio conducted a national survey to provide property managers and landlords with a clearer understanding of how their renters perceive them.

Here’s the good news: nearly three-quarters of US renters surveyed said that they are satisfied with their property manager. However, a follow up question revealed that there’s a real opportunity to improve that level of satisfaction.

Leasing Whiplash! Techniques for a Strengthening Market

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Amid rising rents and tightening occupancy, operators see a hybrid future.

By Les Shaver, for the National Apartment Association

On a national level at least, the numbers say the apartment market took off over the summer. Just look at the July figures from RealPage: During the month, rents grew 8.3% year-over-year across the country—the most significant jump since the booming 2000-2001 era. At the same time, occupancy tightened to 96.9%—also the highest seen since the 2000-2001 era.

While performance in individual markets and product types varies, national fundamentals are predicted to remain robust in 2022 and even 2023. RealPage projects 15 markets to post rent growth of more than 10% during the next two years, and many other markets should see rent increases in the high single digits. 

Desperately Seeking Certainty: Considerations for Office Landlords and Tenants

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By Linda Koffman, Michael Manzi, and James Porter – Smith Gambrell Russell

(Editor’s Note: While the topic of the office market is a bit out of our “wheelhouse” here at our apartment association and may not fully align with our typical content on multifamily residential properties, many of our members currently own or are interested in investing in various types of commercial properties, including office buildings.  Whether you own or are interested in investing in an office building, or not, you will surely find this article of interest. Where the demand for office space goes, so goes the demand for residential rental properties to live in.)

When it comes to business, much time and money is devoted to limiting uncertainty, and this may be especially true in the real estate business.  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The longing for certainty … is in every human mind.  But certainty is generally illusion.”  And so, it was for office owners and tenants as the impact of COVID-19 began to take effect in March 2020. 

RED ALERT: Assembly Bill 854 May Force YOU to Stay In Rental Business…Even if YOU Are Losing Money!

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CALL TO ACTION: Please Help Us!  Contact the Members of the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee Immediately, Today!  Tell the Committee Members to vote NO on Assembly Bill 854.  We, as Landlords, have had enough already this year!  This bill has already been passed by the State’s Committee on Housing & Community Development…STOP IT from going any further.

Assembly Bill 854, proposed by Democratic, Northern California Assembly Member, Alex Lee, seeks to strip rental property owners of their rights to leave the rental housing business, even when YOU may be losing money!  Assembly Bill 854 is another re-treaded attack on California’s Ellis Act, and if passed and eventually signed by the Governor, it could become State Law compelling YOU to continue offering housing for rent or lease.

New Study on Millennials and Housing Takes on Intergenerational Conflict Over Home Ownership

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Millennials Blame Boomers and Older Generations for Affordability, Access Issues

Just as the younger generation of home buyers is reaching the point in their lives when they want to buy a starter home, they are entering a market where, simultaneously, Baby Boomers are deciding to downsize, putting a strain on available housing stock. With longer life expectancies and better overall health than any generation in history, Boomers are not quite ready to give up on private home ownership—and with the horror stories about retirement homes and care facilities during the pandemic, this attitude becomes understandable.  One survey respondent noted: “[Baby] Boomers need to stop buying starter homes as their retirement homes. It’s driving the cost up to where first-time home buyers can’t afford it.”

To further exasperate the problem for millennials trying to buy a home in this under-supplied market is that Baby Boomers are not their only competition. Baby Boomers are just the tip of the iceberg.  While millennials pin the blame on the older generations, a far less visible factor is the contingent of well financed institutional buyers who have collectively taken a lot of stock off the market. Private Equity investors and buyers have, in fact, contributed to the shortage of housing by doing what businesses in free market economies do best: identifying rising assets and acquiring them in bulk.