If one hundred people were to drive by your property and make a verbal comment what would they say? Would it be positive or negative? What do you think they would say about your property presentation?
When ten people see an accident seldom do all the stories line up perfectly, but when comparing all the information a pattern does begin to develop. The same is true for a multifamily property; over a period of time a property not only gains a reputation, but a certain level of standing in a community (for better or worse). I’m not referring to marketing or property management- just street level, drive-by, glance through the windshield presentation. What does your property say to the world that passes by your front door?
Property presentation is an owner’s initial visual contact with current and potential customers. There is just no getting around an un-kept parking lot or peeling paint, over-grown grass or broken window screens. These items are examples of low-cost repairs that should be eliminated as barriers to entry for new tenants and to assist in retaining current customers in a multifamily property. There are of course two things that a multifamily property owner never has enough of; cash and customers (whether cash for cap ex or variable cost, and customers, even if 100% occupied, then potential customers on a waiting list).
There is seldom cash to do all things all the time even for property presentation. For starters make a list of items that would increase curb appeal. Then rank these items in terms of costs. Do the things that cost the least first and work down the list towards the more expensive items. For example, let’s say there is rusted cast iron gates leading into the courtyard that really need to be replaced. For now, lightly sand and paint them. Example: there are over-grown trees in the parking lot that should be removed. For now trim them back. Example: there are thirty exterior lighting fixtures on buildings that are old and some no longer work. Find one or two suppliers that carry a long-standing product, buy and install two per month. Start with the most visible area’s and continue buying two each month until all are replaced. There are numerous things a property owner can accomplish to upgrade a site without breaking the bank. Example: hire a college age person to pick up the grounds every Saturday for two hours.
When looking at your property try to see what your customers see and ask yourself if their initial comment would be positive or negative. Work on the negatives, accentuate the positives. All while not losing sight of the budget. Just another day at the office. What fun! Growing revenue, that is…..
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Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel. We discuss best practices in multifamily management and methods related to how to buy apartment complexes. Our focus is sharing strategies and tactics that can be implemented and measured. For more information, visit: http://www.MultifamilyInsight.com