Freddie Mac’s Plan to Help Cap Rents

Freddie Mac is launching new lower-cost financing to apartment owners who agree to cap rent increases for the life of the loans. From an article in the Wall Street Journal:

The program, announced Tuesday, will begin immediately and be available all over the country. Mr. Brickman said he hopes hundreds of properties will take advantage of it.

The initiative comes at a potentially appealing time for real-estate investors who are facing a slowing rental market. Freddie Mac will provide mezzanine debt—which is more risky but pays a higher interest rate than senior debt—at below market cost.

While rent increases have naturally slowed over the past year or so, the initiative protects tenants from steep hikes when the market accelerates again. Operators who receive the low-cost loans must have at least 50% of the units affordable to households making the local median income or below. Borrowers must then agree to limit rent growth on 80% of units.

Colorado Company Purchases Triad Apartment Portfolio

From the Triad Business Journal:

Interurban Properties of Centennial, Colo., has purchased Loxley Place Apartments in Winston-Salem for $16.25 million from Graycliff Capital of Greenville. Loxley Place is at 3736 Kings Row in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood, just north of Robinhood Road.

In May, Interurban bought Springhouse Apartments, Ambercrest and The Fields Parkside in Winston-Salem for $26.3 million and rebranded the communities as the 433-unit View at 5010.

In August 2017, Interurban bought Southgate Gardens and Piedmont Trace, adjacent multi-family communities with 114 units on 12.32 acres at 209 Arthur Drive in Thomasville, for $5.1 million.

In January 2017, Interurban closed on a $9.5 million acquistion of Madison Hall Apartments in Clemmons, a 10.5-acre, 128-unit complex on Idols Road.

Interurban also owns Stadler Place in Greensboro and The Trails at Bethabara in Winston-Salem.

Gender Disparity in Multifamily Leadership

Multifamily Executive has an in-depth article about gender disparity in the executive ranks of the multifamily industry. It’s worth a full read, but here are some highlights:

In a study commissioned by MFE, executive compensation research firm Equilar found that women are shut out of the boards of directors of four of the country’s top 16 multifamily REITs: Blue Rock, BRT Apartments, NexPoint Residential Trust, and Preferred Apartment Communities. The analysis also found that women account for 17.2% of all board members, slightly below the Equilar 500 average of 20.9% female and just above the Russell 3000 average of 16%.

A dive into the 16 REITs’ SEC filings reveals that females are more sparsely represented as named executive officers (NEOs), or the companies’ most highly compensated officers—11 of the 16 had no female NEOs. The same four REITs that have no women on their boards also have no female NEOs…

In addition, while women make almost as much as men when they start out in commercial real estate, their compensation falls well below their peers once they hit 40 and approach the C-suite. Overall, the industry median annual compensation is $115,000 for women and $150,000 for men, CREW found.

So what are the chances that significant progress will be made on gender equity in multifamily? Pretty good once the Boomers start retiring:

“We’ve made a modicum of progress,” says CREW CEO Wendy Mann. “And we still have a long way to go. Really.” She believes transformation is imminent, however, as baby boomers retire in the next five to 10 years, creating “a great departure in male leadership.” She predicts “a huge groundswell of women now in their late 40s and early 50s” will step into the void, pushing companies closer to parity. “Do I think it will be 50–50?” she says. “Maybe not. But I think we’ll see a difference.”

Bell Partners Expands Presence Out West

Bell Partners has expanded its presence on the left coast:

Bell Partners Inc…has been awarded a contract to manage multifamily assets in California and Washington.

The 17 apartment communities are owned by JB Matteson Inc., a San Francisco-based private real estate investment firm, and are valued at more than $1 billion.

“The JBM assets are a perfect complement to our existing $250 million California portfolio,” said Bell Partners’ CEO Jon Bell. “Bell has plans to continue expanding its footprint on the West Coast, and this new relationship is a clear example of our commitment to that objective. We are eager to grow our scale in these important apartment markets and look forward to cultivating an even deeper relationship with JB Matteson in the future.”

In recent years Bell has been concentrating on expanding out west, including three recent purchases in California for a combined $264.9 million.

Beverly Hills Company Buys Two Triad Properties for $14.6 Million

A Beverly Hills-based company has entered the Triad market with acquisitions in Winston-Salem. From a story in the Triad Business Journal:

A Beverly Hills, California, real estate investment firm has purchased adjacent Triad apartment communities for a combined $14.6 million, and is rebranding them under one name.

Evan Goldenberg, the principal of EBEX Holdings, told Triad Business Journal that The Ledges and 96 Ardsley, located along Ardsley Street in Winston-Salem’s Ardmore neighborhood, would be combined for rebranding as “The Residences at Diamond Ridge.”

Goldenberg said the purchases from LLCs managed by Charles Douthit of Raleigh are EBEX’s first in the Triad. He told TBJ that he has at least one other Triad apartment deal in the works, but is not ready to announce it. EBEX owns the 348-unit Arcadian Village apartments in Charlotte and two 100-unit complexes in Spartanburg, S.C.

Wellington Advisors will manage Diamond Ridge.

When Owners of Assistance Animals Break the Rules

Rental Housing Journal had a recent article with some tips on how you can manage assistance animals on your property:

What can you do if owners of assistance animals break the rules?

You can take action when residents with assistance animals violate community rules. However, proceed carefully and consult your legal counsel.

 Give the resident opportunities to remedy the situation before taking steps to remove the animal.

Send written warnings recognizing that the animal is an assistance animal, and reminding the resident that they must follow reasonable rules of conduct.

 If the situation continues, let the resident know that if the problem persists the animal may have to be removed and alternative accommodations will be explored.

 Document disturbances or damage in writing and with photographs if possible. Phone or in-person conversations will not be as useful as written documentation if you find yourself in legal proceedings.

Having Hiring Issues? You Aren’t Alone

 

Source: Winston-Salem Journal

If you’re having a hard time staffing up your communities you’re part of a larger trend in North Carolina that’s particularly prevalent here in the Triad: lack of skilled, willing workers to fill open positions. From a report in the Winston-Salem Journal:

About half of North Carolina’s employers — corporations, small businesses, and mom-and-pop stores — are struggling to find qualified workers for open jobs.

The difficulties are even larger — at 61 percent — within the Triad…

In the Triad and other medium metro areas, 67.3 percent of employers cited employability as a challenge, along with soft skills (57.1 percent), technical skills (55 percent), lack of qualified applicants (54.1 percent) and lack of preferred work experience (52.1 percent).

So when you find yourself looking for a maintenance tech, again, just know that you aren’t alone in your struggles.

 

It Might Be Goofy, But It’s for a Good Cause

On July 12, 2018 WFMY News 2 stopped by the PTAA office to interview Jon Lowder about some of the stunts he’s pulled to support PTAA’s food drive. Despite Jon having a face for radio, it turned out pretty well. Take a look:

 Want to get in on the game? You can support Jon’s latest stunt by donating here.

Thompson Joins Carlisle Residential as Chief Marketing Officer

Carlisle Residential Properties announced this week that Kevin Thompson will be joining the company as Chief Marketing Officer. From an article in Multifamily Pro:

Carlisle Residential Properties, a leading apartment management and investment company throughout the Carolinas, announced today that it has hired Kevin Thompson as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Thompson, who joins the Company effective August 1st, will oversee all corporate and community-level Marketing, Branding, Communications, and Public Relations. Thompson will report directly to Matthew Rankin, Carlisle’s President and CEO.

Rankin stated, “We’re very pleased to welcome Kevin to our senior team. Our communications and marketing needs have steadily increased with our growing portfolio and strategic direction. Kevin, with his considerable experience both inside and outside the apartment industry, brings the strategic leadership we need to move to the next level in our Company’s development.”

…For the last six years, Thompson served as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Bell Partners, Inc. He is a member of the Zillow Advisory Board, Vice-Chairman of the National Multihousing Council’s Branding Subcommittee, and a frequent speaker and panelist at industry conferences.

REIT Industry Hits Gender Diversity Milestone

The REIT industry is beginning to make some headway on diversity, and this year it hit a significant milestone:

The real-estate investment trust sector has named a record number of women to board positions in 2018, a sign that this mostly male-dominated industry is reacting to pressure on American corporations to diversify.

Of the 94 REIT directors newly elected during the spring proxy season, 49—or 52%—are women, according to a study by Ferguson Partners, a professional services firm specializing in executive and board recruitment. It was the first time men comprised less than the majority of the new directors, Ferguson Partners said.

REITs also did much better than the overall market. In 2018, 32% of newly elected directors in the Russell 3000 are women.

That doesn’t mean there still isn’t work to be done on the diversity front – the article also notes that just 17.5% of all directors on REIT boards – but that number should continue to grow because REITs are starting to adjust outdated recruiting standards so they can consider a more diverse slate of candidates. Oh, and it ends up its good business:

REITs with more than the average percentage of women on its boards (15.5%) achieved higher average price and total returns between 2006-2017, according to a report by Wells Fargo Securities analysts Jeff Donnelly and Dori Kesten published in March.