The National Apartment Association has published a white paper outlining best practices for managing the increasing volume of package deliveries to residents. Below is an excerpt from NAA’s page where the white paper is free for NAA members. Remember, if you’re a PTAA member you’re a NAA member.
The number of packages received by multifamily consumers are growing each year, but the growth rate is slowing. RealPage analyzed package data from Sept. 1, 2014, to Aug. 31, 2018: 2015: 25 percent growth over 2014; 2016: 20 percent growth over 2015; 2017: 9 percent growth over 2016.
Isolating the peak holiday months each year, November and December, those two months consistently account for almost 20 percent of the annual volume. Package volume during those months is still growing but has slowed each year, with yearly numbers at 31 percent, 26 percent, and 6 percent, respectively, from 2015 to 2017. The decrease in overall percentage growth year over year can be attributed to how properties are better managing their package deliveries, such as by using technology, lockers, and storage. Growth in resident self-service, secure package smart rooms, and package locker delivery systems, in addition to some communities refusing deliveries, is reducing the need for staff to handle packages in their offices.
New rental housing communities must consider providing ample space for both delivery and storage, to ensure that the space can accommodate possible future needs such as smart-lock access and refrigerated storage. New properties should also consider placing trash and recycling bins close to the package room, to facilitate packaging disposal, and ensure appropriate Internet connectivity for delivery-related software.
For established communities, the most utilized package delivery methods are holding packages at the management oﬃce, allowing package carriers to deliver items directly to the resident’s door, and offering traditional, United States Postal Service (USPS) mailboxes. Many apartment leasing offices adjust the hours they’re open to accommodate package pick-up, especially during the holiday season, when package storage areas can’t accommodate high-volume delivery days. Resident satisfaction is a top priority for most management companies, so instituting a smooth package processing system, from package acceptance to resident delivery, is essential.
This document is free to NAA members and details best practices for such methods and explores additional solutions to consider. The pros and cons of various package management systems are reported—steps that could save administrative time, protect properties from liability, bring in potential additional revenue, and, above all else, enhance the resident experience.
Potential fraud related to Emotional Service Animals have been hogging the animal-related headlines in the apartment world over the last few years, but unauthorized pets continue to pose a large, and growing, problem for managers. From an article on NAA’s blog:
This often occurs when pet-free residents acquire a pet, pet sit or have pet visitors after initial move-in and do not report the pet activity to the community. With the rising popularity of gig economy businesses related to pet care, such as Rover and Wag!, more residents engage in some form of pet activity. To them, it might be ambiguous whether an animal they bring onsite is considered to be a pet at the community, if only temporarily.
The solution could be adopting technology that allows for pet screening up front instead of pet reporting policies:
For example, if Jason from 201-B adopts or pet-sits a dog that ends up biting a resident, the victim won’t take long to question the dog’s presence at the community.
Even if Jason’s dog is as sweet as can be and schmoozes nearby residents into becoming regular treat dispensers, the community is losing revenue. Jason certainly isn’t paying pet rent if he acquired the dog after his move-in date and never reported it and the dog might not comply with community regulations. Apartment operators often leave money on the table and increase their risk when pet-free residents such as this one end up acquiring a pet. The leasing team is often focused on other areas of business and are unable to stop and validate each dog they see during the course of their day.
Encouragingly, innovative solutions from third-party providers such as PetScreening.com, offer a way to close this loophole by requiring all residents – even those without pets – to acknowledge pet policies line-by-line during the application process. Pet owners set up an account and enter their pet’s medical and behavioral history for a small annual fee, enabling the community to have more visibility into their pet population and report any future incidents to a centralized database. Pet-free residents set up a free profile that requires them to report any new pet activity.
Real Data just released their March, 2019 survey report for the Piedmont Triad and the results show that the apartment market continues to be very strong here in the Piedmont Triad. They report that the average vacancy rate is 3.7%, down from 5.5% in March of 2018, and average rent is $898 ($0.943/SF) versus $842 ($0.888) this time last year. From their market summary:
The Triad apartment market continues to tighten with an average vacancy rate at just 3.7%. Over the last year demand has been strong with 2,595 units absorbed, easily offsetting the 1,487 units added to the supply over the same time period.
The development pipeline included 2,081 units under construction and another 4,462 units proposed. Guilford County is the most active with 1,183 units under construction and an average vacancy rate at 3.3%.
The region has posted strong rent growth of 4.5% over the past twelve months…
With demand expected to remain strong, the average vacancy rate should hold close to 4.0% over the next year. Rents will continue to grow an an annual rate of 4% to 4.5%.
You can buy a copy of Real Data’s full report here.
There’s no doubt that man communities in the United States, including here in the Piedmont Triad, are dealing with housing affordability challenges. There’s also no doubt that elected officials in cities, counties and states are looking for possible solutions to the affordability problem. Unfortunately some of the solutions that, on the surface, seem to make sense can actually make the problem worse.
One of the solutions that many elected leaders consider is rent control. Just this year Oregon became the first state to enact a statewide rent control law. Some cities, like New York, have long had rent control laws and yet their residents still have some of the highest rents in the country. So what gives?
That can be a complex question to answer, but thankfully the folks at Freakonomics have produced a show that does a great job of explaining why rent control actually makes the affordability challenge worse, not better. It’s well worth a listen so here’s a link to either listen to the podcast or read a transcript:
DIAMOND: When you pass rent control, the landlords of the property suddenly getting covered by rent control are losing so much money, they no longer really want to rent their apartments out at the prevailing new prices, so they decrease their supply of rental housing to the market. And if there’s less supply, that’s going to drive up prices.
DUBNER: Okay, so, let me just make sure I have it pretty straight. You find evidence that rent control increases gentrification, one component of which is the displacement of low-income tenants. On the other hand, you also find evidence that low-income people, including minorities — at least those who are in rent-controlled units already — they’re likely to disproportionately benefit from rent control.
So, if I’m an affordable-housing advocate, I might say, “Oh, fine, fancy Stanford professor — who I’m sure has some kind of great income and/or housing subsidy and/or situation — I don’t care that some landlords are suffering. I don’t care that the policy is having some downstream effects that you don’t like. I need to make sure that low-income people aren’t going to get a rent increase of 50 percent overnight.” So, how do you respond to that argument?
DIAMOND: So, when you think about those initial tenants, that’s the best bet you’re going to get for the benefits of rent control to low-income tenants: the people that are already in the housing. But even though we find that those tenants are much more likely to stay in their apartment, when we look 10, 15 years later, the share of those 1994 residents that are still there is down to 10 percent or so. So 90 percent of them no longer live in that initial apartment.
And it’s that next low-income tenant that wants to live in the city, that low-income tenant is going to have a very hard time finding an affordable option, because now there’s going to be less rental housing, the prices that that low-income tenant are going to face when they want to initially move in are going to be higher than they would have been absent rent control.
DUBNER: I’m curious how generalizable you think your findings from San Francisco are for other cities.
DIAMOND: I would suspect that the actual quantitative loss of rental supply or benefits to the tenant will depend a little bit city to city, but I think the qualitative takeaway that landlords are savvy and are going to work hard to not lose money on their investments, I think is a very general point.
A large Triad student apartment community has sold for $23.15 million, according to records with the Guilford County Register of Deeds.
OC Ventures, a Chicago-based real estate investment firm specializing in student housing, bought Spring Place Student Apartments at 3610 Clifton Road in Greensboro, near UNC-Greensboro, through 3610 Clifton Road Associates LLC. The sale was recorded in Guilford County April 8…
Built in 2009, Spring Place has 164 units on 13.2 acres.
RealPage released its rent report for the first quarter of 2019 which showed that the Triad had the fourth highest increase in the country. From an article in the Triad Business Journal:
Rent prices in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem metro area saw a 5.2 percent increase in the first quarter, with an average rent price of $830.
Greensboro/Winston-Salem ranked No. 4 in rent price increase among large metros, according to a first quarter apartment market report by RealPage Inc. (NASDAQ: RP). Phoenix, Arizona (up 8 percent), nabbed the top spot, followed by Las Vegas, Nevada (up 7.9 percent), and Atlanta, Georgia (up 5.3 percent). Charlotte ranked No. 11, with a 4 percent increase in rent prices.
Greensboro/Winston-Salem outpaced the national average, with U.S. apartment rents increasing by about 3.2 percent on an annual basis.
The recent sale of Towergate Apartments continues a trend of apartment purchases by companies from outside the region. From the Winston-Salem Journal:
Another Forsyth County apartment complex has been sold to an out-of-region buyer, this time Towergate Apartments in Winston-Salem for $10.94 million.
The buyer is Ginkgo Towergate LLC of Charlotte, and the seller is Towergate Associates LLC of Winston-Salem, according to a Forsyth County Register of Deeds filing Tuesday. The deal closed Tuesday….
The complex was built in 1985 and has 259 units within 25 buildings on 14.65 acres.
The sale is the latest of a recent spree of apartment complex purchases in the county…
Other recent apartment complex sales include: the 209-unit Carolina Woods in Winston-Salem for $11.5 million; 213-unit Loxley Chase in Winston-Salem selling for $16.25 million; 234-unit Morgan Place in Clemmons for $14.3 million; 204-unit Twin City Townhomes in Winston-Salem for $10.15 million; 144-unit Salem Crest in Winston-Salem for $7.5 million; 96-unit Woodlawn in Winston-Salem for $3.5 million; and the 49-unit apartment complex at 1976 Maryland Ave. in Winston-Salem for $1.45 million.
Over 500 members and guests of The Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (PTAA) gathered to celebrate individuals, communities, and supplier partners from their membership who were nominated and won recognition for achievements in the multifamily apartment industry in 2018.
professionals and apartment community on-site teams were nominated by peers and
supervisors, then submitted applications which were evaluated by multiple
judges in the apartment industry in areas outside of North Carolina. Finalists
were chosen using a scoring matrix comprised of financial performance,
community composite, personal performance, professional development and
recommendation letters. Leasing Professional and Community finalists were
subject to additional evaluation in the form of a secret or scheduled shop.
Supplier Partners were voted on by PTAA members who are apartment owner/operators. The companies receiving the highest number of votes in each category submitted applications and recommendation letters for review by impartial judges spanning multiple operational roles in the multifamily industry. The number of votes and a quantitative score from the applications were weighted equally to determine the winner. The Piedmont Triad Apartment Association has been recognizing member organizations with the annual Diamond Awards ceremony for more than 20 years.
following awards were presented for this year:
and Supplier Partner of the Year 2018 Awards
Rookie Supplier Partner of the Year:
Emergency Restoration Xperts
Rookie Maintenance Technician:
Chad Arndt | Addison Point
Rookie Leasing Professional:
Megan Sizemore | The Village Lofts
Advertising & Promotions Supplier:
Fast Signs High Point
The Gardens at Country Club |
Blue Ridge Companies
Briarleigh Park | Blue Ridge Companies
Campus Crossing | Signature Property Group
The Village Lofts |
Hawthorne Residential Partners
Additionally, PTAA also announced at the ceremony that their membership raised a record number of 419,057 meals in their 2018 summer food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. Each year, PTAA members collect canned food and financial donations in a friendly competition between apartment communities. This year Phillips Management Group and their communities collectively raised more than 78,000 meals. They were awarded the Clyde Fitzgerald Owners Cup, named for the late former CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, for 2018.