A month into the process of rehabbing our 80 unit building in Emporia, we’ve now just re-launched the new Courtyard Apartments. There hasn’t been time to complete many major upgrades yet, but we’ve done an awful lot of work on small things that add up to a big overall improvements. Part of the marketing campaign involves getting out into the community and making it known what good work we’re doing with Courtyard and how it is no longer the complex it used to be. One aspect of this is publicizing our activities with the press and community chamber of commerce. Our grand re-opening even made it into the news. What other kind of things have been done so far?
- new, well trained and responsive onsite management and maintenance staff with regular hours
- an actual marketing campaign
- Exterior and interior common area painting, adding a nice color splash
- replacement of old unsightly shingling
- trash removal
- some basic landscaping
- awning installation along the street side
- new signage
- spraying for bugs
- replacement of worn-down, rotten stairs, banisters, window sills, etc.
These items really combine to create a much better impression of the property, whether passing along the street, stopping in the office to find out more, touring the property and units, or making it your new residence. There are still many identified items in the pipeline to be repaired or improved, but so far we’ve already changed the entire feel of the property. It may be trite to say, but many times even just doing the little things to show that you care about the building and the experience for the tenants makes a huge difference. Of course, it’s important not to stop there!
Remember, the value you create is yours!
Just got back from checking out the work at our 80 unit property that we bought with 3 other partners about a month ago. I started looking into REI around the beginning of 2013, decided to jump into apartments after a few months considering niches, got myself initially educated and went looking for deals. Found a good partner and mentor who is great about helping out and explaining while listening to input – who knows or thinks of everything, right? We had a couple of deals fall apart in the due diligence phase due to issues with deferred maintenance. Price cures all, but only if your seller cares what a value-based price is. Those deals were still educational in and of themselves. I learned to be even more skeptical than my natural sense, since it seems like much of what you hear initially about a property is either inaccurate or incomplete. (Or worse!)
So, after a nearly 8 month long process, we closed on an 80 unit property in Kansas that was poorly maintained and managed even worse. The owner was making money, which seemed to be ok with them, even if they were leaving an awful lot of money on the table by not going to much effort to do a good job. Ultimately, of course, this is fine with me because by spending some time and effort that value becomes ours instead. It’s a win-win! I feel pretty comfortable with the project, having seen what’s been accomplished already and knowing what’s still to come in the near future. It’s a nice thing that the town is big enough for a full pool of tenants but small enough for talk about a changing reputation for the property to get around quickly.
I’m just glad it’s all very definitely real now, and not some theoretical thing in a planning stage that I very certainly intend to do. Now it’s time to go look for a few more!