Focus on Value-Add Renovations for Big Gains
While it might be tempting for developers to focus on new builds, you can get a lot of bang for your buck by improving the properties you already own.
At the end of a year, it seems like we’re pressured to make resolutions for the next one. But, sometimes, we’re in such a rush to plan for the new, that we don’t take the time to celebrate what we accomplished during the current year.
What are you proudest of that you accomplished in 2023?
For me, there are professional successes and personal achievements. But, when I look back, there’s one, small thing I did that leaves me fulfilled, gives me confidence and makes me smile: I did a push-up.
Yup, a push-up.
I’ve run marathons. I was on the swim team in high school. But I had never been able to do a push-up before. In school, when we were forced to do them during the Presidential Fitness Test, I (barely) did one, but it was with my knees on the ground (which used to be called “girl push-ups,” but the less we say about that sexist term the better), and I couldn’t get all the way down.
But this year, I did it—knees off the ground, chest all the way down to the mat, and back up. It took me months to get there. Lots of strength training. And push-ups on my knees. And telling myself to try, and that if I couldn’t get back up, that would be OK. Lots of times I couldn’t. And then I could. And now I can.
Similarly, for multifamily owners, developers and operators, I know the tendency is to also look to what’s coming next: Where should we build our newest property? What’s the newest hot amenity? But it’s also important to take stock of your current communities and celebrate successes there. And, especially in a tough market, it might to be a good strategy to focus on value-add renovations rather than new builds.
As Gabe Frank details in “Breathing New Life Into Older Apartment Properties,” value-add renovations can “keep properties’ affordability and accessibility intact.”
“We are trying to target well-located, physically differentiated Class B apartments that have been capital-starved or undermanaged, and we are investing in them to return them to their rightful place in the competitive set,” Joshua Grossman of GID explained to Frank.
Whether it be adding new signage and landscaping to attract new renters, or conquering a new athletic feat, sometimes it’s the smaller things you do during a year that will bring you the most returns in the next one.
I hope you all have a festive holiday season and a happy New Year. And I hope you take the time to celebrate all your accomplishments, no matter how (seemingly) minor.