Multifamily Industry Resolutions for a New Year

The commencement of a new year is a natural time to evaluate where things stand and consider improvements for the future. I’ve put together a list of New Year’s resolutions for the apartment industry.

Editorial Director Suzann D. Silverman

The commencement of a new year is a natural time to evaluate where things stand and consider improvements for the future. For the apartment industry, it’s a good time to take stock of your portfolio and your balance sheet. So I’ve put together a list of New Year’s resolutions you may want to consider:

  • Make educated decisions. We’re entering the new year with a questionable economy. There’s a lot of disagreement over whether there will be a recession or just a soft landing, whether interest rates will be raised again, left alone or reduced. But there’s also a lot of data and analysis available that can really help you address the what-ifs.
  • Be prepared. It’s not the Boy Scout motto for nothing. Knowing what trends are coming allows you to make smart decisions to keep your properties desirable while purchasing smartly. This month’s feature article by Jeffrey Steele on the “Top 12 Multifamily Predictions for 2024” provides a good checklist.
  • Choose like-minded partners. Now is not the time to work with someone who has a different appetite for risk, desired hold period or approach to financing. Alignment of interests will keep you focused on what’s best for your business.
  • Increase resident retention. People aren’t moving as much right now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t seek a new place to live if they’re not happy where they are. Focus on the basics, like clean, bright hallways; prompt response to service requests; and working amenities. A simple thing like a “thank you” for responding to a survey, participating in an event or renewing with you can go a long way, as Olivia Bunescu suggests in her blog post “5 Times You Should Thank Your Residents.”  
  • Maintain your properties. With the cost of materials and services up, regular maintenance can keep your costs down. The sooner a repair is addressed, the less likely it is to become a big, expensive job. And focusing on basics like keeping exterior paint and signage looking fresh can attract and retain residents without breaking the bank, Stephanie Johnson of RPM Living told Laura Calugar during a recent podcast.
  • Improve energy usage. The good news is, energy prices are forecast to fall across the spectrum over the next few years, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. The bad news is, after that they’re expected to resume rising. But tools to measure, adjust and analyze energy consumption offer growing precision and automation, allowing you to increase efficiency and cut costs.

These are just a few ideas, and I’m sure you’ve got more. I’d love to hear them! And here’s to new opportunities in 2024!

Read the January 2024 issue of MHN.

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