When looking at multifamily deals, you can learn a lot by speaking with the leasing manager for competing properties in the area.
Learn From Properties In The Area
Before buying a multifamily property, I highly recommend visiting other similar properties in the area. You can learn a lot.
What do you say when visiting other properties?
My approach is simply to tell the leasing manager that I’m part of an investor group looking at properties in the area. Can you please share what you are currently leasing units for. My experience is that 95% of the leasing agents will tell you “sure, have a seat, what do you want to know?” I have run into a few that are tight lipped but very few.
I know some other property owners that will act as if there are a renter and ask questions as a prospective tenant. That’s not my strategy but that seems to work for some others in the space. Either way, make sure you visit these properties before buying.
What do you ask?
My experience is that some leasing managers are talkers and once you get them going, they share all kinds of information above and beyond any questions you would ask. Soak it in and see if that info is consistent with the business plan you are putting together. You may learn info that makes the deal that much better and you may learn things that changes the opportunity altogether.
Some questions I ask include:
- what are you currently renting units for
- how many units
- what is the year of construction
- how long have you worked here
- do you like it
- what’s the occupancy
- what do you like and not like about this sub market
- are utilities included
- what do interiors look like
- are you running any specials
- where do you market and where do you find most of your new tenants
- who do you consider your competition
This is a step you do not want to skip. You want to hear from other leasing managers currently working in that sub market. You will meet some top notch leasing managers and some that may not be very strong.
Why do I share this story with you?
I share this because there is so much great information you can learn from other properties in the area. My experience is that leasing managers are used to having these discussions and are very open. Who knows? You may even find a leasing manager you want to hire for the property you are about to purchase.
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