Average March Rents for Piedmont Triad Apartment Markets in Bottom 10 Nationwide

According to Axiometrics the Winston-Salem apartment market had the second lowest average rent in the country- $649 – in the month of March. The only market with lower average rent was Tucson, AZ ($633). Greensboro was the eighth lowest at $708 per month in March.

How do these rents compare to the top 10? Well at the very top you have New York at $3,251 and San Francisco at $2,659.

April 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

NC-based Multifamily Operating Expenses Increase at Rate Lower Than National Average

From the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits:

Operating expenses between 2010 and 2012 for low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) properties increased at an annual rate of 2.92 percent between 2010 and 2012, according to a report released by Novogradac & Company LLP, “Novogradac Multifamily Rental Housing Operating Expense Report—Survey and Analysis for LIHTC Properties.” Operating expenses for all multifamily rental properties, including market-rate developments, grew at an annual rate of 2.39 percent during the same period…

But for the region in which North Carolina resides, the news was better:

The fifth fastest growing region was Region 4–Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee–where total operating expenses grew by 1.37 percent annually. This was primarily caused by large increases in payroll expenses and repair and maintenance expenses, but these were tempered by a large decline in operating costs and management fees. 

Chart: Annualized Growth Rate by Region

April 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm Leave a comment

Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter is Part of Wall Street Journal’s Deal of the Week

In today’s (4/16/14) Wall Street Journal, Winston-Salem’s very own Wake Forest Innovation Quarter plays a starring role in the paper’s Deal of the Week segment about the role of historic preservation tax credits in redeveloping mills and factories in North Carolina:

The old plants are worth preserving because they represent North Carolina’s “industrialization at the turn of the 20th century,” said Myrick Howard, president of Preservation North Carolina. “The textile and tobacco industries provided the capital for the rise of our modern banking and energy industries.”

A big user of the tax-credit program is Wexford Science & Technology, a unit of San Diego-based BioMed Realty Trust Inc., BMR +0.66% which has renovated three former R.J. Reynolds tobacco factories in Winston-Salem. The old tobacco factories are part of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter biomedical-science and information-technology hub, where researchers are working on treatments for smoking-related ailments.

This redevelopment is leading to new apartment communities being developed as well, including one of PTAA’s newest members, Plant 64.

Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem

April 16, 2014 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

How Hawthorne Grew

The latest issue of Triad Business Journal has an interview with Hawthorne Residential Partners’ chief investment officer, and PTAA board member, Phil Payonk about how Hawthorne has grown to manage 17,555 units in 76 properties since its founding in 2009. From the interview:

What is the appeal of apartments?

The short-term and long-term fundamentals for apartments look good — there’s some construction coming online, and demographic trends in the U.S. show a tendency to rent for longer as you come out of school. You even see an older generation beginning to downsize and look to renting rather than owning a home…

What is Hawthorne’s core business?

Finding stabilized apartment properties that aren’t performing to their fullest potential. We handle the overall development of a site and the property, but we utilize a general contractor to handle the construction. We’ve partnered with several different builders; we like to utilize the small, local guys to kind of help keep costs down. Now, of our 17,555 units, Hawthorne and its partners have an ownership stake in about 45 percent of those. The balance is owned by a third party but managed by Hawthorne…

The Triad has seen a lot of apartments come online very quickly. Do you think it’s approaching over-built status?

We’re seeing in North Carolina markets in particular that a lot of the supply is being absorbed. As long as we see that at a measured pace, we’re going to hopefully not see too many problems. Even though there’s been a lot of product coming online, it’s been pretty hard to get a loan. The banks have the appetite, but there’s just a lot that has to go into it, from documentation and planning and identifying the site and getting everything together to getting a commitment and a building.

April 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

Apartment Industry Trends Over Dinner with Lisa Trosien

Have you signed up for the PTAA dinner meeting tomorrow night, April 15, 2014? You really should, because we have renowned apartment industry speaker and educator Lisa Trosien as our keynote, and she’ll be talking about emerging trends in the industry. Below you’ll find a YouTube video of a webinar Lisa did a couple of years ago, and while it’s a different topic it should give you a great feel for the kind of speaker she is. We hope you’ll join us tomorrow evening for a nice dinner and some great education.

April 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

Years of Reviews Disappearing from Yahoo

Yahoo is an afterthought in many business’ online marketing mix, but it still generates a ton of traffic and Yahoo Local still wields a lot of influence on consumers. That’s why some small businesses are up in arms about developments since Yelp and Yahoo got together. From the Wall Street Journal:

A recent deal by Yelp Inc.  to provide business listings for Internet searches on Yahoo Inc. is getting bad reviews from some small-business owners, who say years of positive feedback from customers have vanished from Yahoo.

Colonial Hardwood Flooring of Lexington, Mass., amassed six years of mostly positive feedback on its Yahoo Local listing, says owner Dan Tringale. But several weeks ago, after Yahoo began posting reviews from Yelp, nearly 50 Yahoo reviews disappeared, he says.

Potential customers searching Yahoo won’t see a 2012 recommendation that Carla Fortmann confirms she and her husband wrote: “This floor is beautiful and it was very carefully done.” Nor will Yahoo searchers find a June 2012 review from Regina Sasso, of Wilmington, Mass., who says Colonial “provided a competitive quote and delivered meticulous service and work.”

Such praise has been replaced by a single, punctuation-challenged Yelp review, from the “Paul M” screen name, “Respected budget got difficult stain taken care of very attentive and house got an offer opening weekend.”…

Since mid-March, new reviews about a business posted on Yelp replace reviews that had been posted on Yahoo Local, the Web portal’s own consumer-review tool. Until a new Yelp review is posted, the Yahoo reviews remain. The listing changes apply for desktop, smartphone and tablet users, as well as for search results on Yahoo Maps.


April 10, 2014 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

Improved Community Performance With More Cowbells

Next week – April 16 to be exact – PTAA will be hosting nationally-renowned apartment management expert Lisa Trosien for a 1/2 day seminar called “More Cowbell” that’s a must-see for anyone looking to improve their community’s performance. Here’s a little more about it:

The phrase “more cowbell” (in case you’re not familiar with it) is from a Saturday Night Live sketch about how a song can be improved by adding more cowbell because there aren’t a lot of songs that feature the cowbell. Just like the songs that don’t have cowbell, there are a lot of properties out there that don’t offer the best possible service to their residents. This seminar takes a look at how to improve the delivery of customer service at both commonplace (such as a service request) and uncommon places (such as when walking the property, turning a unit, etc.) The uudience for this fun (and loud!) program is all ranges of property management professionals. Cowbells are distributed to several individuals in the audience to add “More Cowbell!!” to the program. Highly interactive and lots of fun!

Attendees earn 3 CECs and will come away with some great tools for improving their property’s performance. Space is limited so don’t hesitate and sign up today!

Register here!

April 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

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