Considering getting into luxury property investing? As a property manager with over 10 years’ experience in some of Los Angeles’ most exclusive neighborhoods, I’ve learned a thing or two about managing luxury apartment communities. The strategies for success in this field aren't complicated, but they do require consistent effort.
If you want to attract top-quality residents and command high rental rates, here are my top five apartment management tips.
1. Anticipate Rehab and Maintenance Expenses
As you know, making a smart purchase is half the battle in real estate. But you can’t be sure you’re making a smart purchase unless you can accurately project your rehab and maintenance expenses.
If you’re serious about turning your new acquisition into a luxury apartment community, you’re going to need to invest some money up front in the rehab. Industry insiders rely on smart rehab estimator tools, like the one available through PropStream, which uses local vendor and materials pricing to give you a more accurate projection of the potential upfront cost.
Don’t forget to budget a higher-than-normal amount for ongoing maintenance. Your high-end residents will expect the building and grounds to be meticulously maintained.
2. Document Everything (And Stick to It!)
The higher the property value, the more you have to lose. To avoid embarrassing oversights and protect yourself from potential litigation, it’s critical that you document everything.
But many apartment owners and managers forget to actually adhere to the documentation. What’s the point of having a lease agreement if you don’t enforce it? Set fair expectations, document them, and then hold yourself and your tenants accountable to that documentation.
3. Know How to Reach High-Quality Tenants
Promoting your property to qualified tenants doesn’t have to be difficult. With PropStream’s built-in marketing tools, you can quickly and easily create professional website landing pages to introduce prospective tenants to your property online. Then you can share your customized landing page on your social media accounts to drive online traffic to your property page. And if you need even more tenant leads, you can use the same PropStream marketing tools to create and publish online advertisements based on your target market.
4. Treat Your Property Like The Ritz
The Ritz Carlton is known worldwide for providing luxury guest experiences. Take a page from its playbook and treat your property like The Ritz. Here are a few quick, actionable tips:
Dress the part. Tailored business attire instantly projects luxury.
Respond to all inquiries and resident issues as quickly as possible.
The customer may not always be right, but they’re always the customer. Treat your residents and prospects with respect and courtesy, even when you have to stand firm.
Move-in gifts surprise and delight your new residents. A high-end gift basket starts the relationship off on a good note.
Schedule resident surprises regularly. Wine and cheese mixers, pool-side happy hours, outdoor movie screenings — these inexpensive events cultivate a sense of exclusive community.
5. Have a Long-Term Strategy
With the excitement of acquiring and managing a luxury apartment community, many investors get too caught up in the details to see the bigger picture. It’s important to have a long-term strategy going into your new deal. For example, should your building focus on short-term rentals or long-term rentals? Should you fix and flip a struggling apartment building or rehab and hold it?
Your day-to-day decisions should support your long-term apartment management strategy, not dictate it.
Michelle Clardie is a real estate expert with over 15 years’ experience managing high-end real estate throughout Southern California. Her property management experience covers everything from leasing exclusive office space in San Diego to directing community operations at luxury apartment buildings in Marina del Rey. She currently manages her own investment portfolio of properties in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties.