Our multi unit portfolio: History & Background
We started buying investment properties in Maine in February of 2009 in an effort to take control of our retirment plan, after the stock market crashed in 2008. Our strategy was to purchase distressed buildings with deferred maintenance, immediately stop the money leaks with heating system upgrades, weatherization, and rent adjustments, make the units safe and desirable so that they appeal to a better class of residents, then fill them with those residents. We looked for multi-family properties that had at least two compelling qualities: For example, a great "owner's unit", an excellent location, ample parking, nice layouts, lots of storage, etc.
Our residents are mostly a mix of white and blue collar workers and retirees. Several of our residents have been in their apartments for more than twenty years. We have politicians, lawyers, University sports coaches, school teachers, bankers, UPS managers, hospital professionals, retired factory workers, entrepreneurs, Ivy League college professors, exchange students, social workers and more living under our roofs. A large number of our residents are employed at Thomas and Colby Colleges, nearby.
Our occupancy rate averages 95%. The only reason it isn't higher is that our standards are high: We screen prospects thoroughly, and require first month's rent as well as security deposits equal to 1.5-2 months rent. If a resident has a pet, we require substantial upfront & ongoing fees. We don't normally make payment plans or deals; residents must have full move in funds without exception. Our belief is that if a person doesn't have enough saved up for security deposit and first month's rent, they aren't financially independent enough to live on their own. In addition, all units are non-smoking. Despite our "multiple hoop" system, we often have a waiting list. In exchange for our elevated demands, we offer a high level of service which we developed from our 26 plus years in the lawn & landscape service industry. The high quality of our residents makes running this portfolio of properties much easier than the typcial multi-family building. To attract the best prospects, we've worked hard to build a reputation as attentive & professional landlords. Higher quality residents seem to appreciate the higher standards because they know these standards will dictate the quality of their neighbors. Lower quality prospects just hang up (after hearing our criteria), providing us with a very efficient "first pass" screening!
Full maintenance and management team in place
We have a great team in place: heating, plumbing, electrical, and other maintenance people have worked for us for years and are well integrated. One man handles 80% of our maintenance, (and even some management), and has been with us more than 3 years. We can help facilitate a management company for any buyer, or even manage the portfolio for you for a year or so if you prefer, for a fair rate. (We'll even manage it for free for one year with a full price offer!)
Properties in great condition, with little to no deferred maintenance
Nearly every unit has had some sort of makeover: some complete, others partial. Upgrades include: new appliances; wood, tile, and vinyl flooring; electrical entrances, wiring, switches, and outlets; plumbing upgrades; new paint; new vinyl replacements windows; and attics full of insulation! Almost all units are on a master key system for easy access. Nearly all units have laundry hookups or on-site coin ops. We never stop moving forward with updates and repairs. By the time you've read this page, we've probably completed something else! We also have a list of "to do's" that we're happy to share, so there's little guesswork on how much to set aside for future upgrades.
Buildings are located in desirable, safe, working class neighborhoods right off I 95. Additionally, we bought a few of our buildings because they were in the "path of progress." Meaning we feel these properties could be a strategic purchase for a developer in the future. Buildings 169 & 241 & possibly 28H fall into this category.
Upward income potential
Although we have done many upgrades and raised rents, there is still room for potential income increases. Our rental rates are mostly still below fair market rents.
Contact us for more information or APODs