September Update: Getting Through this Unique and Uncertain time

As I speak to East Bay apartment owners, a common theme is “I’m getting so many requests for minor repairs and maintenance” .

With everyone staying home due to Covid and the recent unhealthy air quality, tenants are inside almost 24 hours a day. This is making them more aware of any issues, so now is a good time to do all those little deferred maintenance issues.

I have painted one of our buildings (its been 12 or 13 years) and updated landscaping at the other. Our tenants have been very pleased, and this does increase the value of the buildings.

The good news: I just had our third tenant give notice since Covid and I was able to rent the unit at pre-Covid market rent. No concessions (reduced rent or initial free rent) was even requested.

It took a little longer than usual, so I will have a 8 day gap between move out, move in.

In these trying times, I am happy with that.

We are still hearing about drops in San Francisco rents. Especially in high rent new properties in the Financial District.

If you have an upcoming vacancy, it is still important to check websites, such as Craigslist, to determine your current market rent. If you have a low level of interest and /or low turnout at an open house, but one party wants to take it, its worth it if they ask for 2 weeks or a month of free rent.

With the new and updated Shelter In Place rules now in effect, we are still limited to what we can and can’t do regarding our rental properties. Below are the articles that will help you navigate these times.

Here is the new notice with rules for renters during Covid 19 (through January 2021): CA State Rules for Property Owners during Covid

Here is an article that summarizes the California Apartment Association:
CAA advice fo rents during SIP:

Please feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns.

Our team has two buildings in escrow, and we did just list and close a 4 plex in Oakland, and nine (9) unit Berkeley property last month. Things are still closing, although it does require some creativity around inspections, appraisals, and one on one showings.

Oakland/Berkeley Rental Market

Before the “shelter in place” directive, the rental market was still solid and jobs were still being added to Oakland and Berkeley. As we get through this, that should continue.

Current Market For Building Sales

Right now there are many people feeling very anxious, and that is not the time to make big important decisions.

For example, if you want to sell your apartment at this time, I can help you with an evaluation and guidance.

I have spoken to two of the top lenders for East Bay multi-units and they are working on, and closing transactions at this time. I can forward their contact info if you want to speak with them.
Right now, If buyers have a good down payment they can get a loan and I can navigate you through the process.

If we just work with our tenants and make sure that everyone is safe and healthy, we can build better relationships and get through this.

Be prepared to start getting phone calls from brokers who say “now is the time to sell, before it gets worse”. Unless they have that magic 8 ball, we don’t know the future.

We do know that people still need their housing and over time we will get back to where we were before the Covid virus.

It is always important to get guidance and advice from experienced multi-unit brokers who will market your property extensively to all potential buyers and brokers.
Posting a new building on all websites and sending out emails blasts gives the property visibility to literally tens of thousands of potential qualified buyers.

I did a presentation on increasing your rental revenue at the East Bay Rental Housing Association in last year. Click Here: Maximizing the Return on your Investment for the highlights.

Interested in getting a valuation of your buildings?

Contact me and we can do an estimate with a quick drive by. Getting your current rents/number of units will allow us to get a estimate of value. Again, if you have any questions about rents for an upcoming vacancy, questions about tenant’s issues, or need advice on a repair person, please do not hesitate to call or email.

Why you’ll benefit from working with me

In addition to managing our properties for the past 20 years, I have worked on 45+ multi-units transactions in the past 10 years, as a real estate agent specializing in multi-unit properties. I have learned so much from both perspectives. Most importantly, this is a complicated process much different from working with single-family home buyers and sellers.

The goal of this newsletter is get feedback and share with this community our successes and challenges to make all of more successful and increase our cash flow! Questions about market rents for your units, tenant issues, or need specific repair people? I can help. Please give me a call or an email.

Looking forward to a much more social June!