Among Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Among Your New Year’s Resolutions

Among Your New Year’s Resolutions

by Sonya Loera
Apartment News, Jan 2023

As a primary source of financial security, your apartments should be top-of-mind when making your New Year’s Resolutions.

Listing might not be what you write down. In fact, in all likelihood you are totally averse to selling.
Even the tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions may seem worthless. Why go through this exercise when nearly all such commitments are never kept beyond the first month. As often cited, a lack of time, resources or money, along with a lack of motivation all get in the way.

In terms of time, you are probably already spending a significant amount of time handling your ownership and/or management responsibilities. Perhaps your resolution should focus on ways to reduce those involvements so that you would have time for travel, family and other aspects of your life.

Finding help or resources may be a concern, but they are available. Look through Apartment News Magazine and don’t forget to check out the Service Provider Directory at the back. Also, a call to the Apartment Association of Orange County often provides a wealth of information.

Then, there is the issue of money. The very reason that you purchased your first rental property was to generate wealth and, in most instances, income. Perhaps cash flow is not your problem, but have you taken a good look at your overall return on investment?

Finally, there is that last barrier – motivation.. If you have obtained the level of financial security that you desired, then it is likely time to do some further goal setting if not for yourself, then for your heirs and/or your legacy.

So what type of resolution should you be making in this New Year?

How about doing that “Year-End Accounting” that I outlined last month? An in-depth review of each of your properties is an important starting point. If you have already completed this process, then you have laid an excellent foundation for decision-making going forward.

Hopefully over the holidays you also did some talking – and more importantly listening — as I suggested in my November article. If not, learning what your heirs are thinking, particularly about your properties, becomes the second candidate for topping your New Year’s Resolution list.

This leads to a third possible resolution – figure out, from a big picture perspective, what you want your properties to accomplish. At WR Gorman & Associates, we emphasize the importance of having a written real estate plan, conducting frequent reviews and making updates as priorities change.

Another possibility for your list is “do it now.” This call to action particularly applies to handling deferred maintenance items. During COVID and the ensuing supply chain shortages, there were some very valid reasons to hold off on repairs and renovations.

But why, when there is so much economic uncertainty on the horizon, should you consider taking on the expense of these types of undertakings? First of all, tackling deferred maintenance only becomes more expensive over time. And, the reality is, costs are only going to continue to increase.

Also, you need to consider how a lack of upkeep impacts your ability to raise rents and/or attract new residents who can pay higher rents. As already stated, costs are rising and so must your rents if you want to continue to enjoy a healthy cash flow.

Maybe you are not financially able do anything about neglected upkeep. Or, having listened to your heirs and done some of your own soul-searching, you realize that those goals you set 40 years ago no longer apply. Yet how can you make any changes happen?

A final option for your apartment-centric resolutions list and, perhaps, the one that is most apt to make the biggest difference is to commit to investigating your options. This is going to require some research and tapping into various resources to get information, ideas and opinions.
Whatever you decide, listing your apartments among your New Year’s Resolutions should be a commitment to keep..

Sonya Loera
Agent, Manager DRE#01947308