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The NAA 2011 Investment Property Manager Survey


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I recently read the results of a June 2011 survey conducted by the credit bureau TransUnion on behalf of the National Apartment Association (NAA) that I found interesting.  The survey encompassed over 1,200 property managers, nearly 1,100 of which can be considered small time investment property landlords like you and me.  Below are some of the key points from the research.

One interesting point is that, despite the depressed housing market, many landlords have been able to increase rents this year.  Specifically, 64% of large rental property managers (those with 200 or more total units) have been able to increase their rents and hence their property income this year, compared to 36% of small time investors with less than 200 units.

Additionally, 67% of the survey respondents said that they have not had any problems finding tenants this year, even after raising the rents.  In fact, small time investors seem to be having an easier time finding tenants than large property management firms.  Specifically, 69% of small time investors said they have had no problems finding good tenants this year compared to 57% of large property managers.  And, 27% of large property managers said that it is more difficult to find decent tenants this year than last year, compared to only 18% of small timers.  That said, both groups expressed concern that it would become more difficult to find good tenants as the year progresses (65% of total respondents).  Thus, tenant verification will become even more important going forward.

Here are some other interesting findings:

  1. The vast majority of respondents, both large and small, execute credit checks on all applicants (90% and 87%, respectively).  But only 74% of small timers conduct criminal background checks on tenants (compared to 90% for the big boys).
  2. Nearly 90% enjoy vacancy rates south of 10%, and approximately 66% of small timers have not had any vacancies yet this year (compared to only 11% of the large players).  Most said that vacancy rates are essentially unchanged from the prior year.
  3. Almost 50% of all respondents report an increase in the number of tenants moving into their units from a foreclosure property.

So that’s the summary of the survey results in a nutshell.  It’s definitely encouraging, especially since the vast majority of information around the real estate market these days is negative.  So do not fret – there IS hope!



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