So, you’ve got your sights set on commercial real estate and all of the revenue that you could generate from this investment. Sounds great, right?
Investing in an apartment complex can be a rewarding career in itself, but it does come with many responsibilities. Not only do you represent your complex, but you’re also in charge of all of the maintenance and upkeep of everything from the grass to the appliances.
The truth is, aside from the heightened responsibility, there is a great deal of money to be made from owning an apartment complex, and you’ll also become a key figure in your community.
So, what does the life of an apartment complex owner look like? Here, we’ll outline what you can expect if you choose to invest in apartment complex real estate.
A Typical Day
First, you have to understand that there are a couple of ways to engage in owning an apartment complex. In fact, it’s more common for anyone who buys an apartment complex to take a passive role and outsource the management to a property management company.
Whether you choose to take an active role and regularly visit your property, or if you manage and help maintain it yourself will be a choice you have to make. Regardless, your typical day might look like the following:
For discussion purposes, let’s say you’ll take an active role in your ownership. After your morning commute, you’ll enter your office located somewhere in the complex, perhaps in the company office or in a basement closet, whichever you prefer.
You flip on your computer and begin by answering and sending emails. First on the list is maintenance and upkeep. You pull up the maintenance orders and proceed to coordinate repair work with your maintenance staff to ensure that each tenant can use what they’re paying for and that they’re safe in their unit.
As the morning progresses, you’ll discuss repair work and possible eviction proceedings, and schedule a meeting with a prospective new tenant.
After lunch, it’s back to work. You walk the grounds and make some notes on possible modifications, and you consider renovating a few of your facilities. Maybe you’d like to expand the pool area or install a hot tub or workout facility.
You make all of your notes then call your accountant and talk over the finances for your new projects. Then, you have to meet with a potential new tenant.
He arrives in a jacked-up 4-wheel drive monster truck while towing a trailer with two jet-skis, hops out, and asks where he can park it. You direct him to the back of the property and wonder if this person is even legitimately able to rent a unit. He fills out an application while he talks about drinking beer at the lake, then you run his credit and find out that there’s no way he’ll be approved because of a recent eviction.
Happily, you politely send the once-prospective tenant on his way, then you go back to your maintenance orders.
Before the day is done, it’s 4:45 in the afternoon and your property manager is packing up so she can get a head start to go get her daughter from after-school care.
During the day she fields numerous calls about noise complaints from several barking dogs, loud obscene music, and the odd smell coming from a downstairs neighbor. You instruct her to place notes in the doors of all the offenders, and you go back to working through the day’s remaining issues.
Finally, having decided that it was a good day, you check your monthly revenue statement, and upon seeing the numbers, you sit and smile at your desk, affirming that you’ve made a sound investment.
Though the days won’t always be glamorous, you’ll be providing a place to live and a vital service to your local community. Owning an apartment is a lifestyle. Whether you choose to take an active role as illustrated, or if you prefer to let a property management company handle your affairs, you’ll still have a great deal of work to do and decisions to consider.