Focus on Multifamily: The Constant in a Changing Market

By Stephen L. Burger, CPM, CRX, CRM

It’s a great time to be in multifamily management. As we reported last week, recent research shows that the number of renter households has steadily increased over the past decade. And this is not just from the much-publicized Millennial generation, although we see that contingent well-represented in our rental population.

No, multifamily households are springing up from all contingents--from Baby Boomers on down. And from all income classes. For instance, we at EBMC were proud to take on the management assignment for two senior housing properties in Oakland, CA. Our deep experience in affordable housing was a key factor in signing Adel Court and Harrison Towers. Built in 1983, Adel Court is a four-story community made up of 30 units. Harrison Towers, built in 1972, is a 14-story, community with 101 units.

Much has been written as well about the new age of multifamily, driven by such factors as the above-mentioned Millennial generation and the trend toward younger seniors turning from their single-family homes to rentals or condos.

The fact is that, for all aspects of commercial real estate, the post-recessionary environment has been marked by change. Clustering in the office market, robotics in the industrial sector, web sales in retail and changing demographics in multifamily.

But there is one constant. That is the professionalism of the managers serving all of these sectors. That professionalism today extends far beyond the ability to anticipate problems, to show an active and caring presence and to handle crisis with calm and direction. Although these are a vital part of a manager’s capabilities, to be sure, building managers more than ever must also be flexible--demonstrating with every occupant the ability to respond to a new set of needs, and to tailor their responses to the specifics of the community they serve.

It’s obvious that the requirements of a senior-housing complex will be different from those of a CBD community made up primarily of Millennials living in clusters around their places of business.The expectations are different in terms of such provisions as amenities and storage. Even the means of communication changes. For one, face-to-face communication is a reassuring constant.For the other emails and texts usually suffice. In both cases the constant is the obvious presence of an engaged and caring manager.

With more than 20,000 units in our management portfolio, from high-rise rentals to commercial condominiums and mixed-use developments, EBMC has built its reputation on that very ability, to serve our occupants swiftly, specifically and with understanding, no matter their age, income status or need. By so doing, as third-party managers, we also serve our investment/ownership clientele.

The more things change, the more certain constants are required.

Steve Burger, CPM

As president and COO of Eugene Burger Management Co., Steve Burger is directly responsible for the overall quality, depth and consistency of management services provided in all 15 regions in the EBMC coverage map.

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