Timber View Apartments was purchased by Cherette Group in late November 2014. The property had occupancy of 89%, below market rental rates, a lackluster reputation, and no marketing presence.
Cherette Group brought professional management systems and standards to the property, remodeled the clubhouse, established a model apartment, prepared 30 vacant units for market, launched a new website, implemented property management software, and actively worked to improve the property’s reputation with existing and new residents. These changes were essentially complete by mid-January and performance improved measurably.
Rents were increased substantially to meet market rates and still occupancy climbed. Despite aggressive renewal rates, resident retention was strong. A typical industry average for retention is 50-55%; Timber View retention averaged 84% under Cherette Group’s management.
These improvements occurred during Michigan’s least active leasing months, and during an especially harsh winter when schools were closed, transportation was challenging, and traffic was minimal. Further, management was actively and strategically removing residents with delinquent accounts that had accumulated under prior management.
Despite these obstacles, by the end of January marketing occupancy had climbed to 95%. February saw marketing occupancy of 96% with waiting lists for specific unit types. The close of March brought occupancy to 97.5% with some floorplans outpricing competitors. By the end of April, occupancy was consistently at 99% and applicants reserved their places on a waiting list.
The property’s strong performance prompted its sale to an established multifamily ownership group. The sale and management transfer was complete in May 2015.
In just six months, base market rent increases ranged from 6.1-20.7% depending on the unit style. Additional premiums for garages, pets, and upgrades enhanced the property’s overall performance.