By Kendall Baer
Industry leaders discussed how to maximize efficiency and profits when managing and rehabilitating single-family rental properties at the Single Family Rental Summit's second day, Thursday. Greg Rand, CEO of OwnAmerica, said that he hoped attendees were able to come together to continue to grow their businesses and learn from each others' experiences.
"This is a pilgrimage those in the SFR industry should make every year. Someone has finally created a home for them and their business type," said Rand. "These are people that have been basically ignored by the residential real estate business and the conferences they can go to that are designed for investors are usually get rich quick schemes. But this conference is a legitimate business conference for serious rental property investors."
Speakers focused their discussion on management and rehabilitating properties in their portfolio not just to effectively manage maintenance and costs but to also improve upon the entire rental experience, for not just the investors and tenants but everyone involved in the SFR industry.
When asked what investors should take away from the discussions in order to best manage rehab costs, Sam Tucci, VP Business Operations for U.S. Best Repair Services said, "There are times when we can't do our job as contractors unless we have utilities on at a property, so to avoid unnecessary charges, property owners should be sure to turn on the utilities on site."
Speakers also emphasized the value of technology when it comes to managing not only properties but attracting tenants and retaining them. Technology in the SFR space can be used to a variety of ways including setting investors' properties apart from the competition. Even more specifically, mobile technology is shrinking the world and making scatter site operations, renovations, and management possible.
"Managing single-family at scale is possible but only if you enable your operation with mobile technology. It is a big part of successfully running and managing portfolios that are quite large," said Doug Brien, Co-CEO for MYND. "Without this technology, if you are away from your computer you would have the ability to get the information that you needed to make decisions while you are at the property and you wouldn't have an efficient means to put data into the system based on whatever you are doing at the property. Whether it's doing a scope or going and collecting rent, it is having that information in real-time that makes it all possible."
While the single-family rental market continues to redefine its borders, navigating this complex and dynamic terrain takes careful planning and strategic partnerships. The Single-Family Rental Summit provided an important conduit for SFR leaders to have conversations that will continue to push the industry forward for years to come.