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Rental Housing Journal Metro

March 2014

2. The Dreaded Annual Reviews – How to Make Them Effective

13. Remedies After the Lease is Up 14. CCRA - 2014 Is Shaping Up to be a Busy Year.

6. IREM - When a Member of Our Team Fails, We Have All Failed 8. Tax Time Doesn’t Have to be Taxing

15. Exit Strategy – How Do You Know When It Is Time for You to Sell or Trade Up?

9. Dear Maintenance Men:

16. Tips for Rental Housing Owners


11. How To Find Property Management Super Stars…In 30 Days!



Published in association with: METRO Multifamily Housing Association; Rental Housing Association of Oregon; IREM & Clark County Rental Association

Portland Retail Market Report


espite a slow 3rd quarter Portland’s retail market continued its steady growth heading into the final quarter of 2013. Overall Portland’s rental rate and vacancy remained stable while only a hand full of properties were delivered to the market. Submarkets in and around Beaverton and the I-5 corridor saw little if any construction but are poised to bring major deliveries to the market in 2014. East of the Willamette saw the most construction during this slow quarter with a number of deliveries and current construction taking place. While local investors are dominating the retail market interest is growing population and employer growth is catching the interest of national and regional investors looking for new markets. The third quarter was far from lucrative but few negative indicators and a major projects show the market’s stability moving into 2014. Absorption The market experienced (3,848 sq. ft.) in absorption in the most recent quarter, capping off a month with very major deliveries and some high-profile move-outs. K-Mart vacated two locations in Clackamas and Tualatin, which totaled 218,159 sq. ft. Natural Grocers and Orchard’s Hardware and Supply moved into continued on page 7 Professional Publishing, Inc PO Box 30327 Portland, OR 97294-3327


Experts on Buying & Selling

ental Housing Journal sat down independently with apartment brokerage experts, Joseph Chaplik, Linda Fritz- Salazar and Greg Frick. This is the advice each gave: RHJ: What advise do you give to an investment property owner when they are considering putting a property on the market? JC: If you are considering selling, I would recommend working with a broker and brokerage firm that has the following: They should have a specific and sole expertise in the apartment market and a good history of past transactions as well as current activity. Working with the right professional is the main difference with selling correctly or making huge errors. LFS: I stress street appeal and operational health of the investment. Simple cosmetic enhancements and bookkeeping housekeeping can have a significant impact on the final sales price. The property’s appearance is the first perception a Buyer will have. The owner that shows pride in his property is a step up from the others. From simple items, such as trimming bushes and trees, cleaning up around the dumpster and parking lot, or replacing unit numbers on front doors to touching up paint on trim, gutters doors, window sills fences and gates will all have a positive effect on the property’s appearance. The operational health of a property can be a best foot forward by having organized books and records. Make sure all leases are up-to-date and tenant files are organized and orderly. Keep a monthly “rent roll”

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that will show all of the particulars for each unit, not just the day and the amount of rent paid. Things like move-in date; lease expiration date, refundable deposits and non-refundable deposit information all make the potential Buyer feel secure with the records. Maintain a monthly record of all income and expense items, in detail, and keep receipts. The more organized you are, the more impressed the Buyer will be. GF: Find a firm that knows how to listen. By listening to what your goals and objectives are, a good broker can help put a plan together that will help achieve your goals. Be careful of those who might just tell you what you want to hear! The person you work with should listen to you, and be willing to tell you when, given all the circumstances involved, it’s not in your best interest to sell your property. Then, when you’re sure the time is

right, choose a brokerage team with the experience, knowledge and skill to implement an effective plan of action. RHJ: What about buying? What words of wisdom do you have for prospective investor when they are considering buying a property. JC: If you are considering buying, I would recommend working with a broker and brokerage firm that has the following: They should be experts in the apartment market and have the knowledge and deep resources to assist with finding the right property for sale. There should be a lot of data given to you by your broker to help evaluate the right purchases and how it compares to the rest of the market. They should also know the future potential of properties and how to protect your investment and help grow it. continued on page 3

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The Dreaded Annual Reviews – How to Make Them Effective

If you are like most people review time comes around quickly and there is never enough time to appropriately prepare or to effectively complete them. Reviews are time consuming and often put off. How many of you have personally experienced the brush off review? It ends up as a quick phone call from your supervisor telling you “You are doing a great job and your increase will be effective on your next check, keep up the good work”. While we all can appreciate an annual increase this type of review accomplishes nothing and can often make employees feel undervalued. During the Olympics we are re-

minded of how goal setting and specific feedback can result in extraordinary achievement. The objective of an annual performance review is to highlight accomplishments, examine goals that were set the prior year along with progress in meeting those goals, talk about areas that could improve and set goals for the year ahead. The goal is to create reviews that motivate your employees, recognize top performers and document areas to improve.

Tips for effective reviews:

• Focus on results – based evaluations, which have tangible and measurable criteria. • Be specific in your feedback – give concrete examples that correlate

to the goals • Take adequate time to prepare the review document. • Avoid bias – someone may have a different approach or personality but still produces results • Back it up – track performance throughout the year and review regularly • Discuss career ambitions – know where they want to be in two years • Be truthful about performance – there is nothing worse than a glowing review and then the next month the person is terminated for poor performance • Provide ideas on ways to improve performance; ie; shadow a mentor, read a specific book, take a

“I had a friend living at an apartment who noticed the lack of cleanliness around the garbage area,” Hoover continues. “I asked him why the apartment staff wasn’t cleaning the area up. He said it always looked like that.” Hoover never forgot this scene, and he set out to correct it. That’s how Waste Recovery Systems began. Reducing bills by reducing garbage Living in the Northwest which promotes the responsibility to recycle as much as possible caused Hoover to believe he could start a company that would save money by source-separating the recyclables from the garbage containers, especially at apartment complexes where it is needed the most. “If I can reduce the garbage bill at my previous business, why not offer this same kind of service to apartment communities?” Hoover thought. “And that’s why this growing company currently manages the trash and recycling of over 220 apartment properties – which represents approximately 20,000 units – in 24 different cities around Oregon and Washington.”

page 5

What WRS does “When we think of trash and recycling.” Hoover explains. “We often think of individual homeowners and how they separate their refuse, but apartment communities suffer from a different set of circumstances. While hundreds of people may share the same dumpsters, there’s no accountability for what goes in the dumpster. So on any given day you can find cardboard, cans, glass, batteries, paint, tires and computers, all thrown in the same dumpster.” For this reason they need a service such as WRS. “WRS goes to apartment complexes six days a week and separates recyclables from garbage, on-site. In addition, we make it easy for tenants to recycle by maintaining convenient recycling centers.”


• •

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Hoover says it’s a win-win-win system. “We help the environment by increasing recycling. We beautify the dumpster area through daily visits, and we save apartment owners money by decreasing garbage. This also helps state- mandated goals to increase recycling. WRS does not remove garbage or recycling from the apartment site, instead, it reorganizes the bins for their appropriate use which uses the space most efficiently.” What’s the cost? When Hoover tells apartment managers that his company does this service for no additional cost – “Property managers and owners: often tell me that sounds too good to be true.” Hoover continues. “With the income generated by the reduction of garbage service, I am able to pass along additional savings to my customers. We not only save them money on their garbage bills but we also save their maintenance staff time. There isn’t any risk to the apartment complex . There’s no reason not to try us. Why wouldn’t they want to save money, time and help the environment?” Hoover emphasizes. Surprising events “Our crews come upon a few surprises as they go about their daily work.” Hoover says. “One of our supervisors went to a trash bin not long ago and found a guy inside eating a hamburger. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘sitting in this bin could be dangerous. You should probably get out of there.’ ‘OK,’ said the diner, ‘but can I bring my burger with me?’ Then, at another location, we got a huge scare. Two men were sorting through the bin, and came upon what – at first glance – looked like a dead body! Just before they called the police they moved in for a closer look. They discovered a resuscitation doll, the kind hospitals use. How and why it got there, we’ll never know.” ‘Our customers know the value of our service’ “People commonly mix garbage and recyclables, this is why we have a daily service to help prevent this from happening. This is the key component in our business. Because we service on a daily basis, we are handling only yesterday’s garbage. WRS employees do the job that I would have to hire a part-time maintenance person to perform.” Said Lynn Gaffney of Summer Creek Apartment Homes. “This allows me to stay within my budget, have a clean community for my residents, and protect our environment.” Back in 1925, Norman P. Rockwell famously said: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Jim Hoover proves – every month – that reducing trash can add to everyone’s treasure.

March 6, 2014 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Maintenance Fair 2014 (Portland, OR) March 7, 2014 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Forms & Notices Class (Portland, OR) March 11, 2014 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CAM: Financial Management (Portland, OR) March 12, 2014 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Buying Apartments "Right" in 2014! (Portland, OR) March 13, 2014 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM CAM: Risk Management (Portland, OR) March 14, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM It's the Law Lunch Time Series: Winning Court Strategies: Don't Shoot Your Own Feet (Portland, OR) March 18, 2014 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM CAM: Marketing (Portland, OR) March 19, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PDX Monthly Luncheon: Crazy But True Stories (Portland, OR) March 21, 2014 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM NALP: Leasing and the Internet (Portland, OR) March 25, 2014 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM 10 Common Fair Housing Mistakes to Avoid (Portland, OR) March 28, 2014 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM NALP: Telephone Presentations (Portland, OR)

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Events Calendar


Multifamily NW

Experts in recycling save big money for apartment managers “If you have ever lived in an apartment community you know the lack of recycling,” says Jim Hoover, owner of Waste Recovery Systems. “I became very aware of this by my observations of the garbage containers I shared with other business owners back in the late 90’s.” Hoover explains, “As I placed my garbage in the dumpster after separating my recyclable items, I was amazed at all the recyclables people were throwing away. An enormous amount of Jim Hoover cardboard, plastic, tin, electronics and glass filled dumpsters. This caused me to talk to the people with whom I shared the container. I simply pointed out to them that if we don’t put recycling in the garbage, we will have less garbage to be picked up…and the bill will go down which will save us money.”

related class, get a certification or volunteer Be aware of the recency effect – remember to evaluate the full year and not just what has occurred in the last 30 days Recognize those carrying a larger load Ask for feedback – how do they think things are going? What are they doing that is highly effective? Concentrate with strong performers on what they have done well With poor performers this is an opportunity to demand improvement – if you don’t address poor performance you are not doing them any favors. They won’t be Continued on page 5

2/17/14 1:13 PM

Rental Housing Journal Metro • March 2014


Experts...continued from front page LFS: Before giving advice to an investor, it is imperative that we find out what the investor wants and/ or what he/she needs. Wants are wishes and I, as much as most, understand unless you have a wish, you will never have a wish come true, realize needs are where we should start. Many investors come to our market and say they want an 8 or a 9 CAP, only to realize they need cash flow to cover the debt, if they need to borrow, and they need to put some money in their pocket after all expenses are paid. That’s not necessarily an 8 CAP purchase, initially. It doesn’t mean a 6.5 or 7 CAP property at time of purchase can’t get there. A second piece of advice or piece of the puzzle to match is to find out what the investor plans to do for management. Many owners prefer to self-manage, staying very “handson” and involved. Conversely, many have no interest in this facet of ownership and will gladly let someone else take care of the broken toilets and leaky faucets. Management plays a large part in the success and profitability of multi-family ownership. I do not want to overlook, perhaps, the most important piece of advice and that would be to find a broker who is experienced, not only in selling apartments; but ownership, management and the ongoing success of the investment.

GF: In addition to the above, you need to have someone working for you with the expertise to analyze the properties in terms of valuation and operations. In any transaction, it’s “surprises” that come up that prevent a sale. You will be best served by working with an expert who can identify potential surprises and find solutions in advance. You’ll also want to work with someone who is not afraid to tell you whether what you’re hoping to find is in line or out of line with the market. Portland metro multifamily properties typically are not trading at cap rates above 7.5% and above. A buyer coming into this market sometimes needs to be educated on whether their expectations in terms of return and pricing are realistic. Look for a firm that doesn’t push you into a deal because it benefits them. Find someone who does what’s right for you. A client can get the most out of a broker/client relationship when they are acting in sync over the long term. Brokers are always on the front lines of what properties are coming to market. The more they know about you and your investment goals, the more great opportunities will come knocking at your door. Joseph Chaplik is President of Joseph Bernard Investment Real Estate. Joseph Bernard Investment Real Estate is headquartered in Portland and has of-

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Rental Housing Journal Metro • March 2014


RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL METRO • Elizabeth Carpenter, President • Elaine Elsea, Treasurer • Cari Pierce, Office Manager • Teresa Carlson, Member Services • Suzanne Fullerton, Member Services Asst. • Pam Van Loon, Bookkeeper 10520 NE Weidler Portland, OR 97220 (503) 254-4723 • fax (503) 254-4821 •

Elizabeth Carpenter

RHAOregon President

RHAOregon President’s Message

If you’ve picked up a newspaper, watched local TV news, or heard talk radio, you know the Oregon Legislature was in session for the month of February. One of the biggest values the RHA provides its members is representation in Salem with one of the most respected lobbyists in Oregon, Cindy Robert. While we didn’t expect to see bills pass this “short session” that would negatively affect RHA members, Cindy had us at the table, in front of decision- makers, and maintaining the trust we established during the 2013 regular session. Making our


presence known is valuable to our 1800 members for three reasons. First, it gives the RHA the ability to shape laws effecting the industry, rather than react to bills that could be imposed on us. Secondly, it allows us to be proactive and avoid legislative action when the industry can resolve issues on our own. Lastly, it’s just good business! We are building our reputation and keeping our interests in the forefront of the minds of the people we elect. Citizen government only works when we the citizens are involved.

Government relations is part of the value the RHA adds everyday. You might be reading this message in our other big news for March: Our new website and new look to our monthly magazine “Rental Alliance Update.” We are very proud of our new look and growth statewide. Please help the RHA grow by becoming an active member, coming to the dinner meetings, and making your purchases with RHA vendors. Creating value- that’s what the RHA is all about.

Liz Carpenter, Rental Housing Alliance Oregon President

Since 1927 the Rental Housing Alliance Oregon has set the standard for community participation by landlords providing affordable and quality housing. That’s our heritage, and we’re going to build on it!


Got cats on your property? Spay/Neuter this spring to prevent litters, curb bad behavior

ate night cat fights. Litters of unwanted kittens. Spraying and yowling. You might have heard these complaints from tenants about cats living on your property. These cats are likely unfixed and the offspring of pets from past tenants who've since moved away. They could be friendly or feral (untamed).

There's one or a few residents with a soft spot for animals who put out a bowl of food for these hungry, homeless cats. You and your tenants want a solution, so what do you do? Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most inexpensive and humane option to curbing an outdoor cat population. The Feral Cat Coalition of


Oregon (FCCO) is a nonprofit, do- be euthanized. Friendly stray cats nation-based spay/neuter program might be adopted through a shelter, that practices TNR, where individu- but there are often waitlists, restricals who care for cats bring them in to tions and fees. Asking residents who care for the be spayed/neutered and vaccinated, and then return the cats to where cats to stop feeding them will result they were living. This method ends in unhealthy cats who breed unreproduction, improves each cat's healthy kittens. Often residents start life and prevents future litters of kit- secretly feeding the cats because they can't stand to watch them suffer. This tens. Ignoring the problem leads to a strategy often creates a sense of disgrowing cat population and growing trust between tenants and their landdiscontent among residents. Female lord. Working together with cats can have an average of three litters a year, with each litter being tenants to spay/neuter the cats on about four kittens. A few unfixed your property will build trust and cats in the spring can easily turn into bring about the fastest solution to issues surrounding outdoor cat popu12 or more cats by fall. lations. If you have unfixed outdoor Trying to trap and remove the cats VALLEY, METRO, ARIZONA is costly and time consuming. And cats living on your property, please even if you were able to catch all the call FCCO at 503-797-2606 or visit cats, new cats are likely to move into their website at the area to take advantage of the food By Olivia Hinton, Feral Cat or trash scraps now available. Coalition of Oregon. This method is also likely to upset residents who care for the cats. Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec They'll ask hard questions like, where are you taking the cats and what will happen to them? Feral cats are not adoptable in shelters and will


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Dreaded Annual Review...continued from page 2 • Discuss your biggest challenges over the past year • Ask your supervisor to include important achievements if missed in the review • Remember to demonstrate value – come in with numbers showing specifically how you have improved operations

considered for promotions or pay increases. • Link performance to pay • Have your employees complete a self – review prior to meeting with them • Set realistic and achievable goals Review more often, not just once a year – people want feedback. Have employees write down their goals and refer back to them monthly as a reminder of what they need to focus on. Complete quarterly reviews to check in on their progress.

What would you do if you were caught by surprise by something in your review? This is not the time to be defensive. Your response could be, “We haven’t discussed this before and I want to better understand how I could improve in the future.” Know ahead of time how you might want to respond if you receive unfavorable feedback. The more you can be prepared for your review the more productive it will be. If you are effectively managing your employees and communicating throughout the year about their performance, there should be few surprises during the review process. This is an opportunity to provide constructive feedback and set the goals for the year ahead. Effective reviews can reduce employee turnover and will help you to achieve better results.

Tips for the Employee: • Come to your review prepared – understand this is not easy for the reviewer. If the reviewer has done their job they will provide constructive criticism and you should be prepared to receive it • Have a list of things you want to talk about • Prepare to answer questions with confidence • Find out about the process ahead of time so you understand the format • Track your work progress, keep a list of accomplishments and monitor what didn’t work • Assess yourself – self evaluations are important (’s self – assessment tool) • Write your own goals • Reflect on work attitude

Experts...continued from page 3 fices in Washington and Arizona. They consistently complete more apartment transactions annually than any other Oregon firm. Linda Fritz- Salazar is Associate Broker at The Kasten Long Commercial Group. KLCG has specialized in apartment brokerage in metro Phoenix since 1998. Agents have brokerage more than 1,000 communities with gross sales in excess of 1 billion dollars. The company also provides weekly updates (by e-mail) on apartment sales and publishes the Metro Phoenix Apartment Owner’s Newsletter on a quarterly basis – past issues are available on the company’s

web site ( Greg Frick is a partner at HFO Investment Real Estate. Founded in 1999, this apartment-only brokerage firm has handled transactions on over 15,000 units valued at $1.84 billion throughout Oregon and Washington. Greg works with both private market and institutional clients and can be reached directly by phone at 971-717-6332 or email For details about apartment listings and services visit


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RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL METRO President - Cammie Allie, CPM • President Elect - David Genrich, CPM • Treasurer - Stephanie MacPherson • Additional Officers - Julie Muir, CPM, Traci McCauley, CPM, Kathi Pearce, CPM, Tammy Mills, ARM, Kathi Pearce, CPM, Jeanna Rae Petty, CPM, Jennifer Gerritz, CPM, Chris Pasteur, ARM • CPM Admissions Contact - Traci McConley, CPM • ARM/ACoM Admissions Contact - Tammy Mills, ARM AMO Admissions Contact - Cliff Hockley, CPM • Education Contact - Kathi Pierce, CPM • Income/Expense Contact - Nutan Engels, CPM and Michelle Schiffer, CPM IREM Chapter #29 11575 SW Pacific Hwy Suite 210 Tigard, OR 97223 (503) 228-0002 (503) 406-2003 fax

When a Member of Our Team Fails, We Have All Failed

By: Julie L. Muir, CPM® A few times in my career, my employer has had the unfortunate task of letting go one of their key employees. Terminating an employee is never easy, so much is invested to train and develop someone, not to mention the personal bonds that also take root. The real failure is not the terminated employee, but their team members, who failed to take appropriate action to prevent that from happening. Working as a team means that we all have to take responsibility for one another. In one case, my team members and I watched someone make mistakes, engage in conflicts and ultimately fail—never providing her with the necessary tools to succeed. We all came up with a convenient excuse for our lack of action too. “It was someone else’s job to prop-

erly supervise her,” we said. These perceived justification shifted blame—wrong on many levels. We have a responsibility to not let that happen on our watch. How do we support the weakest link? As real estate managers, we are experts in solving problems that appear to be unsolvable. We find answers; we uncover solutions, mentor others and guide our teammates to do good work. We serve our clients with the utmost integrity and work ethic. “Managers cannot compromise when it comes to demanding integrity from their superiors, their subordinates or themselves.” – William Walters Jr., CPM® 1971 IREM® National President. There were many opportunities to step in and counsel our terminated colleague in proper business etiquette or nurture proactive habits. We could have built her up, and challenged her to live up to her ample abilities.

If all else fails, at least you’ll know that you did everything in your power to train and motivate your teammate. Otherwise, regrets can take root in your mind. Don’t watch the chain break, step in and help repair the weakest link.

Engaging a failing employee can be as simple as an outline. One side of this outline lists all of the areas where improvement is warranted— in a respectful and constructive way. The other side lists action items and suggestions for each item needing improvement. Counsel this person by reviewing each item in person as a partner—not an authority figure. Provide examples and techniques that can foster improvement. If an attitude adjustment is necessary, find a way to inspire and even bolster self-confidence. Once you have buy-in, the employee will know that you believe in their abilities and that the team is invested in their success. Finally ask questions like, “What can we do differently to assist you and make your job easier?” This conveys that everyone’s capable of modifying their actions and that you’re willing to walk along and guide the way toward excellence.

Julie L. Muir, CPM® is a Senior Real Estate Manager with CBRE, Inc. and a Senior Vice President of IREM®

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Rental Housing Journal Metro • March 2014


Portland Market ...continued from front page new Beaverton locations occupying a combined 73,000 sq. ft. Vacancy Vacancy remained stable at 5.6%, a .1% increase from the year before. Total available space is currently on the downtrend as the market lacked a sufficient amount of new construction. Close-in SE and Northwest experienced the lowest vacancy in the Portland metro area at 3.6% and 1.2%, respectively.

Rental Rates:

Rental rates have risen from $15.51/sq. ft. to $16.06/sq. ft. from a year ago, showing good progress over the year. According to Kidder Matthews, “Free rent concessions and tenant improvement allowances continue to lessen, increases in rental rates is a positive indicator. The outlook is for slow, continued growth”

Inventory and Construction: 4 buildings were delivered to the market in Q3 totaling 99,726 sq. ft. Another 108,024 sq. ft. is still under construction mostly on the east side of the Willamette River. The top projects currently under construction are Belmont West, a mixed use property in the Southeast submarket whose delivery date is set for the final quarter of 2013, and North Light Creative, in the Central Business District, which will be delivered in the second quarter of 2014.

Sales Activity: In the second quarter 20 retail locations closed with a total volume of $403,358,478. The 20 buildings totaled 2,457,344 sq.ft. with an average price per sq. ft. at sale time of $168.21/sq. ft. Cap rates for retail properties have been lower in 2013, averaging 7.83%. Compared to the same period in 2013 they are more than half a percent lower when they averaged 8.64%. One of the largest transactions in the last year was 978 Lloyd Center. 1,300,00 sq. ft. for $147,950,000 at $113.81 per sq. ft.. It was sold on 6/11/2013.

General Retail (Single tenant free standing general purpose commercial building with parking) General retail property had a 4.0% vacancy through the quarter with rental rates averaging 14.28%. East of the Willamette river currently has 67,000 sq. ft. under construction of general retail properties.

Areas/Properties to Note East of the Willamette River there was moderate construction, outpacing most of the metro area during a slow construction quarter. . In total 8 buildings in the Southeast and Northeast submarkets, totaling 74,874 sq. ft., are under construction. 63% of the rentable building area in these new projects have already been

Rental Housing Journal Metro • March 2014

leased, a good sign for the submarket and property owners. Mixed use buildings with multiple tenants are being built along streets like East Division, East Hawthorne and East Belmont. Close in SE, Close in NE and the Lloyd District are enjoying a combined vacancy rate of 3.6% with rental prices matching the metro area average of $16.06/sq. ft. Belmont West, located in the Southeast submarket is already 90% with rental rates averaging $24.00/sq. ft. West of the Willamette River had very little new retail construction but confidence remains high for this area because of the growing population, strong employment base and recent retail success. Beaverton, Southwest Portland and the I-5 Corridor are proven retail centers and include residents with the highest average income in the metro area. In the five submarkets west of the Willamette the vacancy rates is hovering around 4.0% with rental rates higher than the metro area average at $18.51/ sq. ft. The slow quarter did not suppress the excitement investors and developers will experience in 2014, when the west side adds seven new shopping centers with a few strong anchor tenants. Deliveries scheduled for next year include properties in Lake Oswego, Nyberg Road, Sherwood and Cedar Hills. Anchor tenants already signed up to join one of these incoming properties include

Cabela’s, New Seasons and Walmart. The properties look to capitalize on the population growth and major apartment development taking place in Beaverton and Washington County. Conclusion A slow Q3 for the Portland Metro Area should not deter investors or new tenants. The metro area is looking down years of continued growth so long as the investment atmosphere remains favorable with low interest rates and growing employment in key areas around the city. The rise of apartment development is generating more retail investment to meet future demand, especially amongst high-end grocers battling for position in new retail centers. Although local investors are currently dominating the retail development other Pacific Northwest firms and some California firms are catching on to the growing retail market in the area. Steady growth in rental rates and low vacancy rates combined with growing interest among local and regional tenants with proven success have spurred investors and developers to increase the number of retail properties. With stable capital markets and strong employment growth throughout the area, Portland will be a retail investment destination for years to come.



Tax Time Doesn’t Have to be Taxing


ax time is here again and you should be aware that rental income isn’t the only way to make money when you rent a property. There are many incentives and tax advantages given to rental owners that entitle you to larger profits. Some of these money saving advantages are available monthly, and some of which are available annually when filing your taxes. Were you aware that often the entire amount of your property loan payment is tax deductible? This means that both the principle and interest payments made towards your property loan may possibly be de-

ducted from your rental income. In addition, the interest that you pay on credit card purchases for your rental property is also tax deductible. As a real estate investor, you want the rental income to match as closely as possible to the property expenses to minimize tax liability. Some of the other common property expenses that are tax deductible include repair and maintenance costs, home office expenses, casualty or theft loss, all related travel to the property to make repairs or do regular inspections, professional fees such as an attorney or accountant, hazard insurance premiums, property de-

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preciation beginning from year two of the rented property, and even a portion of your landlord association membership dues. The government provides us these tax exemptions to encourage greater real estate investing. Real estate investing plays a strong role in the economy, from the laborers who repair and build houses, to the mortgage broker who secures the property loan. Your investment dollars help to strengthen the housing sector in many ways and these tax deductions is our government’s way of saying “thanks”. The major key to taking advantage of the available write-offs is good record keeping. A complete year-todate file of your properties income and expenses will help ensure accuracy and assist your tax preparer in capturing the largest possible tax deductions for your business. So start by organizing your credit card statements, mortgage and insurance statements, and receipts. In addition, always check with a tax adviser or the

IRS about other returns, deductions, or advantages that may be available for your situation specifically. The tax laws change often, so consulting with a professional who is familiar with real estate investments will keep you up to date with what’s available to you as an investor. And don’t forget that their fee is a write-off! Also, talk to each other. Real estate investors can help one another by just sharing their own experiences. The tax rules for landlords are pretty favorable. Let us learn from our peers, and the professionals, how to only pay our fair share of taxes. Katie Poole - Hussa is a Licensed Property Manager, Continuing Education Provider and Principal at Smart Property Management in Portland, OR. She can be reached with questions or comments at

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Dear Maintenance Men: By Jerry L'Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez

By Jerry L’Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez Dear Maintenance Men: When the bathroom faucet was new, turning off the hot or cold water knobs would cut the flow of water immediately. Two years later, upon turning them off, the faucet weeps a bit of water. Is this a sign the knob isn’t working? Can a clogged spout screen be fixed? With all these problems, do I need to buy an entire new fixture? Paul Dear Paul: Most types of faucets are repairable with standard tools and a rebuild kit. Note the brand and style of the faucet and find a corresponding repair kit at the local plumbing supply house or home improvement center. Repair kits often come with the specialized tool you may need to repair the faucet. The faucet screen can be cleaned and is housed in a removable assemble at the end of the spout. These can be spun off and the screens cleaned and replaced. Keep in mind the cost of repairs may rival the cost of replacement. If the cost of repair is more than fifty percent of the cost of replacement, we recommend the faucet be replaced with

new modern fixture. Dear Maintenance Men: We have a vacancy and are currently upgrading the units as they became vacant. We are looking for an inexpensive way to upgrade our rental units. In other words, spiffy them from the normal. Hans Dear Hans: A great way to update older and modern units is to upgrade the cabinet knobs, interior door knobs and hinges. Typically apartment or builder grade knobs and hinges are rather utilitarian in nature. They get the job done and that is about it, nothing fancy. That missing certain “je ne sais quoi” in a remodeled unit can be found in the choice of knobs and hinges you install. A wise choice is a lever style knob. They come in many different finishes and colors and they not only look attractive and modern, they are user friendly for any disabled or older residents. The use of solid brass knobs adds a bit of weight to a door making it appear rich and sophisticated. Stainless steel knobs and pulls can make an older unit look more modern. Check at your local home improvement center for ideas along with these brand names to look for:

Westlock, Hamilton Sinkler, Schlage, Baldwin, Kwikset.

given typical use in the kitchen? Bryan

Dear Maintenance Men: We have a one-handle adjustable faucet in our kitchen. It has been in use for about seven years. At this point, it seems to not turn off well after use. It’s loose. Sort of like a car’s stick shift that won’t engage. At this point, is it simply worn out and needs replacement? Just what is the typical life cycle of such a faucet

Dear Bryan: The typical life time of a good quality single handle faucet is between five and ten years. Because of the many different faucets on the market, it is difficult to give an exact diagnosis. A loose handle as described continued on page 10

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Dear Maintenance ...continued from page 9 can be repaired with a valve repair kit available at any hardware store. The faucet handle can be removed by loosening a set screw at the base of the handle which will expose the faucet valve. Using the repair kit, replace the faucet’s internal parts and reassemble. The new parts will bring the faucet back to its original tolerances and should tighten up the handle operation. TIP: When replacing a sink or shower/tub valves and cartridges, use plumber’s grease to lubricate the internal moving parts. QUESTIONS? QUESTIONS? QUESTIONS? We need more Maintenance Questions!!!

in the “Dear Maintenance Men:” column, please send submission to: Please “Like” us on BuffaloMaintenance Bio: Please call: Buffalo Maintenance, Inc for maintenance work or consultation. JLE Property Management, Inc for management service or consultation Frankie Alvarez at 714 956-8371 Jerry L’Ecuyer at 714 778-0480 CA contractor lic: #797645, EPA Real Estate lic. #: 01460075 Certified Renovation Company Websites: www. & www.

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How To Find Property Management Super Stars… In 30 Days! by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach {Article #215…since 1995}


ould you like to learn the secrets for finding SuperStars to join your property management company…in 30 days? Are you tired of placing ads and wondering why it takes months to fill a vacant position? Have you looked at your budgets for this year and considered how a few key SuperStars could impact your compensation bonuses? Follow the three steps in this article and your dream of having a powerful property management team will be 30 days away! Recruiting internally: Begin your internal recruiting for SuperStars by paying a recruiting bonus to your current employees if they find a new candidate who becomes an employee of your property management company. A typical recruiting bonus of $250-$1000 could be earned for each new employee hired. 50 percent of this recruiting bonus could be paid to the referring employee on the day the new employee begins and the remaining 50 percent of the bonus could be paid after the new employee has worked six continuous months for your company. Next, include a classified ad in the E-newsletter that is sent to the residents of the properties you manage.

If your residents really enjoy living at your wonderful apartment community, imagine the asset they will be on your property management team. Lastly, consider using the services of a temporary employment agency to fill short-term positions and vacation days, while using their service to find potential future employees. Tip From The Coach: Temporary employment services will want you to pay a recruiting fee if you want to convert one of their temps to full-time status with your property management company. Remember, their fees are negotiable, especially if you discuss your hiring plans with them in advance or show them the significant amount of money your company has paid them over the past years. Of course, the best SuperStar recruiting comes from making internal promotions, which raises team morale at the same time. Recruiting externally: Begin your external recruiting search by looking at the people employed by competitive property management companies. Since these companies employ individuals in the multi-housing industry, this is a targeted place for recruiting SuperStars.

Trade shows and apartment association meetings are also a great place to network and meet these potential candidates. Next, consider the vendors who serve the property management company, as these vendors spend the majority of their day working with companies just like yours, and their expertise and industry knowledge can be a great asset when it comes to looking for help with your recruiting efforts. Lastly, try using employment placement agencies that specialize in the property management industry or place your employment advertisement in the magazine or E-newsletter published by your local apartment association. Tip From The Coach: Have you considered doing a hiring seminar to recruit new employees for your property management company? If you can imagine the normal hiring process, which typically takes two to four weeks, and would like to see this process condensed into two hours, send an E-mail to ernest@ asking for details. Recruiting using current technology: If your property management company has a website, add “job oppor-

tunities” to your main web page. To see some examples of this idea, go to or or Next, try placing your hiring ads at websites specializing in employment opportunities like Monster or Career Builder or LinkedIn, just to name a few. Lastly, on your company E-mail system, add job opportunity information so it appears in the “signature” file at the bottom of every E-mail that is sent. Tip From The Coach: Recruiting using today’s technology is fun and fast. More importantly, have you seen the demographics of the type of people who are online? Still wondering how to find property management SuperStars? Try more online recruiting and watch to see the world-class candidates who begin to apply for positions with your company. In addition, use behavior and values assessments to numerically evaluate and benchmark key success factors such as intensity of ambition, people skills, economic drive and sales skills. Want to hear more about this important topic or ask some additional continued on page 12


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Super Stars ...continued from page 11 questions? Send an E-mail to ernest@ and The Coach will E-mail back to you a free invitation to be a participant on a TeleForum conference call. For those who join this TeleForum, a bonus of 17 recruiting tips and 37 employment recruiting websites will be shared! Author’s note: Ernest F. Oriente, a business coach/ trainer since 1995 [31,500 hours], serving property management industry professional since 1988--the author of SmartMatch Alliances™, the founder of PowerHour® [ www.powerhour. com ], the founder of PowerHour SEO [ ], the live weekly PowerHour Leadership Academy [ www.powerhourleadershipacademy. com/pm ] and Power Insurance & Risk Management Group [ ], has a passion for coaching his clients on executive leadership, hiring and motivating property management SuperStars, traditional and Internet SEO/ SEM marketing, competitive sales strategies, and high leverage alliances for property management teams and their leaders. He provides private and group coaching for property management companies around North America, executive recruiting, investment banking, national utility bill auditing, national real estate and apartment building insurance, SEO/SEM web strategies, national WiFi solutions [ www.power-

12 ], powerful tools for hiring property management SuperStars and building dynamic teams, employee policy manuals [ propertymanagement/employeepolicymanuals.html ] and social media strategic solutions [ http://www.powerhour. com/propertymanagement/socialmedialeadership.html ]. Ernest worked for Motorola, Primedia and is certified in the Xerox sales methodologies. Recent interviews and articles have appeared more than 8000+ times in business and trade publications and in a wide variety of leading magazines and newspapers, including Smart Money, Inc., Business 2.0, The New York Times, Fast Company, The LA Times, Fortune, Business Week, Self Employed America and The Financial Times. Since 1995, Ernest has written 225+ articles for the property management industry and created 400+ property management forms, business and marketing checklists, sales letters and presentation tools. To subscribe to his free property management newsletter go to: PowerHour® is based in Olympictown…Park City, Utah, at 435-6158486, by E-mail or visit their website: www.powerhour. com. For leading trends about property management, surf

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Remedies After the Lease is Up


hen a tenant moves out and fulfills the full term of his or her lease, he or she is not normally obligated to pay any additional rent to the landlord. However, an Arizona Appellate Court ruled that in some instances a landlord may be able to charge extra rent. This article will examine that case. The Arizona Landlord and Tenant Act, under Section 33-1373, does allow a landlord to charge rent until

the lease expires or the apartment is re-rented when the tenant breaches his or her lease. Additionally, if a tenant who is on a month-to-month agreement does not give a 30-day notice under Section 33-1375, 30 days from the next rental period, the tenant can be charged up to an extra month’s rent. What happens when a tenant pays all the rent due under the lease and moves, but leaves the apartment continued on page 17

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RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL METRO President • Lyn Ayers Vice President • Blain Cowley Secretary • Patty Silver Treasurer • Janine Ayers Membership Committee • Roger Silver Contact • Lyn Ayers • Phone (360) 693-0025 • 5620 Gher Rd., Suite H Vancouver, WA 98662-6166 (360) 693-CCRA www.


e are working with WAA to improve the value for landlords of the state-wide organization. Additionally our April dinner meeting will be combined with WAA to learn how the industry looks at the state level. Last month we held our first quarterly meeting with the Vancouver City Manager and his staff to discuss challenges and opportunities within the city. Everyone knows how city police and county sheriff departments continue to be financially constrained. To help out, several landlords are joining community leaders looking for new

2014 Is Shaping Up to be a Busy Year.

solutions to counteract crime. Other members are working with the Low Income Housing Alliance searching for new ways for the private sector to provide low cost housing. As I write this, the Washington legislature is approaching the end of the 2014 session. There are several bills in the mill that could impact the landlords (and tenants) of Washington State. A few would benefit the industry while others would not. We will keep you informed as the session moves to its conclusion if we find there are specific issues to which you need to respond.

Free-roaming cats at your property?

On January 30th several CCRA landlords traveled to Olympia to visit our legislators. This gave us an opportunity to voice our concerns from SWW. After meeting with all 9 of our representatives and senators, what is apparent is that more of us need to communicate our concerns and issues to them. They need to know, and hopefully understand, our positions, even if they disagree with us. After all, perspectives change and if they don’t know our side of an issue, we may always be at a disadvantage. I hope you have tried out the new features on our website. In addition to our monthly newsletters on-line, we now have access to writeable pdf forms provided through the WAA website. Click on the “Forms” button, follow the directions, log into the WAA website as instructed, and a selection of various forms will appear. Select the form(s) you are interested in. Either fill them in on-line & print them or print them so you can fill them out by hand. The cost is hard to beat as this feature is free. (If you have difficulty, consider asking a child or grandchild to help; that’s what we finally did.)

I want to point out that the newsletter is available on our website at least a week prior to your receiving the mailed copy. The printed version is also subject to additional delays and can be received even later in the month. You can check out the program even earlier in the month so you have more time to adjust your schedule. Please let us know what you think of these additional features and what we can do to make them even-more user-friendly. We are in the early planning stages for our landlord training day. We have reserved Club Green Meadows for May 31 from about 8:30 to 4:00. We are lining up the topics and relevant speakers so we have a productive training session. Stay tuned. Like I stated at the beginning, a lot is going on. Many on the Board are doing yeoman’s work. They could sure use some assistance. Consider the benefits you have received from CCRA and talk to one of the leaders to see how you can help.

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Exit Strategy


How Do You Know When It Is Time for You to Sell or Trade Up? By Clifford A. Hockley, President Bluestone and Hockley Real Estate Services Investment goals, do you have them? Crazy as it may sound, most investors drive blind. They don’t have investment goals, they don’t have a monthly or annual review of their investments, and they don’t have an investment strategy. When you are looking to get off your investment plan you’ll need an exit strategy. Unless you can predict the future you’ll need to know where you’re going to get off on the right exit. How do life’s obstacles change our investment strategies? Many of us invest in real estate, because our friends or family invested or we read a book making it sound simple. Often we think of it as a way to diversify our investment portfolios, hoping that if stocks go down real estate will go up. In any case we are looking for a profitable way to invest, but don’t have solid goals and a long-term plan. If we are fortunate we make money on our first deal and we are off to the races, but more often than not investment success comes after years of smart decisions and maneuvering around life’s obstacles. Typically when we start contemplating investing in real estate, we think of paying for college for the kids or retirement (which is so far off). Maybe we have a chance to read Richard Kiyosake’s book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and want to retire on the income generated by our real estate investments. We are thinking of “getting into the game”, not about a path

to success or an exit strategy The strength of real estate investing revolves around knowing where you are going, and that can easily change throughout out life. When you are in our twenties you typically don’t have as much money to invest. Maybe you are getting married and focused on buying a home and having kids. The last thing on your mind is putting money aside to purchase a real estate investment. Suddenly you are turning thirty five. Your kids are in elementary school and you realize you need to save for college for your kids; can you do that and save for retirement as well? A real estate investment might do the trick for you and, as luck would have it, your grandparents pass away and left you their home. Instead of moving in you renovate PGE_SpectrumAd_BW_5.pdf 1 8/30/2013 9:46:48 AM the house and make it into a rental.

You are one of the fortunate ones, because you are starting out with zero debt. . The house is in good condition and you have long term tenants and not too many worries. You start figuring and you find out that college for each one of your two kids will be forty thousand dollars a year, for a total of about three hundred and twenty thousand dollars. The house is only worth $120,000 today, and if you are lucky will be worth $240,000 in ten years. It’s a limited amount and you aren’t sure if you want to sell the house to pay for the kids college education. Don’t forget that once you sell all the money you had planned on helping you through retirement is now for your kids’ future education. You are doing ok and banking about $800 a month or $9600 a year so that could help with tuition. But should

you use that money to buy another investment? You are forty five. The kids are now about to graduate high school and your wife is going back to work to help out with the bills. At the same time your parents are getting older and need more help, so they decide to move in. In order to do that you might have to sell the house because your home is not handicapped accessible. You turn fifty five, the parents are in assisted living and the kids are done with school. You managed to keep the rental and buy one more house, but you never really planned for your retirement. You’re not as energetic as you once were. You are making good money but barely keeping up with the new car payments and the wedding your daughcontinued on page 19

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Tips for Rental Housing Owners

esearching frequently promoted tips for rental housing owners brought up a plethora of topics related to the functioning and financial survival of properties. Ultimately I want to narrow in on three different factors that I feel make the biggest impact on a smoothly operated building. Three business mannerisms which have been around forever but are now requiring methods of modern improvement are documentation, exceeding customer expectations and obtaining insurance coverage. Documentation has been a funky transition from literally having everything hand written, to the invention of the telephone and now to

the endless possibilities of internet communication and email. Everyone communicates on the phone and in a lot of ways it is the most direct and efficient way of getting the job done. However, how many times have things slipped through the cracks or been mis-communicated because the original message is lost in translation and memory? I can’t hear our property managers reiterate enough to their resident managers the need to follow up on phone calls with an email summary. It saves so many steps and provides a great back up when controversy arises. Along with always having documented evidence, the old business tactic of under-promising and

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over-delivering will never cease to be relevant. There always comes a time when business operators have wishful thinking and want to deliver sugar-coated hopes and dreams to their clients. But this is where dreams and reality need to have a fine, realistic line carved right down the

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Remedies...continued from page 13 damaged or so dirty it cannot be rerented until cleaned? The Arizona Court of Appeals decided in SDR Associates v. ARG Enterprises, Inc. that a tenant would be responsible for lost-rental income. Specifically, the court said a tenant’s failure to return the property to its original condition, as required by the lease, entitled the landlord to recover rent lost during the time necessary to restore the premises. In the SDR Associates case, it took the landlord two months to make repairs. During that period the owner was unable to lease the apartment unit. Keep in mind the law requires a tenant to return the premises in the same condition it was at the time of occupancy, normal wear and tear accepted. There is, however, no exact formula used by the courts to determine what is “normal wear-andtear.” Some factors are the condition at move-in and the length of time in the unit. Obviously, someone who lived in an apartment for four years would have more wear-and-tear than a person with a six-month occupancy in a new apartment. A landlord must provide a tenant with a move-in inspection form so they can establish the condition at move-in. As an example, consider the following: George Cantcook rents an apartment from the manager of Hungry Arms Villa for six months. The unit

is brand new with no damages listed on the move-in statement. Since George really can’t cook, he orders out for each meal. Not only can’t George cook, he can’t take the time to clean-up after each meal. At the end of six months, George Cantcook gives proper notice and moves. However, Hungry Arms Villa has to replace the food-stained carpet, repair the walls and fumigate the unit. Hungry Arms hires Peachy Keehns Cleaning Service, which takes one month to restore the unit to rent-ready condition. Hungry Arms sues and receives an additional month’s rent from the Judge Mary Gold Flower.

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Tips ...continued from page 16 you have to be straightforward with everyone involved in the functioning of the property. That way when it comes time that you do have the flexibility for extra efforts, building perks, rental incentives, etc., they’re that much more appreciated. This isn’t encouraging putting out minimal effort for the greatest return, but altogether continuously exceeding customer expectations. One of the many ways to exceed customer expectations is by always being prepared. Obtaining building insurance and requiring renter’s insurance not only helps when disaster strikes but the reassurance of its benefit in situations of necessity facilitates the functioning of other day-today tasks at your property. Making insurance a high priority and establishing solidified restrictions and requirements upon move-in will avoid any mishaps that may come up in a time of chaos. Ultimately there are many tips that should be utilized in order to maintain a well-run building. The foun-

dation of business practice objectives that owners should follow is made up of thorough documentation, providing exceptional customer service and ensuring that you are insured. These are some of the many steps owners can take to make the most of their investment. By Lauren Ginder, Pacific Crest Real Estate Contact info: Lauren can be reached at 206-812-9144 or via email at: ·


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Exit...continued from page 15 ter wants to have. (She wants you to spend $40,000. She is the apple of your eye.) As sixty five beckons, you are tired of those tenants and the constant property repairs. Although the properties have been a good source of income they take time and the bills are increasing. You sell both your rental houses and buy a single tenant NNN investment property. A regular check is what you want. No hassles please. You must plan to build your real estate empire As you plan to build your empire you need to decide how much risk and leverage you are comfortable with. If you leverage your investments at 25% or 30% down you have more risk than if you put 50% down. I have found that younger investors are more willing to use leverage. As investors grow older, have more assets and have survived the economic down turns and high vacancy issues, they tend to move closer to a 50% leverage position. In any case the options are clear: • Set a goal of real estate and equity you want to reach • Set a goal of income you want to have and plan to reach it. You can: • Sell and trade up using a 1031 exchange • Refinance and buy more real estate

• Get other cash to buy more real estate • Invest with others (family , friends, professionals.) Summary There is no “one size fits all” exit plan. You need to customize your plan to your life; your income and you need your spouse or significant other on board. Life will try to derail your investment strategies. Do your best to plan around this while keeping your goal directly in front of you? You need to be organized and understand all of the costs of the real estate decisions you make. I would recommend preparing a net sheet – what is it really costing you when you sell one property and buy another? Understanding your monthly reports and your annual income and expenses is critical to planning a successful exit strategy. Accounting is important- the back of a napkin does not cut it. Review your thoughts with your advisors on an annual basis (Real estate agent, Property Manager, CPA, significant other). Flexibility and nimbleness are keys to successful investing. You need to be willing to change direction while keeping your goal in mind if things are not going according to plan. If you don’t have a plan don’t feel bad, you can always make a plan today. If you want advice or want to create an exit strategy I am happy to help.

Don’t miss your opportunity to be the first to preview the latest industry data on vacancy and rent rates across Oregon. Additionally, the Spring report will include property expense data categorized by building type, location and build date. Date: Wednesday April 16, 2014 Time: 7:30am - 9:00am Location: Multnomah Athletic Club Register online at

16083 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd. Suite 105 Tigard, OR 97224 Ph: 800-632-3007 Fx: 503-213-1288 Rental Housing Journal Metro • March 2014




Rental Housing Journal Metro • March 2014

Rental Housing Journal - Metro - March 2014  

RHJ is the business journal for the Portland Metro rental housing industry.

Rental Housing Journal - Metro - March 2014  

RHJ is the business journal for the Portland Metro rental housing industry.