10 Ways to Improve Your Community’s NOI

By Courtney Gaines |

June 1, 2017 |

Updated December 15, 2020

3 minute read

1. Curb Appeal is King! Curb appeal includes all the senses — sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Is the property perfectly landscaped and maintained?  Is there soothing music and plush furniture in the office? Are great-smelling treats available for prospective residents — along with something tasty for their canine sidekicks? People notice these small details, and stick around to see more.

2. Amenities People Love AND Use. Major selling points include covered parking, fitness centers, play- grounds, dog parks, picnic tables, bocce ball courts and soccer fields. Choose amenities that get residents active onsite and engaging with each other.

3. Make Them Look Twice. Invest in upgrades: Modern touches such as new fixtures, hardware and ceiling fans empower you to increase both rents and occupancy. Whenever possible, replace carpet with vinyl plank flooring to cut down on move-out cleaning costs.

4. Increase Lease Rates/Lease Terms. You’re in a position to raise rates on new leases and renewals if your property’s occupancy is 96 percent or better, has a loss-to-lease of under 3 percent, and/or a gain-to- lease. You can also potentially increase your NOI by extending lease terms beyond the standard 12-month term. This tactic is particularly beneficial if improvements have been added that require a return on investment to meet the owner’s objectives.

5. Ancillary Income. Vending machines, laundry facilities, reserved parking, dog-washing stations and other services residents pay for can quickly boost your bottom line. Partnering with local dry cleaners, dog walkers and/or groomers can also provide extra revenue.

6. Minimize Turnover. Survey residents regularly and then act to address their concerns and work to keep them happy. When residents move out, they leave behind a very expensive list of to-dos.

7. Bid Out All Contracts. Get at least three estimates and go with the vendor that is both reasonably priced and has excellent referrals. Over the long haul, you’ll be glad you made your decision based on both criteria.

8. Save Energy and Water. Place aerators on your faucets, install water-saving toilets, put in low-flow showerheads and replace light bulbs with CFL or LEDs. Achieve HVAC savings through quarterly inspections and preventive maintenance, using smart thermostats and regularly changing air filters and cleaning the unit’s coils and pans.

9. Work Your Plan. Often, managers contract out expenses. First, think: Could you perform the task onsite for less? Does your team have a few hours a week for special projects in-house? Work your plan and plan to work. Every saved expense affects your target NOI.

10. Pay Attention to Details. Operators, regional managers, supervisors and asset managers should meet regularly to discuss rents, collections, leasing, marketing, renewals and rent growth lease-over-lease and renewal-over-renewal. This ensures everyone fully understands the asset’s business goals and target NOI—and knows the plan to achieve it.

Courtney Gaines, President CLEAR Property Management, Austin, Texas