Introducing the IRO Perspective Column

NAA’s Independent Rental Owner (IRO) Committee has launched a special column, written by IROs to highlight the most prevalent and pressing issues on the ground. Read the first one here!

By NAA IRO Committee |

3 minute read

Powered by IRO

Welcome to the IRO Perspective Column, a new endeavor powered by the National Apartment Association’s (NAA) Independent Rental Owner (IRO) Committee. Over the coming months, this column will explore specific challenges facing the IRO community, seeking to provide timely suggestions, solutions and opportunities for owners and operators.

The objective of our first column is to introduce you to the expansive and important IRO community, a significant segment of the nation’s rental housing providers.  We’ll also briefly discuss the current work of NAA’s IRO Committee and how you can get involved.

Introducing the IRO Community

There has long been discussion on how best to define an IRO and, for quite some time, that conversation has heavily focused on the number of units in an individual’s portfolio. Recently, our committee established a new set of characteristics that better explain and identify IROs – a set that focuses on experience rather than unit count. Here are the key identifiers:

  • IROs have their own money invested in their property.
  • IROs are actively involved in the management of their properties.
  • IROs self-identify based on the above criteria and not by portfolio unit count.

In many ways IROs provide unique value to their communities across the country, thanks to these distinct qualities. In your own community, IROs are your neighbors. They may be restaurant owners, bus drivers, daycare workers, teachers and more, who have all chosen to invest their time and resources into providing rental housing. Day in and day out, they remain active in the management of their apartment homes, their communities and their residents – often in addition to another job. And, importantly, IROs are the owners and operators that account for the vast majority of naturally occurring affordable housing nationwide.

These characteristics also make IROs an important part of the broader rental housing industry. And though IROs are a unique segment, there is still so much that unites them with the industry as a whole.  We’ll focus more on that in an upcoming column.

A Place for IROs

As IROs across the country continue to face unique operational hurdles in the wake of COVID-19, pandemic-related policy and a number of economic challenges, NAA’s IRO Committee is hard at work to deliver solutions. Here are a couple of highlights:

For IROs looking to get more involved or to join an engaged and active community of fellow small owners, NAA and its vast network of state and local affiliated associations offer ways for you to make your voice heard. Learn more here – and we look forward to working with you.

What’s Next

Over the coming months, this column will explore unique topics within the IRO community. In each, we’ll identify practical solutions and helpful hints for smaller owners across the country. We hope that you’ll follow these columns and that they’ll provide useful suggestions for the operation of your apartments.

Until next time, take care!

The IRO Perspective Column is a new thought leadership endeavor powered by NAA’s Independent Rental Owner (IRO) Committee, which advocates for all independent owners to the Board of Directors and Assembly of Delegates. NAA defines an IRO as an individual or individuals that are active in both the ownership and management of their properties. For more information and resources designed specifically for IROs, please visit NAA’s website.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Haines.