Friday, May 4, 2012

Houston Apartment Turnaround?

I finally got the March numbers for the Houston apartment complex. Numbers were generally comparable to February - rent income in both months were up $10,000 over January numbers. Admin expenses were up $2,000 over February due to some legal bills incurred in working out late payments with vendors. Net income continues to improve, going from -$30,000 in January to -$10,500 in February to -$8,000 in March.

But a closer look reveals things may not be as rosy as they seem. One line item expense went from $2,000 in January to $3,000 in February to zero in March. This item? Security Services. No explanation was given and I've emailed management to ask what happened. If they got rid of security services, that might help the monthly bottom line (if you put it back in, we'd have basically the same net income as February), but we could get hit with vandalism repair bills in the future. I'm interested in hearing management's explanation for this.

But the better news is, because this report was so late, they were able to look at preliminary numbers for April and things look much better. April's total income looks to be $10,000 higher than March's and the highest revenue number since November 2010! Additionally, for May, the apartments are 95% occupied and 99% leased. This is due to increased marketing efforts and, according to management, an improving economy in the property's market area. Marketing costs in March rose $1,000 from February and rent concessions rose about $3,000. We'll see how those numbers compare to April. I should also note that, while rent concessions rose, the total amount is still $1,000 under the budgeted amount. This was pretty much offset, however, by the marketing costs being $1,000 over budget.

We've seen strong months come and go with this property. Things seem to improve for a couple months, only to fall back down again later. Hopefully the improvement will be sustained this time. That 99% leased number is quite encouraging.

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