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As I See It: Property Owners, Large and Small, Need a Voice



A wide variety of groups and individuals own multi-family properties.

Some buildings are owned by individual investors. Others are owned by large corporations.

Some owner-investors live in or near the neighborhood where their building is located.

Others live within an hour or two of their property.

Then there are the “out-of-state investors.” It seems that more and more of them are busily buying up property throughout the Chicago area.

Out of state investors are often saddled with a bad reputation. In the eyes of many, investors who are not locally-based don’t care about the people who live in their buildings and their only motive in owning the property is to raise rents and maximize profits through annual cash returns or upon sale.

I admit it is a bit disconcerting to hear about hedge funds and entities that normally invest in securities buying up apartment buildings and single-family rental homes.

Yet, no one should automatically assume that, merely because an owner is out-of-state, they are ill-equipped to thoughtfully and responsibly manage their assets.

The true test for evaluating an out-of-state investor is who they retain to manage their property. Locally-based top-tier property management companies can skillfully manage the assets so long as the owner is willing to devote the resources needed to properly tend to the day-to-day management of their properties.

That being said, nothing beats local ownership of neighborhood housing. Local investors – and by that, I mean people who generally live within an hour’s drive of their properties – typically know the nuances of operating their buildings. They understand the needs and concerns of their residents, and are more likely to hire and shop locally.

Local owners are more likely to join their neighborhood building owner association, such as RPBG and the eight other organizations that comprise the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance. They are more likely to know their elected officials and are comfortable engaging in conversation with their elected officials to make sure they understand the challenges that  building owners face and the value we add  to stabilizing our neighborhoods. The neighborhood building owner associations provide an important resource, offering property owners and  managers an opportunity to discuss the day-to-day challenges they face and learn how to own and manage their properties more effectively.  

Through our umbrella organization, the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance, the smallest of owners have a voice. Through the NBOA, local owners can be sure that our elected officials understand the critical role local owners play in offering safe affordable apartments that help stabilize our communities.




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