Thursday, May 31, 2012

Riverstone to Report Resident Payment History to Experian

Dallas-based Riverstone Residential Group announced Wednesday that all of its properties will now report resident payments to Experian RentBureau, a company that collects updated rental histories from property management companies every 24 hours and makes its rental history data available to other multifamily owners and managers. Read the full story.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Two National Mobile Web Awards!

HFO Mobileweb Screenshot
HFO Investment Real Estate is pleased to announce that its mobile website has received “Best of Industry” first place awards in both the Real Estate and Professional Services categories from the Web Marketing Association. Entries are judged based on creativity, innovation, impact, design, copywriting, use of the medium and memorability.

“HFO is delighted to be receiving this award in the company of such well known industry leaders as Kraft Foods, Maybelline, Lowe’s, Geico, Overstock.Com, Goodyear and Carnegie Hall,” said HFO’s marketing director, Aaron Kirk Douglas. 

 “HFO’s clients and primary audience are real estate investors who wish to purchase or sell apartment buildings,” said Douglas.  “We also provide industry analysis and helpful articles and updates that multifamily investors need. We know that the apartment investors of today are busy people. They’re not always at a desk when they want to know what properties are available.  And if they need maps and directions to properties listed with us, they can easily link to Google Maps or other navigation services using our mobile website.”  Award information is available here.

Why Mobile Web?Mobile web is probably the most neglected and fastest growing segment of reaching Internet users today.   Consider these stats:*
  • Mobile devices account for roughly 9 percent of website traffic in North America and nearly half of all website hits globally.
  • The #1 activity of smartphone users is accessing maps and directions.
  • One in every seven Internet searches takes place on a mobile phone.
HFO’s main website ( and the mobile version were designed by Saturno Design of Portland, Oregon.

About the Web Marketing AssociationThe Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to help set a high standard for Internet marketing and development of the best websites on the World Wide Web. Staffed by volunteers, this organization is made up of Internet marketing, online advertising, PR, and top web site design professionals who share an interest in improving the quality of online advertising, internet marketing, and website promotion. The Web Marketing Association is the producer of the WebAward and MobileWeb Competitions. Now in its 16th year, the WebAward program is the longest running annual award competition dedicated to naming the best Web sites while setting the standard of excellence for all website development.

*Usage statistics compiled by

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Keycards Being Replaced by Fingerprint Scanners

Any members of 24-Hour Fitness in the Portland area have already seen them: fingerprint scanners that confirm your identity at check-in.  No more scanning of cards or presenting ID.  Just scan your finger and presto! You're in. 

Does this seem creepy or instill great confidence? Regardless of your reaction, today's very latest technologies are allowing some amazing features to help minimize criminal access to keys and keep a log of all entries.  Some buildings are even installing these units on apartment doors. What's next? Access by smartphone, of course.  Read more.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Leasing Agents Touring Alone? A Focus on Safety

Every now and then a news headline reminds us about the vulnerability of employees whose jobs may routinely leave them alone with strangers.  The National Apartment Association has prepared some procedural steps to help ensure apartment leasing staff are as safe on the job as possible. Read more.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The New American Mantra: "Be It Ever So Humble, There's No Place Like a Rented Apartment"

In this week's Wall Street Journal -- there was yet another write up of the strength of the rental market across the nation. The article cited a new study released Tuesday by the Demand Institute division of the U.S. Conference Board. The 50 page report cites these factors:
  • The first stage of this recovery will be led by rental properties.
  • Past homeowners who lost their houses to foreclosure
  • Young adults who are now living at home or who haven’t saved a down payment.
  • New immigrants will drive the demand to lease rather than to buy.
And as a result, we're already seeing a shift to multifamily construction. Meanwhile, speculators hoping to cash in on increasing rents are buying up vacant properties with an eye to leasing them.

Download the full study entitled "The Shifting Nature of U.S. Housing Demand" here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Outer Eastside Apartment Investors Invited to Luncheon June 6th 11:30-1pm

HFO Investment Real Estate, along with presenting sponsors USI Insurance and Chase are pleased to offer a complimentary luncheon exclusively for apartment owners in outer SE/NE Portland!

This event takes place Wednesday, June 6th at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel

11:30 am - Doors & Buffet open
12:00 am - 1:00 pm Presentation and Q & A

Topics: Stephanie Reynolds, manager of the City of Portland's Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Center will provide an outline of the city of Portland's Enhanced Safety Property program. Participating properties have seen dramatic decreases in crime and property managers report a decrease in problem activities.

An eastside-specific market update.

A property management company with properties on the eastside will be available to answer questions specific to managing eastside properties.

Parking and buffet lunch are complimentary.

E-mail or call 503-241-5541 to RSVP.

Space is extremely limited please call today.

Monday, May 14, 2012

UO Economist "Slow Steady Growth" for Oregon

UO Economist Tim Duy reported over the last six months Oregon has experienced slow, steady growth of 3.6%. What's more, people throughout the Northwest are apparently paying their bills in a more timely manner than throughout the recession. Read More in the Register Guard.

Could Multifamily Lead Single Family out of its Recession?

The nation's housing finance overseer and Freddie Mac are citing the strong multifamily investment market as a reason for pushing ahead on their agenda to gradually eliminate government guarantees in the multifamily sector business and replace them with new private capital sources well ahead of efforts to begin unwinding their single-family finance operations.  Read more at

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Axiometrics' Research Indicates Strongest Monthly Sequential Rent and Occupancy Growth in Last Four Years

Axiometrics Inc., a provider of data and advisory services on the apartment market, reports that national effective rents increased by 0.89% from February to March, which is the highest sequential growth rate since the firm began surveying its property database monthly in April 2008. Year-to-date, effective rents have increased 1.81%, as compared to 1.84% over the same period in 2011. The national occupancy rate also increased on a sequential basis for the second consecutive month, rising from 93.61% in February to 93.94% in March. This was the largest month-to-month gain in occupancy since August 2010.  Click here to read the full story.