I’m Joe Stampone. I work at Atlas Real Estate Partners (‘AREP’), a private real estate investment firm focused on value-add and ground-up multifamily investments. ASotREG is a place where I share my thoughts on real estate as a career, technology, entrepreneurship, passive investing, and anything else that piques my interest.

Search
Generic filters

Try these: passive investingasset managementreal estate

Recent Posts

Thoughts on COVID-19 and the Impact on Workforce Housing: March 22nd, 2020

I started my career in the real estate business in 2009, the bottom of the Global Financial Crisis. It’s been a historic 10+-year run for the multifamily sector. The combination of economic growth, organic rent growth, compressing cap rates, and sustained low interest rates lead to great returns. That’s easy to say looking backward. There were many moments over the past 10 years where it felt like pricing was frothy and the music was ready to stop. My career has always been underscored by the risk of a recession driven by an unknown catalyst. I graduated from college in 2008 and saw...

3rd Party Property Management: Far from a Set it and Forget it Solution

Many multifamily operators (Atlas included) utilize 3rd party property management to oversee the day-to-day management of their properties. It’s great in many ways. You can maintain a lean team, utilize the resources of a large institutional management firm, and make a change if they’re not performing up to your standards. That said, implementing a 3rd party to oversee your deals is hardly a ‘set it and forget it’ solution. Multifamily properties require aggressive hands-on asset management and certain tasks must be handled at the ownership level. In my experience, here’s what 3rd party...

Lifestyle Brands Physical Real Estate Strategy Extends Beyond Retail

The way lifestyle brands approach their physical real estate strategy is changing. As sales have shifted online, brands have begun to utilize their physical presence to deepen their relationship with the consumer, share their story, showcase their products, and ultimately fuel (online) sales. This strategy is not just being deployed across conventional retail space, we’re beginning to see consumer brands in multifamily, hospitality (hotels/restaurants), and the condo business as well. Multifamily, until recently, was a relatively commoditized product that competed on price and location....

The Game has Changed: The Importance of Connecting with Residents

Direct to consumer brands (think Harry’s, Warby Parker, and Casper) have stolen market share from the incumbents. Their success isn’t because they have a slightly better product, it’s because they are obsessed with connecting with the customer. Real estate owners/operators can learn a lot from the success of digitally native DTC brands. In the apartment industry, there is little brand awareness and almost no brand loyalty, so residents are up for grabs. Owners who resonate with prospects, offer a great value, and cater to their lifestyle will ultimately win. I spend a disproportionate...

Two Multifamily Myths Debunked

The demand for multifamily remains strong, but the drivers of demand are often different than what most people think. Tell me if you’ve heard these two narratives: Millennials are moving more often so they prefer the flexibility of renting.Millennials have a shifting preference toward renting over buying. I’ve heard these from many smart real estate professionals who typically use anecdotal evidence to support their claim. While Millennials are staying in the renter pool longer, it’s generally not because of the reasons noted above. Let’s start with the first myth that increased mobility...

10 Multifamily Predictions for 2020

I hope everyone had a great holiday and enjoyed some quality time with friends and family. I was able to disconnect and spend a week in FL with my family. The time off is great, but I’m eager to get back to work and tackle the big initiatives and goals I have for the year ahead. In my first post of 2020, I want to make some predictions and point out the trends I see continuing within the multifamily space over the next 12 months.   Here are my 10 multifamily predictions for 2020. The End of the ‘All White’ Kitchen: How many value-add projects do you see with the same ‘all-white’ look?...

Why Syndicators Should Always Over Raise Equity

Moses Kagan is the founder of Adaptive Realty which focuses on heavy value-add multifamily projects throughout the LA area.  I really enjoy his views on the real estate business which he shares often over on his blog. In his most recent post, he discusses a concerning trend he’s seeing utilized by syndicators who raise capital via crowdfunding sites. In order to attract investors to their deal, syndicators must market deals with both current cash flow and high IRR’s. However, in today’s market, it’s nearly impossible to have both, so syndicators are over-raising capital to be used to make...

When Knowing Too Much Makes you a Bad Investor

Over the past 10 years, we’ve executed nearly $75M worth of renovation work across 20+ value-add multifamily projects.  Over that period, we’ve experienced many of the unexpected things that can go wrong when executing these deals; hidden physical issues, larger than expected tax reassessments, tenant lawsuits, crime, resident delinquency issues, and submarket challenges like unanticipated new supply or poor policy decisions, to name a few. It’s like Farmers Insurance, “we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two”.  While being educated on all the potential risks of a deal...

Routine Replacement Expenses: “Multifamily’ s Dirty Little Secret”

I was talking with a multifamily fund operator who’s been in the business for 30+ years. His firm started out buying class C multi deals and scaled up over time to raise a fund with institutional capital to acquire higher-quality, light value-add multifamily assets. The primary driver of the movement upstream was the capital-intensive nature of older vintage apartment properties. The ongoing capital needs make it difficult to hold these assets long-term and require holding significant reserves. In real estate, ‘cap rate’ is used as a crude metric for valuation and is simply a measure of...

The Challenge of Holding Multifamily Assets Long-Term

In my previous post, I talked about the value of compounding which results over holding multifamily real estate assets long-term. While that’s great in theory, it’s difficult to hold older vintage multifamily assets long-term (longer than 10 years). At Atlas, our business plan typically entails renovating and repositioning assets to bring them in line with other recently upgraded communities in the area. We rebrand the property, correct operational deficiencies, clean up deferred maintenance, improve curb appeal, and upgrade amenities and unit interiors; all of which typically result in...

Hold Real Estate Forever, Reinvest, Compound, Don’t Pay Taxes, And Get Rich Slow

Real estate is a long-term, get rich slow business. That’s something you hear a lot, but the math and reasoning behind it is rarely illustrated. At Atlas REP, our investment strategy centers around buying cash-flowing value-added multifamily properties and holding long-term (10+ years). I believe multifamily real estate investing is most attractive over a long time horizon given the strong and consistent cash flow combined with significant tax benefits. To illustrate these benefits, I wanted to show the equity growth and cash flow of a $100k real estate investment over 30 years. This was...

Apartments, Hotels, What’s the Difference!?

The way people are living, and traveling has fundamentally changed and the lines between apartments and hotels have blurred. Guests and renters are no longer constrained by a market flooded with watered-down options and brands dictating the experience.  Today, renters and travelers have nearly endless options, catering to any experience they seek.    I recently traveled to Nashville and I decided to test out Niido, an apartment community ‘powered by Airbnb’. It’s a traditional midrise apartment community that allows (encourages, actually) its residents to rent out their apartments...

Bringing a Hospitality Mindset to Multifamily Development

We’re in the midst of a multifamily development boom. If you’ve been to any major city over the past few years, you see ‘stumpy’ midrise developments everywhere. The forgettable stick-frame buildings all look similar. They are relatively cheap to construct, go up quickly, and cater to a wave of demand from Millennials and Gen Z’ers delaying marriage, having kids, and buying or renting a home in the suburb. With the cost of construction and land at elevated levels, development yields are compressed, developers have little flexibility to physically differentiate their property from the...

The Key to Multifamily Asset Management: Controlling Costs and Creatively Adding Value

Every so often I scan through the real estate forum on Wall Street Oasis and I recently came across an interesting thread titled ‘Contrarian Thesis: Acquisitions is the Least Interesting Job in Real Estate’.  The post argued that acquisitions is a repetitive job wrought with frustration and best-suited for young analysts who are hungry and proficient with the latest technology. Asset and portfolio management, on the other hand, tend to be the most valuable and interesting roles. The asset managers recognize the value-add upside, know what it cost to renovate, have intimate knowledge of...

The Bearish Case for Multifamily

Multifamily has been the darling of the recovery and remains one of the most sought-after asset classes. And why wouldn’t it be? We’re constantly bombarded with the case for multifamily; there’s a secular shift toward renting, millennials are getting married and having kids later, baby boomers are downsizing and seeking an urban lifestyle, multifamily construction was well below historic norms coming out of the recession, many 18-34-year-old’s live at home and will eventually enter the renter pool etc. etc. It’s a compelling case. Some of these are real, while others are overblown. In...

The Multifamily ‘Amenities Arms Race’ Shows no Signs of Slowing

Multifamily development has picked up considerably over the past few years, as the demand for high-quality apartment communities near major employment centers and entertainment has increased. Driven by demographics, couples getting married and having kids later, lifestyle choices, and pent-up demand, millennials, Gen Z, and some Baby Boomers are flocking to newly-developed class A communities. These individuals seek a lifestyle and expect way more than a nice place to live; they desire conveniences, technology, a robust resident event program and sense of community, and amenities. Lots of...

Do We Need to Change the Way we Think About Homeownership?

My answer to the question posed in the title is ‘I have no idea’. However, I’m a firm believer that homeownership is not the best path for everyone and that the role of homeownership in the U.S. has been skewed in a way that is dangerous. The term ‘American Dream’ comes from James Truslow Adams ‘Epic of America’ who wrote in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with the opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.” The original term didn’t have anything to do with real estate but has evolved over...

The Key to an Effective Value-Add Strategy: Hands-On Oversight

In my role at Atlas, I oversee our value-add multifamily strategy. We buy 1970’s – 1990’s class B value-add properties and seek assets that are priced below replacement cost and comparable sales, where we can add value at then property level, and that are in markets we like long-term. Adding value is hard. It requires a hands-on approach, local market knowledge, creative-thinking, and great management skills. At Atlas, we’re a lean team and hire 3rd parties to assist with property management, construction management, design and architecture, and marketing. As such, my role is largely...

What’s Driving the Demand for Apartments and why I’m Bullish Class B Multi

Multifamily, class B in particular, has been one of the best performing asset classes over the past decade. Demand has outpaced supply, leading to sustained rent growth and significant investor interest. As of March 2019, the average apartment vacancy rate was near all-time lows at roughly 6.5%. While the demand drivers for apartments is somewhat obvious, I want to dig into the statistics/fundamentals in more depth. It’s important to first understand the size of the market. There are 120M households in the U.S. totaling 317M total people. Of the total households, roughly 43M are...

Heaps of Fun Exploring the Land Down Under

G’day. How ya goin’? I spent the past two weeks exploring Australia. It’s an incredible place filled with modern cities, unique animals, beautiful landscape, great coffee, and welcoming people. As I like to do, I wanted to share some of my observations (I did something similar with recent trips to Japan and Costa Rica).   For the past 14 days, I was largely disconnected from work, sports, and U.S. news. The time change (Australia is 15-16 hours ahead of the east coast) almost forced me to disconnect from the day-to-day news. I found it quite liberating and was a good reminder of how toxic...