As part of our ongoing effort to build the industry’s leading financial technology to drive performance for our clients’ portfolios, LeaseLock is privileged to receive leadership, guidance, and support from a select group of multifamily experts.
In partnership with these highly-esteemed thought leaders, LeaseLock is eliminating deposits and their alternatives at scale to modernize the way the multifamily industry manages risk and protects against loss. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to deliver value to our clients through optimized asset performance and ultimately shape the future of residential real estate.
We’ve had the honor of already spotlighting two members of our advisory board, who since joining, have both been promoted at their respective firms:
Next on our list is Jeremy Thomason, Executive Vice President of Asset Management & Investor Relations of CAF Companies, where he oversees asset management of CAF property investments, as well as coordinates the syndication platform for equity investors in CAF’s multifamily portfolio. Previously, he was the Executive Sales Leader for CoreLogic Rental Property Solutions and led a national sales team that sold data and software solutions in the multifamily and single-family space.
In addition, Jeremy has experience buying, selling, flipping and managing SFRs, acting as both the asset manager and property manager. His thought leadership extends beyond LeaseLock, serving as an active member of the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas, the National Rental Housing Council, and the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), while also contributing to the National Apartment Association Education Institute. To top off his impressive real estate resume, Jeremy holds a Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS™) credential and a Property and Casualty Insurance license.
LeaseLock is honored and grateful for the expertise Jeremy lends, so we sat down with him to explore his take on top industry trends, challenges, and opportunities, as well as insights derived from his wealth of experience.
1. As economic uncertainty continues to strain the rental housing industry, how can owners and operators better equip site teams to enhance leasing, and what role does technology play in achieving this?
Site teams are continually asked to take on more and more, figuratively and literally jumping from fire to fire. There’s an ever-increasing need to be more efficient. Technology allows us to close more leases quicker while actually improving the first impression with residents.
2. Affordable housing is in short supply — how can the industry approach affordability challenges for renters while balancing against financial challenges that owners face in today’s economic climate?
JT: Fundamentally, affordability is a supply issue. While there are certainly programs and initiatives to help with affordability, subsidization is a temporary fix to a basic supply and demand issue. The industry must continue to focus on efforts to help development by breaking down the regulatory barriers that impede the delivery of more units.
3. The pandemic is now behind us, but several new renter behaviors have endured including signing for longer lease terms, using flexible rent payment solutions, shifting to remote work, relocating to more affordable markets, among others. What are your thoughts on the modern renter’s profile, and how is your organization addressing these renter preferences?
JT: There has definitely been an inflection point in preferences. The renter mindset is shifting to what I call a subscription model. This includes how renters think about their all-in costs for housing and lifestyle. Renters are more and more focused on what amenities are included at their residence and then paying for these amenities in an upfront way as a part of a subscription.
4. Attracting and retaining residents will be extra important this leasing season. What tactics and solutions empower CAF Companies to elevate the resident experience?
JT: There are some basic concepts that many property management firms cannot afford to ignore. Being responsive to residents requests—whether they are work orders, payment plans, or social connections ideas—is critical. When residents are treated with respect, it pays dividends in the form of higher resident retention and stronger online reviews.
5. In overseeing Asset Management and Investor Relations at CAF Companies, what’s a guiding principle in determining which technology solutions maximize asset value and reduce financial risk of loss? In other words, what is CAF Companies’ criteria for implementing effective property management technology solutions?
JT: I have 50 ‘good’ ideas for us to work on at any given point. But no company can implement 50 ideas, so thoughtful prioritization must be in place. Once that’s established, I like to make sure that the employees understand the ‘Why’ behind a process change or technology implementation. That understanding then enhances the value prop of whatever solution is being implemented.
6. What strategies is CAF Companies prioritizing this year to deliver greater asset value in addition to operational advantages beyond the leasing office? What success has your firm already seen?
JT: We know that the Capital Markets disruption is going to not only limit transaction activity, but also place a premium on Asset Management. This means we are investing in people and processes to become more accurate and more efficient. When there are ways to incorporate Risk Mitigation tools (like LeaseLock), then we have an initiative that will be highly prioritized.
7. What do you think is the biggest challenge for apartment housing operators in the second half of 2023?
JT: For owner operators, the biggest challenge is managing the on-book assets that have an upcoming decision point related to floating rate debt renewals.
8: What is your perspective on the multifamily opportunities that lie ahead in 2023 and beyond?
JT: Everyone is looking for ‘opportunity’ from distressed owners. I do understand why, but I also think there is a tremendous amount of dry powder just waiting to pounce on deals. As the uncertainty in the capital markets starts to lessen, and the chasm between buyer and seller expectations on price starts to thin out, we are going to see transactions pick up. Multifamily has very strong fundamentals and agency debt options, as well as favorable migration patterns in the markets we play. In a couple years, I can see a major imbalance in supply/demand reemerging because the early stage development pipeline has dried up significantly at present.
9. Why did you select LeaseLock to offer your time, talent, and expertise as an advisory board member?
JT: First, I believe in the product (lease insurance). I actually had the same idea several years ago and never pursued it, and I sure wish I had. Since partnering with LeaseLock the team at LeaseLock has been exceptional to work with which extends to the supremely talented advisory board.