Everything You Need to Know About Multifamily Properties 

For apartment locators, multifamily properties are both a challenge and an opportunity to make a significant income in the real estate space. As things currently stand, approximately 43.9 million residences in the U.S. (31.4% of housing in the US) fall into the multifamily sector. This creates a unique opportunity for apartment locators, as multifamily properties cater to various demographics, each seeking different amenities and lifestyles these homes provide.

The importance of multifamily properties goes beyond just serving as a home. These properties are crucial to urban development, helping provide housing in densely populated areas. 

They are also essential to real estate development and investing. As cities grow and housing demand increases, it is vital that an apartment locator fully understands the multifamily market, and this blog post will be your guide. 

We will analyze the various aspects of multifamily properties, and you will learn the importance of multifamily data to your operations as an apartment locator and the mistakes you should avoid when choosing your apartment data provider. 

What Is a Multifamily Property?

So, what is a multifamily property or multifamily home? There are properties that are designed and constructed to house more than one family in a single building. 

They come in various types such as: 

An image of townhomes, which are a type of multifamily property.
Townhomes are a unique blend of private and communal living, and they typically accommodate two families in one building.
  • Apartment buildings: These are the most common in the US, with more than 21.3 million units across the market. They offer a unique advantage in terms of high tenant turnover, which allows property owners to adjust rental rates in line with current market values. However, they require regular maintenance, and property owners may need to hire a property management team to care for their apartment buildings.
  • Duplex, triplex, and quadruplex: These consist of two, three, and four rental spaces, respectively. These types of multifamily properties typically have shared walls and identical layouts. As these have fewer units, they are easier to maintain and demand less management. 
  • Townhomes: These are a unique blend of private and communal living, and they typically accommodate two families in one building, separated by an interior wall, with individual entrances for each unit. Tenants seeking privacy—particularly in urban areas—tend to prefer these types of multifamily properties. 
  • Condominium complexes: These properties tend to have a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), with fees that cover the management and upkeep of the property. 

In addition, multifamily properties also have classifications such as: 

Class A Multifamily Properties

These are newer constructions, typically less than ten years old, or older properties that have been significantly renovated. These properties are frequently found in prime locations, such as central business districts, where some may be over 20 years old. They charge top-tier rental prices reflective of their high quality. Some key features may include:

  • High-quality amenities: Both interior and exterior amenities (e.g., pools and gyms) meet the highest market standards.
  • Superior construction: Built with premium materials and adhering to the best construction practices.
  • Attractive landscaping and facilities: Well-maintained gardens, stylish rental offices, and clubhouse buildings.

Class B Multifamily Properties

These multifamily properties serve as a middle ground in multifamily real estate. These buildings are typically around 20 years old, though some may be older but recently renovated. While they offer good living standards, their amenities are not as modern or extensive as those in Class A properties. They are characterized by:

  • Dated amenities: Less modern than Class A properties.
  • Good construction quality: Well-built with minimal maintenance issues.
  • Moderate rent prices: Align with Class B ranges in their respective submarkets.

Class C Multifamily Properties

Often built within the last 30 years, these are older properties that may include some renovations. These properties are marked by their more limited and outdated amenities and other characteristics such as: 

  • Older appliances: Many appliances are original and not recently updated.
  • Visible aging: Clear signs of aging and some maintenance needs.
  • Lower rent prices: Typically below Class B levels in the same submarket.

Class D Multifamily Properties

More than 30 years old, these properties may be located in less desirable areas and show signs of significant wear. These properties have the most basic facilities and are marked by:

  • Marginal quality and condition: Construction and overall condition are subpar.
  • Lack of amenities: Generally do not offer any additional amenities.
  • Lower rents and high turnover: Attract lower rental income and face higher operational challenges due to intensive use and tenant turnover.

One should note that although multifamily properties house families, they are usually considered commercial properties if the building contains more than five units

SMART Apartment Data takes the above information to the next level by offering more detailed filters inot multifamily property types. Filters such as:

Housing Type 

This category allows users to filter properties based on their specific use or the demographic they cater to, such as:

  • Senior Housing: Properties designed for older adults, typically offering amenities and services suited for this age group.
  • Tax Credit: Housing that likely benefits from tax credit programs, often used for affordable housing developments.
  • BTR/SFR: This stands for “Build-To-Rent/Single-Family Rental.” These are properties built specifically for rental purposes, including single-family homes.
  • Conventional: Standard, market-rate rental housing not subject to affordable housing rules or subsidies.
  • Student Housing: Accommodations designed for college or university students, often located near educational institutions.
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8): Properties eligible for or participating in the Section 8 program, which provides rental assistance to low-income families.
An image showcasing the property filters available in the SMART Apartment Data Supplier software.
An image showcasing the property filters available in the SMART Apartment Data Supplier

Built Type 

This category allows filtering based on the physical structure and size of the buildings, such as:

  • Low Rise: Buildings with a few stories, usually less than four floors.
  • High Rise: Taller buildings, often in urban areas, typically with more than seven or eight floors.
  • Mid Rise: A middle ground between low and high rise, often four to seven stories tall.
  • Sky Rise: Extremely tall buildings, though this term is less commonly used and may vary in definition.

Year Built/Renovated 

This feature allows users to filter properties based on the year they were built or renovated:

  • Year Built After [YYYY]: Filters properties built after a specified year.
  • Year Renovated After [YYYY]: Filters properties that have been renovated after a specified year.

These filtering options help SMART Apartment Data users refine their search to find properties that meet specific criteria, whether they’re looking for a particular type of housing, a certain quality level, or properties of a specific age or size.

Reach out to us to unlock the most comprehensive source of multifamily data and elevate your business insights.

7 Reasons Why Locators Need a Reliable Multifamily Data Provider

Today’s technological landscape has resulted in multifamily businesses turning to big data to stay ahead. The ability to collect and analyze vast amounts of multifamily data is now crucial in finding the edge over one’s competitors. Multifamily apartment locators looking to maximize their commissions will need a reliable multifamily real estate data provider. Here’s why:

An apartment locator looking at various apartment listings provided by a multifamily data provider.
Multifamily residential data providers with built-in features for verifying leases before sending invoices are a game-changer.
  1. Accurate and up-to-date information: SMART Apartment Data’s Locating Solution provides the latest pricing, floor plans, square footage, and info on apartment amenities. This is essential for apartment locators to offer current and reliable information to their clients, ensuring that they can make informed decisions based on the most recent market trends.
  2. Efficient client communication: With the ability to send detailed property reports directly to clients and receive notifications about their preferences, apartment locators can maintain efficient and effective communication. This ensures that clients are always informed and engaged throughout their apartment search process.
  3. Tailored client services: Understanding clients’ needs is key. Multifamily apartment locating data allows locators to identify a multifamily property that offers specific high-value amenities and move-in specials. Whether it’s stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, dog walking trails, or proximity to golf courses, locators can cater to each client’s unique preferences.
  4. Ease of verification of leases and commissions: Commissions are how apartment locators are compensated for their services. Therefore, multifamily residential data providers with built-in features for verifying leases before sending invoices are a game-changer. Such a feature ensures apartment locators are fairly compensated for their services, safeguarding their earnings.
  5. Reliable insights from agent reviews: If you’re an apartment locator, you want to know how reliable and trustworthy the property owners are. This is what agent reviews are for. They offer invaluable insights into various properties, including information on how quickly properties pay commissions and the quality of interactions with property staff. Such firsthand experiences help locators choose the best properties to work with, enhancing overall client satisfaction.
  6. Excellent commission protection: In an industry where securing commissions is vital, a Locator Solution that registers clients with properties requiring registration is a significant advantage. This feature protects locators’ commissions and ensures proper acknowledgment of their role in the client-property relationship.
  7. Faster lead generation through customizable searches: The ability to embed a customizable apartment search engine into a locator’s website is a powerful tool for lead generation. It not only attracts potential clients but also provides them with a user-friendly interface to begin their apartment search, fostering initial engagement and trust.

If you are an apartment locator, a reliable apartment-locating solution is a must-have tool to ensure accurate commissions and fast retrieval of multifamily data for your clients. 

Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing a Multifamily Data Provider

Thus far, we have defined what multifamily properties are. We have looked at the different types and classifications of multifamily properties and discussed the importance of locators seeking reliable multifamily data providers. 

As we conclude this blog, it is worth noting some of the mistakes locators should avoid when choosing their data provider: 

An apartment locator reviewing a multifamily property that they intend to recommend to their client.
Choosing a data provider whose software can adapt and scale according to your changing needs is essential.
  • Avoid starting without a plan: Define what you need from a data provider before beginning your search. Ask yourself: What specific data are you seeking? How will this data improve your services? Are there any particular features that are must-haves for your business? A well-thought-out plan will guide your decision-making process and ensure you select a provider that aligns with your business objectives.
  • Look beyond just price: Lower-priced solutions might seem appealing, but they often have limitations or lack essential features. On the other hand, the most expensive options may offer more than what you need. The key is to find a balance—a provider that offers reliable data at a reasonable price.
  • Consider software scalability: Your business is not static; it will grow and evolve. Therefore, choosing a data provider whose software can adapt and scale according to your changing needs is essential. Selecting a scalable solution will ensure that as your business grows, your data capabilities can grow with it, avoiding the need for costly and time-consuming software switches down the line.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be better positioned to choose a multifamily data provider that meets your current needs and supports the future growth and success of your apartment locating business. 

Explore the latest trends in multifamily data and analytics by reading our blog, or simply get started with our tailored data solutions for your business.

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