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|Articles - September 2013|
|Monday, August 19, 2013|
BY PAIGE FRANK
Safety in single family. Terry Shockley had a good thing going with his Eugene-based Property Management Concepts for 18 years, building it by 2007 into a seven-employee operation managing 500 single-family homes and duplexes with 2,000 beds. With the University of Oregon in his front yard, the former fast-food franchisee and real estate agency principal had opted not to wrangle student apartment renters. Eugene is the original Animal House town, after all, and who wants to get mixed up with less-than-conscientious tenants?
A reluctant risk. At the request of two property owners, Shockley in 2007 agreed to test out the student-rental waters. Housing near the university looked dated to the influx of out-of-state students driving the university’s nearly 20% enrollment growth from 2007 to 2011. Investors began tearing down single-family rentals near campus and replacing them with snazzy apartment buildings, and students on Mom and Dad’s tab snapped them up.
“A lot of our students, they’re living on a lifestyle of $50,000 a year,” Shockley says. “There’s a sense of entitlement. We’re learning how to deal with that.” One tactic: expanding his two-page rental agreement to 21 rule-laden pages. “I would say at least 90%, probably more, of our students are wonderful,” Shockley says. “They’re not destructive.”
Shockley’s move immediately paid off. Year-over-year revenues increased 20% in 2008, 29% in 2010 and 38% in both 2011 and 2012. Today Shockley manages 3,000 single-family and duplex beds and 3,000 student-housing beds, tripling the size of his office to 17 full-time and four part-time workers.
Won’t stop believing. A shortage of classroom space is depressing the UO’s once manic enrollment growth, which inched up by less than 1% to 24,591 students last year. National student housing developers have built or will build big projects that would flood campus and downtown neighborhoods with about 2,800 beds. Some of Shockley’s property owners, accustomed to vacancy factors of less than half a percent, were shaken by last fall’s 4% rates.
Shockley remains a convert. He’s encouraged by the big developers’ presence and predicts his owners’ studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment buildings will remain popular with upperclassmen and graduate students who’ve tired of sharing space with roommates in three- and four-bedroom megacomplexes. Shockley expects that the Oregon Legislature’s vote to give the UO and Portland State University their own governing boards will usher in classroom construction and spur another enrollment boom. Preleasing is strong going into fall, he says: “That 10-year picture looks remarkably good.”
Turns out catering to the college crowd can be a good business strategy — at least in a college town.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?
Monday, June 30, 2014
Oregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
BY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER
Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.
Friday, June 06, 2014
BY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.
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