5 Reasons Single Family Investors Are Turning to Multifamily Apartments

5 Reasons Single Family Investors Are Turning to Multifamily Apartments

2 min read
Sterling White

Sterling White is a multifamily investor, specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded, Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units.

Experience
Sterling is a seasoned real estate investor, philanthropist, speaker, host, mentor, and former world record attemptee, who was born and raised in Indianapolis. He is the author of the renowned book From Zero to 400 Units and the host of a phenomenal podcast, which hit the No. 1 spot on The Real Estate Experience Podcast‘s list of best shows in the investing category.

Living and breathing real estate since 2009, Sterling currently owns multiple businesses related to real estate, including Sterling White Enterprises, Sonder Investment Group, and other investment partnerships. Throughout the span of a decade, he has contributed to helping others become successful in the real estate industry. In addition, he has been directly involved with both buying and selling over 100 single family homes.

Sterling’s primary specialities include sales, marketing, crowdfunding, buy and hold investing, investment properties, and many more.

He was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast episode #308 and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to mindset and scaling a business online. He has been featured on multiple other podcasts, too.

When he isn’t immersed in the real world, Sterling likes reading motivational books, including Maverick Mindset by Doug Hall, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, and Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone.

As a thrill-seeker with an evident fear of heights, he somehow managed to jump off of a 65-foot cliff into deep water without flinching. (Okay, maybe a little bit…) Sterling is also an avid kale-eating traveller, but nothing is more important to him than family. His unusual habit is bird-watching, which he discovered he truly enjoyed during an Ornithology class from his college days.

Education
Sterling attended the University of Indianapolis.

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Multifamily appears to be having a moment. More single family home investors appear to be graduating to the multifamily investment space

Why is that? What’s drawing them to this niche? Let’s go over a few reasons that this is likely the case. 

5 Reasons Single Family Investors Are Turning to Multifamily Apartments

1. They work better with the changing U.S housing market.

High rents and the need for yields have created even more competition for single family homes. This has depleted inventory and hurt affordability. Demand from retail buyers, funds, and new real estate investors has increased competition, often inciting bidding wars. For some, this is creating better opportunities in the multifamily space than among residential homes.

white apartment building with colorful window trim blue sky in background manicured grass and walkway

Related: THIS Major Tax Benefit Convinced Me to Put My Money Into Large Multifamilies

2. They offer management efficiency.

There are many efficiencies of scale afforded to multifamily property investors. Management consolidated in one location, for more units, means lower management costs and fewer time demands. This can pay off in many ways, from maintaining occupancy to working more efficiently with contractors and improving maintenance. Every penny and labor hour saved in management means more directly added to the bottom line.

As single family investors experience these pain points and learn about the advantages of multifamily, they typically choose to step up to this asset class to scale their portfolios more efficiently.

3. They allow investors to save time.

It takes a lot less work and time to acquire a 46-unit apartment building than 46 single family homes—and I’m speaking from experience. Jumping into a multifamily deal may sound like a lot at first, but it is actually far faster and less time-intensive to acquire these properties. They require one set of paperwork, one set of loan docs, and one set of contractors. That leaves a lot more free time to be enjoyed or spent pursuing more deals.

aerial view of residential housing

4. They support a higher ROI.

Renovations and improvements are some of the most challenging parts of investing in real estate. Flipping houses can be fun and profitable. Still, it can be risky. In multifamily property investing, improvements to individual units or community space can actually lift the appeal and value of the asset, because you can generally demand higher rent. That elevates the ROI.

Multifamily investors can also more easily reposition and control the value of their own properties. These buildings can be positioned to appeal to affordable tenants, affluent tech workers, and others.

Related: The 4 Phases of a Real Estate Cycle (& When to Buy a Multifamily for Maximum Profitability)

5. They give more direct control.

The value is not as reliant on comps as it is on your ability to increase the value through increasing the NOI. For single family homes, the value of your property is directly tied to surrounding comparables. In contrast, multifamilies allow for the investor to have even more control over the property value.

Summary

The market is changing. Many single family home investors are now graduating to multifamily properties. For some, it is out of necessity to maintain the yields and deal flow they enjoyed over the past few years. For others, it is to upgrade now that they have amassed more capital to deploy in the market. Some may be using multifamily as a way to get ahead of the curve and build more sustainability into their portfolios.

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Are you switching from single family homes to multifamily properties? Why or why not?

Be sure to leave a comment below!