I can confidently say there are quite a few websites focused exclusively on multifamily real estate. Unfortunately, many are uninformed or deliver a play on words that offer false authority about the multifamily asset class. The worst of these websites intentionally mislead.
The focus of my top ten list of multifamily websites is to highlight those providing reliable, current, quality content, many delivering quality content for years now. I believe these are the standouts in the multifamily sector.
Some of the multifamily websites recommended are regional, some global. Some websites only peek at the multifamily asset class as part of the broader real estate asset marketplace yet do a stellar job within their slice dedicated to multifamily. All of these multifamily websites will add to your knowledge base about the multifamily business.
For those that focus on multifamily, these websites are a mix of private-sector entities, industry-supported organizations, educational institutions, periodicals, and think tanks. The only guarantee I can advance is that each presented herein will lead you to new knowledge about the business, operations, or ownership requisites of multifamily real estate.
The best tool on these multifamily websites is their search function. When performing a search, use them as you would Google or any other search engine. Use "long tail" search terms. Let's say you are seeking demographic information. Searching for "demographics" will not deliver quality results. Consider a more extended search term that pinpoints your request. Here are some examples:
One of the first things a Ph. D. student learns to do is perform a survey of the literature on their research topic. We are all students, in some way. We can learn from this basic learning format, whereas performing a survey of literature in our area of interest is indeed multifamily real estate, leading us to quality information to inform our decisions and stay ahead of our peers.
There is no replacement for time. We all get the same number of minutes and hours each day. While television viewership is decreasing, consumption of video online continues to rise. In my view, there is no replacement for the medium of reading. Reading requires your full attention and focus. That's what makes reading such a powerful tool for knowledge transfer. I am 100% certain you will find some good reading within the following website pages.
PREA (Pension Real Estate Association) is the best example. They allow us mere mortals access to current research papers written by Masters and Ph.D. candidates supported by their organization and members. We thank them for this glimpse into the future of real estate.
The following websites are a few industry-specific honorable mentions. They are not on "the list" because their business model provides fee-based services to the multifamily industry. The top ten list above is about learning and free resources. These differences shouldn't discount their potential value to you as a multifamily investor. These sites offer quality information and often provide a near-free public service in that they track and train their attention on institutional multifamily investments.
CBRE periodically provides real estate market outlook on the multifamily asset class. The information is clear, concise, and timely.
Marcus & Millichap is one of the largest multifamily brokerage companies in the U.S. They provide quality research material to their customers and clients.
REIS is a data service provider owned by Moody's Analytics. Reis will provide a limited free trial to potential clients interested in their research and data. They offer very high-level analytical tools for sophisticated investors. Market surveys are metro-specific and break down markets by numbers metrics beginning at the metro level and drilling down to submarket characteristics.
Argus Software is a commercial real estate software with a considerable following. The software is used worldwide by investors, asset managers, pension fund managers, and banks. They have an array of products for performing in-depth performance analysis and forward-looking financial outcomes.
Continuing about search, take a minute to perform a simple search of your name. There is a material difference, for example, searching for John Wilhoit on Google than a search for "John Wilhoit" inside quotation marks. Try this for yourself. Use this technique when performing a search on any serious matter, particularly when making investment decisions. The results are sometimes similar, but finding that extra hidden morsel can be rewarding, sometimes financially satisfying when searching niche markets or asset classes (like multifamily real estate). Take the time to read and research. There is always a positive payoff.
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