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Testimonial from Larry Fine Tierra Bella Investor

Two years ago, when PPA Real Estate Management took over management of our property, it was only
60 percent occupied, and many of the tenants were not paying—the delinquencies were astronomical. The
dumpsters were overflowing with trash, the city was about to turn off the utilities, the pool was not
working, the balconies were falling apart, and the complex was getting a reputation as a place where
criminal activity was commonplace and tolerated. Even though 40 percent of the units were unoccupied,
there wasn’t a clean unit to show to prospective tenants. We were headed for foreclosure, or worse.

Today, the property is over 90 percent occupied and rising, delinquencies are minimal, trash and utilities are being serviced normally, the pool is working, there is little or no criminal activity, and many repairs have been made, including a new roof, repaired balconies, and a coat of paint. Dozens of units have been renovated, and unrented units are clean and available to be shown. Net operating income has doubled in the past year, and the property is cash flowing and profitable. There are still repairs to be done, but nothing is so serious as to be a liability. And all this was accomplished despite the fact that the investors were able to put in only half the funds that PPA said would be required to turn the property around.

How did PPA accomplish all this? The strange thing is that they didn’t do anything heroic. They simply
applied tried-and-true property management techniques, slowly and patiently, with a positive, can-do
attitude:

  • Properly qualifying potential tenants for ability to pay and clean criminal record
  • Vigorously collecting unpaid rent and evicting non-paying tenants promptly
  • Keeping tenants happy by handling service requests promptly
  • Even in a soft rental market, increasing rents on unit configurations in high demand, while giving reasonable concessions on those in less demand
  • Finding creative ways to greatly increase non-rental income
  • Hiring maintenance personnel with needed specialized skills (sheetrock, carpet installation, etc.) to minimize the use of expensive outside contractors
  • Finding and promoting talent from within the organization, and applying it creatively, including appropriate incentives
  • Hiring onsite managers who can relate culturally to the tenant population while still keeping the bottom line uppermost in their mind
  • Using all available methods to market the property to prospective tenants
  • Making wise decisions on the use of limited resources

Throughout the past two years, PPA has always been honest with us, given us timely reports, and acted in
our best interest. PPA’s investing experience has also been very helpful to us in navigating a variety of
legal and financial hurdles we encountered. Perhaps what we value most, however, is the keen, personal
interest that the people at PPA have taken to our situation, often going beyond the call of duty to help us out.

I’ve been involved in a number of commercial real estate investments. Some had good management,
some not so good. But PPA has set a new standard that will be difficult to surpass. If I were in search of management for a Texas property, particularly one that was in trouble, I wouldn’t even bother looking
around; I’d go right to PPA—they’re that good.

Larry Fine
Investor, Tierra Bella Apartments
Austin, Texas

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