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Ronan Donahue Chicago Ill

How Ronan Donahue Masters Multifamily Value-Add Investments


Investing in apartment buildings in Northwest Chicago can be a great choice for smart investors. But, to benefit from these investments, you need a good plan to increase their value.

This is more than just picking a good spot; it's about carefully improving what the property is worth.

Meet Ronan Donahue, a committed Investment Sales Associate at Matthews Real Estate Investment Services™.

Ronan specializes in making apartment buildings more profitable. He uses his deep understanding of the market, experience in the sector, and tailored strategies to help his clients make the most of renovations, rent adjustments, and updates, helping them get the best returns. This article looks at how Ronan finds hidden value in apartment buildings in Northwest Chicago.

Finding the Best Properties for Adding Value

Looking for the ideal apartment building to add value to is like looking for a diamond in the rough.

The trick is to find properties that have more potential than they seem to at first glance. Ronan Donahue is great at finding these chances in Northwest Chicago, where the variety of the market brings unique opportunities.

Empty Apartments

Buildings with lots of empty apartments often show they need to be managed better or fit the market right.

But, they also offer a chance for big improvements.

By fixing the reasons for the empty apartments, whether making the building nicer or managing it better, investors can fill up these buildings, draw in tenants, and increase how full they are.

Out-of-date Features

Nowadays, tenants want more than a place to stay; they want a particular lifestyle.

Old features can make a property less attractive. Updating these aspects to what people want now—like adding gyms, community areas, or green features—can turn an old property into a popular place to live.

Rents That Are Too Low

Properties that charge less rent than they could usually are outdated, have poor features, or need to be priced right. Raising rents to match the current market, especially after making key improvements, can significantly boost a property's earnings.

This strategy must be handled carefully, ensuring the improvements are worth the higher rents, keeping tenants happy, and staying longer.

Improving Rent Strategies

Improving rents in apartment buildings is a careful process.

It's about adding value in a way that supports higher rents while keeping apartments full. Ronan Donahue uses a smart, detailed plan to find the right balance.

Making Smart Upgrades

The secret to better rents is choosing upgrades that make tenants happier and more eager to rent. This might be updating rooms, making the building work better, or adding things renters like, such as faster internet or package services. These upgrades make tenants feel they're getting more, which makes them okay with paying more.

Talking Clearly and Openly

When it's time to raise rents, being clear and open with tenants is important.

Tenants need to know about the upgrades and how they make living there better.

Ronan suggests talking to tenants early, sharing what's coming, and explaining the perks. This way, tenants are more understanding, and the relationship between tenant and owner stays strong.

Checking the Market for Fair Prices

Knowing what other apartments charge is key to setting rents that are fair but still make money.

Ronan uses his deep understanding of the market to help clients choose prices that fit with what renters expect today. He looks at similar apartments, demand, and what makes each property special.

Keeping an Eye on Things

The rental market changes often, so keeping up is a must for good rent strategies.

Checking how the market is doing, what tenants say, and how the property is performing helps make needed changes. This could mean more upgrades, changing rents, or better services to keep competitive and increase profits.

Improving Amenities for Better Returns

Ronan Donahue points out that choosing the right amenities can make a property more appealing, attract more interest, and allow for higher rents, which all lead to a better return on investment (ROI).

Choosing Amenities That Tenants Love

The best amenities are those that match the lifestyle and preferences of the people you want to live in your properties.

For young professionals, things like fast internet, shared workspaces, or modern gyms could be very attractive.

Families might prefer playgrounds, safe outdoor areas, and places for community events. It's important to know what your tenants want so you can choose amenities that will give you the best return.

Going Green and High-Tech

Ronan has seen that tenants are more and more interested in sustainability and technology, and are willing to pay extra for these features.

Eco-friendly improvements, such as solar panels, energy-saving appliances, and water-efficient fixtures, not only attract renters who care about the environment but can also lower your running costs.

Tech upgrades like smart thermostats, keyless entry, and security cameras add convenience and safety, appealing to tenants who love technology.

Building Society Spaces

Creating areas where people can come together can make your property stand out and encourage tenants to stay longer.

Features like shared gardens, rooftop lounges, or amenities for pets can help build a strong sense of community. These communal spaces are often a key factor for potential renters.

Evaluating the Costs and Benefits

It's important to remember that not every amenity upgrade will give you a high ROI.

Ronan suggests that property owners should think carefully about the costs compared to the potential for higher rents and attracting or keeping tenants.

Doing market research, asking tenants what they want, and financial planning are essential to make sure that investing in amenities is a smart and profitable choice.

By focusing on upgrades that truly benefit tenants and meet market needs, property owners can greatly improve the value and appeal of their multifamily properties.

Improving Multifamily Properties

Repositioning multifamily properties means more than just making physical changes. It's about completely upgrading how the property is seen in the market.

Ronan Donahue is great at helping owners through this detailed process, making sure every step helps increase the property's value and attractiveness.

What is Repositioning?

Repositioning is about making strategic changes to improve a property's market standing. This could involve aiming for a different group of tenants, moving the property up to a better market segment, or changing how the property is branded and marketed.

The main aim is to draw in tenants who are happy to pay more because they see the value in it.

Choosing the Right Physical Upgrades

The key part of repositioning is figuring out which physical changes will really make the property more appealing. It's not always about the biggest or most costly updates, but those that match well with the market you're aiming for.

For example, making the outside look better, updating shared spaces, or adding popular features can all be very important.

Rebranding for a New Audience

Rebranding is a big piece of repositioning. This means a new name, new brand look, and a marketing plan that shows off the property's new level. This step is crucial for changing how people see the property and drawing in new tenants.

Good rebranding tells people what makes the property special and sets it apart from others.

Listening to Tenants

It's important to talk to both current and potential tenants to get their opinions during this process. Their feedback can help shape further changes to make sure they meet what the market wants.

Ronan always stresses keeping communication open to make sure the changes are hitting the mark with the audience you want to attract.

Watching How the Market Reacts

After putting repositioning plans in place, it's vital to watch how the market reacts. This means looking at things like how full the property is, how much rent is being paid, and how happy the tenants are.

You might need to tweak your plans based on what's happening in the market or what tenants are saying.

Ronan Donahue real estate


Investing in apartments, especially in Northwest Chicago, can be very rewarding.

By choosing the right properties to improve, increasing rent wisely, adding better amenities, and changing the property's position in the market, Ronan Donahue shows how to make a property more valuable.

If you're interested in getting more involved in apartment investments or want to understand Ronan's methods better, his website is a great place to start. It's full of advice from an expert and insights into the market that you won't find anywhere else.

To discover how Ronan Donahue's knowledge can help you improve your investment in apartments, please visit his website.

Natalie Nyugen

Natalie Nyugen / About Author

Research analyst and contributor on Company InFocus. B.A. in International Marketing from Rutgers Business School.