5012 Apartments 5012Apartments, Trion Properties' latest development

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Savvy apartment owners have already dropped rents to prop upleasing activity during stay-at-home orders. Trio Properties, a LosAngeles-based multifamily owner and developer, lowered rents 5% to8% in late March to get ahead of the situation and competition. Asa result, it has seen an increase in leasing activity and move-insduring the pandemic.

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"We have signed a ton of new leases and we have had a ton of newmove-ins," Max Sharkansky, principal ofTrion Properties, tells GlobeSt.com. "We adjustedrents down a little bit and added some concessions. We really gotahead of it. We started that program in mid- to late-March, and wegot ahead of a lot of our competitors that just were not moving onrents. We were tracking rent trends daily, and a lot of ourcompetitors just staying on their path. When we reduced rents, wesaw a huge spike in leasing activity."

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The strong leasing activity also came with a dramatic increasein inquiries. Overall, the developer's rate of leases per inquiryfell, although the overall goal of driving leasing activity wasachieved. "We had a huge spike in calls and virtual tours, but theconversion to signed leases was a lot lower," says Sharkansky. "Itdidn't matter because we were still able to process all of thoseapplications and leases."

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The leasing activity was stronger than Trion expected. "I wassurprised to see the activity at the level that it came in, butpeople have to move. Whether it is for money or a new job oranother reason, people have to move," says Sharkansky. "We have hadmove-outs as well as move-ins."

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Trion also pivoted quickly to offer virtual tours. Thisaccounted for nearly all completed lease deals. "We did almost allvideo calls and some self-guided tours, where the leasing managerwould leave the door unlocked and give instructions on how totour," says Sharkansky. However, he doesn't expect virtual tours tobe a permanent change after the pandemic. "I doubt it will be morethan 5% to 10% of tours. People still like to feel and touch," headds.

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Overall, Trion is having a great month. In addition to strongleasing activity, the developer also had healthy rent collections."May rent collections were pretty much on par with April," saysSharkansky. "For us, it was even an eyelash ahead of April. I thinkthat people got their stimulus and unemployment money. Paying backApril rent payment plan."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.