Legacy Wealth Holdings (LWH) needed to reduce economic vacancy and fill units to increase property values, so they turned to Stake.
Legacy Wealth Holdings began when Tim Bratz saw the need for a socially-conscious real estate investment company. As a broker in New York City, Bratz discovered how real estate could transform lives. After the market crash of 2008, Bratz made an investment on a rundown duplex, transforming the space and turning a profit on the sale. From there, the company grew, keeping true to the mindset of resourcefulness.
“Across the 20 unit property, I was able to increase net operating income by $13,200 by quickly attracting qualified residents to reduce downtime, efficiently allocating incentive costs, reducing delinquencies, and improving renewal rates. This boost raised the value of the building by $188,000.”
- Marty Zietlow
Head of Asset Management
Legacy Wealth Holdings transforms apartment buildings, turning a building into a home. It tackles large-scale renovations on multiple units, and then fills those units with quality, long-term residents.
“We mainly purchase distressed apartment buildings,” said Marty Zietlow, Head of Asset Management with Legacy Wealth Holdings. “Maybe the building is in need of repair, or there are high delinquencies. We perform a full renovation, and provide a home that the residents and the city can be proud of.”
Based in Ohio, the company is growing quickly, with properties spread across the United States. It’s adding thousands of units to their portfolio every year, obtaining a mix of residential and commercial buildings at varying densities and rental rates.
Slow leasing, high incentives. Once Legacy Wealth Holdings (LWH) acquires a new property, the clock starts ticking. After renovating, the company has only a few short weeks to find qualified residents and fill units. Once units are filled, LWH needs to increase revenues and shore up property values on buildings that may have poor reputations. It’s a lot of work in a tight timeframe.
That’s why LWH can’t afford to leave those units empty. “The bottom line is, we do what we say,” says Zietlow. “If we don't hit our 18 to 24 month goal to stabilize the property, we could potentially tarnish our reputation. That's just not an option.”
LWH tried using other concessions to attract residents, but found limited success. In some buildings, it offered residents their 12th month free, or used retail gift cards as a referral incentive to fill more units.
“Every day that a rent-ready unit sits vacant, we’re losing money. We pay for our renovations, utility bills, property taxes, and more through rent collections. The sooner the property has cash flow, the better,” explained Zietlow.
Rewards to reduces downtime. Turning to Stake, Legacy Wealth Holdings was able to reimagine its previous rental concessions. First, LWH determined the behaviors it wanted to encourage with its residents, namely paying rent on time and renewing leases. Then, using Stake rewards, LWH offered residents a base of 4% Cash Back for every month the rent came in on time.
For a resident paying $1,000 per month, that’s $40 back in their pocket each month they pay on time. While Stake proposes the initial reward level using its data and experience with Cash Back rewards, LWH is able to adjust it based on the individual market, building, or unit, as needed.
Legacy Wealth Holdings has found so much success with Stake that it’s even introduced the program at its commercial holdings. At one office building with 40% occupancy in Berea, Ohio, LWH struggled to fill units during the pandemic when many companies shifted to work from home. After a lackluster spring in 2020, LWH began offering Stake rewards in August. “We quickly gained renewed interest in the property,” said Zietlow. “Stake helped get us to more than 90% occupancy. Since partnering with Stake, we've experienced a 50% increase in occupancy at this building.”
Legacy Wealth Holdings found that residents were genuinely excited about Stake rewards, and the system was easy to set up. Stake’s Loyalty Cloud, a platform that reduces economic vacancy using machine learning in one simple interface, allows asset managers, property managers, and leasing teams to get new units and new residents up and running with rewards in a few clicks.
With Stake’s flexibility, LWH can also adjust the percentage of Cash Back offered to residents, depending on the rental market and availability in different areas. LWH is even able to offer rewards on apartment viewings, ensuring that in tight rental markets, qualified residents are choosing units with Stake. And because of this, the units are filled quickly, with noticeable reduction in downtime.
Stake cut costs by 50% while increasing property values.
Stake cut costs by 50% while increasing property values. Across Legacy Wealth Holdings properties, residents love Stake. More than 98.5% of residents regularly qualify for their Cash Back reward, cutting delinquency rates and fostering loyalty. That’s more residents growing their savings, while still saving LWH money.
“We were offering an incentive of the 12th month free, which comes out to about 8% of the resident's total rent. With Stake, we're offering a 4% Cash Back reward,” Zietlow said. “What's really cool is the residents are very excited about receiving 4% Cash Back every month.”
Stake also helps LWH improve occupancy at its buildings. For the 20-unit residential property in Canton, Ohio, LWH used Stake and has achieved a 15% boost in renewal rates already, with more units up for renewal later this year.
Based on the renewal rate for the first quarter of 2021, LWH has seen the property value of the building increase, as net operating income grew by $13,200 per year. “Based on the average caprate of 7% for the Canton area, this actually increased the value of the property by $188,000,” Zietlow said. “Not bad considering it only cost $7,800 in resident rewards and fees to achieve that result.”
From here, Legacy Wealth Holdings is looking to continue expanding, with a goal of adding an additional 1,500 units to its portfolio in 2021—and it plans to offer Stake rewards to all of them.
“Stake provides a fun and engaging way for our residents to earn an incentive for just being great residents,” concludes Zietlow. “They’re rewarded for their positive behaviors.”
Stake Increased effective revenue by nearly $2 for every dollar spent.