When Olive Tree Holdings expanded into Houston, Texas, it found a crowded market. Properties were competing with each other by offering concessions to woo customers. Olive Tree needed a compelling offer to stand-out in the market and attract new residents - it found its solution in Stake.
The company also brought Stake into its portfolio in Atlanta, Georgia, where it used the platform to increase renewal conversions and reduce delinquency. Olive Tree was able to modify Stake to fit its needs at individual properties, achieving incredible results.
“Concessions typically increase delinquency. We needed a better system, and we found it in Stake’s Cash Back program.” - David Poretz, Portfolio Manager at Olive Tree
About Olive Tree Holdings:
Olive Tree Holdings focuses on repositioning challenged properties in growth markets. The philosophy of the company guides it every day: value is created at the property level. With vertically integrated asset management, property management, construction, and marketing services, the Olive Tree team works to create a higher standard of living for its residents and in turn, dramatically increase the value of its properties.
Olive Tree looks for opportunities to add value to multifamily properties with potential. “We're typically buying underperformers, injecting them with capital, installing new management, and repositioning them in the market,” said David Poretz, Portfolio Manager with Olive Tree. “Generally, our strategy is to come in and execute a renovation program addressing deferred maintenance, remodeling exteriors, and enhancing interiors with renovations.” Based in New York, the company is expanding across the southeast United States and the Midwest. Each year, it acquires dozens of properties and refurbishes them, stabilizing performance at significantly higher levels.
“With Stake, our prospects are more serious, and really interested in the Cash Back. Stake brings great traffic to us.” - Nidia Jandres, Property Manager, The Life Properties
Problem: Attracting and retaining residents and getting them to pay
When Olive Tree Holdings buys a property, it gets to work refurbishing and renovating to attract new clientele. But even then, in crowded markets like Houston, Texas, a refurbished property and new amenities are often not enough to stand out.
So, Olive Tree would introduce concessions, hoping to compete with the properties across the street. At the time, Olive Tree offered up to 6 weeks free, but it didn’t get the traction it hoped for. “Some of the traffic we were getting just wanted to get the concessions and then skip out,” said Nidia Jandres, Houston Property Manager at The Life Properties.
“Concessions typically increase delinquency. There’s always a subset of renters who take the concession, and then stop paying,” said Poretz. Olive Tree needed a way to incentivize residents to stay long term, and to stay current on their payments. Even in properties that were consistently leased, like their Atlanta holdings, Olive Tree wanted to get residents to stick around long-term and to incentivize them to pay rent on time each month.
Solution: Getting creative with a ready-to-go program
Olive Tree needed a flexible and effective way to incentive residents to move in, renew their leases, and pay rent on-time. It found just that with Stake.
For new move-ins, dropping expensive and ineffective concessions for Stake’s Cash Back program was a win-win for residents and Olive Tree. For example, residents at its Houston property, The Life at Spring Estates, were offered up to 10% Cash Back to sign a new lease. Now that Stake has been active in The Life at Spring Estates for the past year, the property has saved over $50,000 in concession costs and signed over 150 leases with long-term residents using Stake.
For residents coming up on renewal, Olive Tree offered Cash Back to incentivize them to stay. Utilizing Stake’s resident CRM, Olive Tree engaged residents via multiple channels with the Cash Back offer. By reaching residents sooner, with an exciting offer, residents were renewing before they considered moving elsewhere, increasing renewal conversions.
Olive Tree was also able to use Stake to help delinquent residents in Atlanta’s The Life at Marketplace catch up on late payments. In 2020, the delinquency rate reached double-digit percentages. With Stake, Olive Tree introduced a Get Current program, giving qualified residents Cash Back when they paid off back rent. Those residents were able to catch up on their missed payments quickly and easily, reducing bad debt.
Stake made it easy for Olive Tree to implement Cash Back as its go-to solution to incentivize new move-ins, renewals, and reducing delinquency. Stake provided training, marketing collateral, and a resident engagement CRM to ensure Olive Tree and its residents got the most out of Stake. “The team at Stake is always available to answer questions. It's fantastic,” said Poretz. “I wish more vendors were this easy to work with.”
Increased demand, reduction in concession costs, and improved retention
In Houston, Olive Tree saw a massive change. By dropping concessions and switching to Stake’s Cash Back program, Olive Tree reduced concession costs 30%, saving them $50,000 in 12 months. Equally important, Stake increased demand at The Life at Spring Estates. Days on market fell by 27% when Stake was rolled out, meaning units were being filled faster. The increased demand helped the property best the busy market. “I see Stake as something everybody should be using,” said Poretz.
Additionally, Stake allows Olive Tree’s residents to gain a better financial footing by helping them save. Residents get Cash Back each month for paying their rent and earning an additional bonus when they save. The Life at Marketplace, in Atlanta, saw a 27% increase in renewals conversions, showing that residents are eager to stick around and continue using Stake. Last, but not least, Olive Tree saw a 25% reduction in delinquency across its Houston and Atlanta properties.
“Stake improves our resident’s financial wellness,” said Poretz. “It’s really beneficial for everyone involved, and it’s a superior product to concessions.”
Using Stake from Day One
Stake is the first, and best, option that Olive Tree looks to for help at their properties. The Cash Back platform has helped the company attract and retain residents while encouraging them to make their payments on time. Olive Tree has also discovered how adaptable Stake can be, and they plan to expand the use of Stake to each property they acquire. Olive Tree has rolled out Stake across its portfolio, at more than 20 properties across the country.