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Field Guide to Multi-Family Property

(Updated May 2015)

Have you ever thought about investing in rental property? Apartment buildings, condominiums, rental housing... all of these properties can be lucrative investments. Or they can be disastrous money pits. In this updated field guide you will find articles covering not only investing in multi-family properties, but also what to do with the property once it's yours. (C. Dodge, Information Specialist)

The Basics

Multi-family residential, (Wikipedia, Feb. 24, 2013).

Multi-Family Properties: The Basics, (Realty Times, Mar. 24, 2009).

Multifamily Housing, (hud.gov, n.d.).

Landlord Investment Tips

  1. Have a property management firm screen your tenants
  2. Require that your tenants have renter's insurance
  3. Make sure your property is protected for vandalism due to the tenant not taking care of the rental
  4. Make sure you have insurance that covers you for fair rental loss
  5. Make sure you have adequate limits of liability

Source: Landlord Beware: Advice to Protect You and Your Investment, (Realty Times, July 18, 2005).


Multifamily Boom Can't Last Forever, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 15, 2015).

The Rise of Multifamily Housing: Multiple-Family Residences are Dominating New Construction, (On Common Ground, Winter 2015).

Multifamily Sector Embraces Green Movement, (REALTOR® Magazine, Dec. 2014).

Multifamily Built-for-Rent Share Remains High, (National Association of Home Builders, Nov. 20, 2014).

Are Mega-Investors Changing Rental Housing?, (REALTOR® Magazine, July 2014).

Investing in Multi-Family Property

In “Good” Suburbs, Apartment Investment Returns Match the Urban Core, (Property Management Insider, Apr. 14, 2015).

Buying a Multi-Family Investment Property, (Reality Times, Aug. 20, 2014).

Due Diligence: Purchasing Multi-Family Investments, (REIClub, June 20, 2014).

A Few Things to Know About Financing a Multifamily Property, (Realty Times, Dec. 10, 2013).

Real Estate Investments: Single Family vs. Multi-family, (Realty Times, Oct. 21, 2013).

Diving Into Property Management: Items to Consider Before You Invest, (RISMedia.com, May 20, 2012).

The 5 Money Making Advantages Of Multi-Unit Investing, (REIclub.com, n.d.).

Property Management

Technology: Benefits and Challenges for Property Management Companies, (@ppfolio Property Manager Blog, Nov. 3, 2014).

5 Tell-Tale Signs That it Might Be Time to Fire Your Property Manager, (The Bigger Pockets Blog, June 16, 2014).

Avoid These 5 Property Management Mistakes, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 16, 2014).

The Four Pillars Of Tenant Screening, (BiggerPockets.com, May 12, 2014).

19 Property Management Industry Leaders Share Their Best Career Advice, (Realty Times, Sept. 24, 2013).

When Screening Applicants Remember The Fair Credit Reporting Act, (Property Manager, May 10, 2013).

4 Tips for Launching a Successful Property Management Business, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sept. 2012).

What Real Estate Agents Need to Know about Property Management, (Realty Times, Mar. 29, 2010).

5 Tips for Getting Started in Property Management, (RISMedia.com, Oct. 18, 2008).

Property Management is Crucial to the Value of the Property, (Realty Times, Aug. 28, 2008).

Useful Websites

Property Manager, (propertymanager.com).

National Apartment Association, (naahq.org).

Multi-Housing News, (multi-housingnews.com).

Multifamily Housing, (KnowledgePlex).

Underwriter's Toolbox, (Banks Channel Publishing LLC).

National Multi Housing Council, (nmhc.org).

Books, eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties: How to Analyze and Single-Family, Multifamily, or Commercial Property (Adobe eReader)

Complete Landlord and Property Managers Legal Survival Kit, (Kindle, OverDrive, Adobe eReader),

Every Landlord's Legal Guide (Adobe eReader)

Happy About Apartment Management: 30 Years of Expert Tips and Advice on Multifamily Property Management (Adobe eReader)

Insiders Tips to Operating a Successful Property Management Company, (Adobe eReader).

Marketing and Leasing: Multifamily Properties, (realtor.org).

Multi-Family Millions: How Anyone Can Reposition Apartments for Big Profits, (Adobe eReader).

Opportunities in Property Management Careers, (Adobe eReader).

Property Management Kit For Dummies®, (Adobe eReader).

Property Manager, Community Manager, Real Estate Manager - How to Land a Top-Paying Job: Your Complete Guide to Opportunities, Resumes and Cover Letters, Interviews, Salaries, Promotions, What to Expect From Recruiters and More!, (Adobe eReader).

Rich Dad's Advisors®: The ABC's of Property Management, (Kindle, OverDrive, Adobe eReader).

Streetwise Landlording & Property Management, (Kindle, OverDrive, Adobe eReader).

What Every Landlord Needs to Know: Time and Money-Saving Solutions to Your Most Annoying Problems (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

7 Secrets to Successful Apartment Leasing: Find Quality Renters, Fill Vacancies, and Maximize Your Rental Income, (Chicago, IL: McGraw-Hill, 2006). HD 1384 C91

Every Landlord's Legal Guide, (Chicago, IL: Nolo, 2006). HD 1394 St4e

Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings, (Chicago, IL: John Wiley & Sons, 2005). HD 1377 B46

Practical Apartment Management, (Chicago, IL: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2005). HD 1394 In7pr Ed. 5

The New No-Nonsense Landlord: Building Wealth with Rental Properties, (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2003). HD 1394 J76

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Breaking into Commercial Sales

Field Guide to Commercial Property Management

Field Guide to Green Property Management

Field Guide to Investing in Real Estate

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.