Single-Family Units to Multifamily Properties: One Client’s Strategy for Scaling Operations

By Mike Ballard

When kicking off your career as a new investor, owner or operator, most people tend to start within the single-family sector before making the jump into the multifamily and commercial industry. Whether you are catering to portfolio growth or just acquiring knowledge of the trade, single-family units often serve as a starting point to focus on business and capital development.

As you weigh the pros and cons, there are far more advantages when it comes to scaling your business within the multifamily industry, including long-term profitability, property value, easier management processes and more.

If you’re ready to scale your business and build your reputation within the industry, you might be wondering what comes next.

Luke Westerfield, principal of management at Tulsa Property Group (TPG), found himself considering the same question when he established his company’s portfolio within the single-family sector. When Luke was considering getting to the next level, he decided to focus on transitioning to multifamily.

“Starting out on the single-family side helped us to confidently build our foundation, but we quickly discovered that the multifamily and commercial industry were a necessity to meet our long-term goals and keep moving in the right direction,” said Luke.

Twill Centennial Crossing

Luke’s single-family background of managing 200 owners and over 500 properties, played a vital role as he entered the multifamily industry and began introducing new strategies for development. While there are similarities across each trade, there are also many differences which derived his company to adapt and adjust their normal processes.

“As we dove right into the industry, we noticed we had to change our operations in terms of the technology and software we originally had implemented,” said Luke.

One of the most preeminent challenges he first noted was the accounting and bookkeeping methods. In single-family, the accounting was simplified through terms of cash coming in and cash going out, as there were not any capital improvements. In multifamily and mixed-used operations, he noticed the accounting extended beyond just calculating cash flow.

Brio at The Rose, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

The multifamily industry is one of the more competitive sectors, and Luke wanted his company to focus their efforts on maximizing operations and customer service, leaving no extra time or hands to manage the back office. As his responsibilities remained in operations, the firm quickly decided it would be most efficient to outsource its back office and accounting.

“We began researching accounting firms and software that could help with this transition,” said Luke. “That’s when we discovered Ascent Multifamily Accounting and after reviewing their services and getting in touch, we knew this is what our company needed to succeed.”

With Ascent, Luke said Ascent’s expansive accounting services and the wealth of industry experience the Ascent team offers were huge factors in forming the partnership. The firm has been able to help Luke and TPG not only focus on their clients and employees, but smoothly navigate their industry transition and strategies.

The Village Flats Apartments, Tulsa, Oklahoma

TPG now has four properties with another one on the way, totaling 350 units and about 35,000 square feet of commercial developments.

“Having Ascent handle our back office gave me the confidence and time to focus on growth,” said Luke. “They have really helped us streamline our operations while scaling our business.”

For more information on outsourcing your back office and streamlining your operations with Ascent’s help, you can call me at 702-467-0789 or email at mike@ascentmfa.com.