Managing a Successful Apartment Complex.

What defines “Success?” A quick Google search will state that success is simply, “The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” Essentially, completing the task at hand as expected with the available resources and despite any obstacles/distractions. While this may seem straightforward, nowhere in this definition does it identify the acceptable metrics for success.

Is it enough to say that simply completing a task makes it a success? Or is there a need to look more closely and define the standards of acceptable performance? When asked to define success, world renowned technologist, business-leader, and philanthropist, Bill Gates, described it as, “Feeling like you made a difference” (Bliss, 2018).

The Vision of AFI is to Prosper All Stakeholders and our Mission is to EXCEED Property Owner expectations. “Success” for AFI is not as simple as achieving a desired outcome. Rather, we place extensive, measurable goals in the paths of our Onsite Teams and provide constant coaching on how to surpass even these lofty objectives.

One measurable our Managers strive for is to achieve BLUE PROPERTY STATUS. Despite our ~+/- 5000 managed-units across the country, the number of properties that are able to achieve this goal on a recurring basis is relatively low. Why? Read on to learn more about what it means to be a BLUE Property:

  1. 100% Occupancy – ALL Units on the property are FULL and a waiting list has been established.
  2. Pre-Leasing 30 Days in Advance – All future notice/lost renewal units are PRE-LEASED prior to current tenant move-out.
  3. Less than 1% on Accounts Receivable – Manager has collected a minimum of 99% of all outstanding items on the Income Statement.
  4. Achieved Monthly Renewal Goal – Varies by month (typically 60% of presently expiring leases).
  5. 4.7+ Google Rating – Property must have greater than a 4.7/5.0 review rating on Google.

Given the robust nature of these key performance indicators, one can see why it is such a sought-after goal! Rather, than simply completing a task, AFI chooses to measure success through exemplary performance that exceeds standard expectations.


Bliss, Dan E. “12 Remarkably Successful People Define Success.”, 1 Aug. 2018,

Colin CosbyManaging a Successful Apartment Complex.
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Accounting Success – Water Bill Anomaly


Recently, while completing the Monthly Utility Bill Analysis Module, an Asset in Indiana was found to have been invoiced over 106% more than the average bill.

Utility waste in the US is at an all-time high with ~60-80% of the energy consumption being attributed to waste and errors (source below)

This anomaly was noted and investigated by AFI staff and the following errors were discovered:

  1. Human data-entry error: The technicians at the utility company entered the meter data incorrectly (scrivener error).
  2. Meter Change: A new meter was installed at the property by the utility company further complicating data collection and reporting.

The total savings for this error? $14,657.52

Had the utility bill not been audited, it is unlikely the invoice would have been corrected by the utility company due to the complex nature of the error.


  1. All utility bills should be managed at a single location to allowing for data aggregation and institutional knowledge to develop.
  2. All utility bills should be handled by a single team to ensure that consistent monthly KPIs are utilized. For example, AFI has a single team analyzes trailing cashflow and consumption data each month on a per unit basis.
  3. Utility data is analyzed on a global basis to allow for highlighting anomalies. Anomalies can be not only data-entry errors, but also might include leaks, incorrectly set HVAC systems, power drains, etc. By completing a global analysis, a granular comparison is able to be created cross-systems to highlight outliers. Additionally, by aggregating data, a larger comparison group is created. AFI, for example, analyzes ~250 meters and 5000 units. The more data available, the better.

Consider implementing a utility analysis system today of your own to prevent errors and waste. Not only are invoice errors expensive, they are potentially wasteful to energy resources and money.

FACT: One drop per second from a leaky faucet could equate 2,700 gallons a year.

Colin CosbyAccounting Success – Water Bill Anomaly
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AFI Reduces Property Taxes by 31%!

Recently, at an AFI asset in Texas, the Owners saw tax savings of over $18,000!

Here at AFI, we have seven Core Values that are at the forefront of our minds at all times. Two of these Core Values are Collaboration and Efficiency. Through effectively managing vendor relationships, AFI was able to help the property appeal a previously proposed assessment and further increase NOI for our stakeholders.

We pride ourselves on of course achieving fantastic results for our Owners, but also on having the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals that share in our values and commitment to excellence!

Colin CosbyAFI Reduces Property Taxes by 31%!
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Columbia Asset CRUSHES Monthly Income Record!

AFI Property Manager, Tim Trower, recently oversaw the addition of 16 new units on a Columbia-based property. With these new units came several additional challenges and an increased workload for Tim, but also an opportunity to further increase profitability on the asset.

Through Tim’s leadership, this property CRUSHED it’s previous monthly income record by almost $10,000!

Tim is currently managing his third asset with AFI and has proven, no matter the obstacle, his ability to hold tenants accountable and maximize revenue. Tim is the embodiment of the AFI system at work which has resulted in an excellent return for the Property Owner.

Great work, Tim!


Colin CosbyColumbia Asset CRUSHES Monthly Income Record!
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Laundry Room Earns 30% ROI!

AFI recently oversaw the completion of two laundry room renovation projects totaling almost $130,000 at two Texas-based assets.

These improvements proved to be extremely lucrative ventures as we can now report an average ROI of over 30%! With completion of this project, we have a happier Onsite Manager, happier tenants, and an absolutely delighted Owner!

This is just another example of AFI accomplishing our Mission to PROSPER ALL STAKEHOLDERS.

Colin CosbyLaundry Room Earns 30% ROI!
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AFI Accounting Innovation!

Here at AFI, we pride ourselves on developing robust processes that not only address current issues, but are also flexible enough to adapt to anomalies that may arise.

Evidence of our prowess in creating such processes is possibly no more apparent than in our Accounting Department.

In October of 2017, our team began recording any accounting-related issue that could not be resolved in an eight hour work day as an “Accounting Ticket.” At close of business on that day in October, AFI reported having 150 open Accounting Tickets.

At the time, clearing out these items may have seemed like an impossible task. Once this task was completed, it was imperative that the proper systems were in place to ensure an issue of this magnitude did not occur again.

As of close of business yesterday, June 20th, AFI reported only 11 open Accounting Tickets! An almost 93% reduction that was achieved through INNOVATION, one of AFI’s Core Values.

Way to go, AFI Accounting!

Colin CosbyAFI Accounting Innovation!
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Success: AFI L&C Breaks Multiple Income Records!

Our Leasing & Collections team has been putting in an immense amount of effort this quarter that culminated in record-breaking accomplishments at several AFI assets.

Over the trailing three months, 11 AFI properties achieved new T-3 Top Line Income Records! These new records equated to over $20,000 in additional income for 2019 versus 2018.

This in itself would have been a tremendous accomplishment; however, we did not stop there. In addition to setting 11 new T-3 Income Records, another six (6) assets achieved new Monthly Income Records for May!

This was not done overnight and was accomplished through the development of robust procedures by our L&C team, and flawless execution by our Onsite Staff.

We look forward to developing new/improving upon current processes in order to replicate this kind of success as our portfolio continues to grow!

Colin CosbySuccess: AFI L&C Breaks Multiple Income Records!
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AFI WOWS Insurance Inspector!

A Texas-based asset managed by AFI, LLC recently received glowing accolades during a quarterly insurance inspection.

We at AFI pride ourselves on being able to provide clean, safe, and friendly communities to residents and visitors alike. This kind of welcoming environment was exactly what awaited our insurance inspector when he arrived to the property.

Our onsite team deserves a great deal of praise for ensuring such a wonderful visit, and continuing to uphold the AFI Standard of Excellence!

Colin CosbyAFI WOWS Insurance Inspector!
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AFI Celebrated for 100% Compliance!

This week, AFI was recognized as one of very few companies to achieve 100% Grace Hill compliance across all learners!

Grace Hill is an industry leading Property Management training platform that specializes in educating employees on topics such as changes in federal law, leasing/marketing strategies, and even property maintenance items.

It is a requirement for all AFI Corporate, and Onsite Staff to maintain 100% Grace Hill compliance at all times. The importance of this training cannot be stressed enough as keeping up to date with assigned courses allows all of our team members to not only improve his or her own skills, but also understand how to follow ever-changing government regulations.

Follow the link below to share in our excitement:

Thank you, Grace Hill, for providing such an excellent service and continuing to assist AFI in the fulfillment of our mission to Prosper All Stakeholders!

Colin CosbyAFI Celebrated for 100% Compliance!
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AFI Manager Achieves Blue Property Status!

May was a great month for several members of our AFI family, especially Property Manager, Dan Clark!

Long days and hard work truly paid off for Dan as his asset was awarded the Blue Property Designation!

Being a Blue Property is an extremely prestigious honor to AFI, as these Managers have to achieve the following items:

  1. 100% Leased Occupancy
  2. All lost renewal units are pre-leased a minimum of 30 days in advance
  3. Manager has collected a minimum of 99% of all outstanding items on the Income Statement
  4. Manager has achieved his/her monthly renewal goal
  5. Property Google Rating is above 4.75/5.00
  6. Property has maintained a minimum 3% Year-Over-Year income increase

We look forward to Dan continuing his success and are eager to replicate this kind of excellence across our entire portfolio!

Colin CosbyAFI Manager Achieves Blue Property Status!
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