In It for the Long Run: Mark Wolf on Build-to-Rent Communities | John Burns Real Estate Consulting

In It for the Long Run: Mark Wolf on Build-to-Rent Communities

Successful restaurants have great service, the right menu, and a long-term outlook. A good location also doesn’t hurt. Mark Wolf, CEO and founder of AHV Communities, has a similar mindset when executing successful build-to-rent (BTR) communities. BTR communities are purpose-built rental communities that merge the product benefits of single-family rentals with service and amenities typically seen in apartment complexes. In this first of three BTR-related episodes, Mark describes AHV Communities as an “apartment company masquerading as a home builder.” Keep reading below to learn what Mark prioritizes when developing and operating BTR communities.

The game changers

  • Excellent service differentiates AHV Communities from single-family rentals and even many other BTR communities. Top-notch onsite management and maintenance are key.
  • Full amenity packages whenever possible.
  • Designing the right product with an extensive hold period in mind ensures today’s Class A community is not tomorrow’s Class C community.


  • Professional management is a key motivator for renting in a BTR community as opposed to a single-family rental (SFR).
  • Community social events can help instill a sense of community, another critical appeal.
  • Amenitized BTR communities can command a premium of up to 10%–15% over “mom and pop” SFRs.

Mark’s outlook on the future

  • Mark expects that as the BTR space matures, communities will be more clearly segmented by Class type (Class A, B, C) and by product type.
  • The number of BTR players will thin out, mainly due to consolidation.
  • The share of housing stock owned by institutional investors will expand. It is much more efficient to buy or build homes in bulk versus accumulating stock in one-off deals.

For a full transcript of this episode, click here.


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