Better World Properties Gives Look at Harvey's Impact on Multifamily Industry

Houston-based apartment property management company provides details from front lines of historical storm, reports

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and, Hurricane Harvey was no exception. Hurricane Harvey parked over Texas and Louisiana for six long days and nights and dumped a staggering 27 trillion gallons of water from the sky. Rain gauges in some Houston bayous and creeks registered over 51 inches. That’s more rain in six days than the average rainfall for an entire year. The perfect storm that Harvey created brought once-in-1000 year flooding and along with many challenges. Better World Properties LLC, an apartment property management firm headquartered in Houston had a unique view of Harvey from the front lines. “I’ve been through a lot of natural disasters in my multifamily career,” said Better World Properties LLC president, Terri Clifton, “To date, I have to say Harvey takes the cake.”

Clifton continued, “The amount of rising water from Harvey was unprecedented. We are lucky to be in a great city that knows how to respond in these situations. As the waters receded, the way the whole world rose has been amazing. I am very proud of my staff that has been at it day and night since the storm began. We were able to respond quickly to rapidly changing conditions and share news with residents, owners, others in the multifamily industry and the media. Michael Knight, our Vice President of Operations for Better World Properties LLC, was a former Point of Distribution (P.O.D) manager for FEMA during Hurricane Ike. His assistance has been instrumental in helping us orchestrate this process.”

Apartment Data Services and the Houston Apartment Association are conducting surveys to fully assess damages. It appears many properties within the 500-year floodplain in Harris County may have been affected. Observations and recent flood mapping support this. It is likely most properties in the 100-year suffered some degree of flooding. Preliminary estimates are somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 units in Harris County may have affected. Harvey impacted a large region from Beaumont to Corpus Christi and 100 miles inland – and that’s just in Texas.

Insurance is golden when it comes to natural disasters,” said Michael Knight. “We routinely engage a public adjuster to help protect interests with significant claims. Experienced public adjusters use the same tools, guidelines, and data that most insurance companies do. The devil is in the details. One of our carrier-assigned insurance adjusters was assigned 170+ cases to investigate before he stepped foot in town. Since we have been through many natural disasters before, our professional adjuster was waiting with moisture readings, initial assessments, and a proposed action plan. Managing the restoration process carefully with speed and accuracy is key.”

Having ongoing relationships with industry experts help ensure properties remain a priority. Adjusters are in short supply. Additional destruction with Hurricane Irma exacerbates this need. Read more about Harveys impact here.

Clifton went on to say, “Investor calls to our offices are evenly split between those anxious to get in and those anxious to get out. Some see uncertainty in the apartment marketplace, others see opportunity. It’s all about experience, knowledge and risk tolerance. As we continue to dig out from Harvey, past experience shows multifamily transaction volume will increase.”

Wise apartment investors understand Harvey was an aberration. Within that context, understanding what is a deal and what is a mess takes experience and careful due diligence. Ways to mitigate risks, prevent losses and improve outcomes are continuously being evaluated. Weather forecasting for Harvey was remarkably accurate allowing people to prepare in advance. Harvey will be studied for decades to come. When the next one comes, outcomes will be better.

To learn more about Better World Properties LLC, click here or visit

About Better World Properties LLCTM:

Better World Properties LLCTM provides complete Apartment Life Cycle Solutions for apartment owners, apartment investors and tenants including licensed Texas apartment management for Class A, B, and C apartment properties; student housing, senior living and condominium conversions; apartment property management, apartment process and performance consulting; multifamily deal generation; real estate entity structuring; new apartment development; and apartment financing solutions.Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the Better World Family of Companies includes Better World Properties LLC, Better World Holdings LLC and Better World Consulting.

Contact Info:
Name: Michael Knight
Email: Send Email
Organization: Better World Properties LLC
Address: 17207 Kuykendahl Road, Suite 290 Spring, TX 77379
Phone: (713) 559-6975

Release ID: 239499