Million Dollar Water, The Art of Hidden Value

By Terri Clifton, Better World Properties, LLC

Texas Apartment Property Management – Case Study 

  • Claridge Apartments in Houston, Texas
  • 173 Units
  • Built in 1983
  • No irrigation
  • One Pool
  • Purchased in 2009

Process Review and Assessment 

  • Completed extensive process review searching for facilities improvement opportunities
  • Identified extensive water usage

Apartment Property Management, Water Management 

  • Immediately implemented RUBS (Ratio Utility Billing System) system for new leases and renewals, increasing revenue to $4,168 per month.
  • Upon lease-up, City of Houston water billing averaged $15,644 per month.
  • Reduced water costs by 30% in 2011 by installing conservation devices and detecting and repairing leaks.
  • Properly maintained systems and with persistent management eventually convinced the City that metering was faulty. After meter change in January of 2014, billing went down by another 43% to an average of $6,199 per month.


  • Accumulated savings : $9,445/ mont
  • Improved water management (savings + RUBS) adding $163,356/year in NOI.
  • Multifamily real estate investment Texas. Rate of return: At sale in 2015, cap rate: 9.64%; these hands-on, management-directed changes added $1,694,564 to the value of the property, or $9,795 per door!  
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