2020 was a landmark year for real estate. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every sector, from commercial office buildings, to residential and multifamily. In particular, the multifamily space was hit with a number of unprecedented challenges – many of which will continue to affect the space long after the pandemic subsides. However, last year also opened up new opportunities, and we’re excited to see how multifamily property management teams capitalize on them in 2021. Here are 5 key trends in multifamily real estate to watch this year.
Changing renter expectations
People are spending more time in their apartments than ever before. Thanks to remote working arrangements, the line between work and home-life has become blurred, and people are looking to make their spaces as functional, comfortable, and versatile as possible. For property managers looking to wow prospective renters, it’ll be important to keep these things in mind:
1. Luxury amenities
With the pandemic showing no signs of slowing, millions of people are staying in their homes as much as possible. What’s more, many multifamily properties have closed shared spaces and non-essential amenities. As such, people are hungrier than ever for luxury apartment amenities like in-building convenience stores, free high-speed internet, and hand-sanitizer stations.
2. The shift to virtual
Another one of the biggest 2021 multifamily trends is the rise of proptech and the shift to virtual tours and showings. While virtual tour tech has been in use for several years, last year saw a massive increase in use of these platforms, along with a desire for property management teams to utilize adjacent tech – like chatbots – to help with virtual leasing.
3. Focus on customer service
Moving forward, multifamily teams will need to prioritize flexibility, and adapt their offerings to meet both long and short-term resident needs.
4. The importance of diversity and inclusion
The housing market continues to become more diverse, and renters want to live in inclusive communities that celebrate all people. For property management teams, ensuring an equal-opportunity rental process is key, along with finding ways to create and acknowledge cultural events for different communities.
5. Communication is key
Even though property teams are seeing less and less of their renters these days, that doesn’t mean that keeping up consistent communication isn’t vital. Digital communication tools like apps, emails, and SMS texting are easy ways to stay in touch with renters. In addition to communication, convenience is one of the most important trends in multifamily real estate management teams should prioritize. If you don’t already have one in place, consider creating an online portal residents can use to pay rent, submit maintenance orders, and ask questions.
Lasting effects of the pandemic
The pandemic has irrevocably changed both renter expectations and how multifamily teams operate. And zooming out to the wider real estate context, it has accelerated the adoption of technology on a massive scale.
Proptech is here to stay
From helping connect prospective renters with properties, to aiding with the leasing process and creating a more luxury experience for renters, proptech is transforming multifamily real estate in creative and exciting ways. The time to embrace these technologies is now.
Keep up-to-date with the latest multifamily trends and news over on the BetterBot blog.