Real estate is always evolving due to the needs of the market and the creation and integration of new technologies. One specific trend is the growing demand for multifamily homes built to rent, especially among millennials. Multi-family trends will continue to evolve, but let’s take a look at a few that are here to stay.
Technology and Communication:
Residents expect electronic or self-serve rent and utility payment systems, as well as automated systems that inform them of upcoming charges, and payment status. Residents also want an easy way to communicate with site staff to resolve questions or submit a request related to maintenance issues. Automated payments and streamlined communication makes life easier for both your residents and site staff.
Green and sustainable technology is in higher demand, especially in multifamily buildings. Residents expect more energy efficiency, including LED lighting, solar panels, better insulation, car charging stations, and high-performance monitoring systems. Residents also want options that can help them live a more green lifestyle, like recycling, water bottle fill stations, nearby public transportation, and composting.
Aside from renter appeal, implementing sustainable features across your portfolio also helps reduce overall operating expenses – it’s a win-win! Sustainability is a trend that is here to stay.
Renters are increasingly more expectant of a wider variety of amenities, even to the point that they expect amenities along the lines of luxury apartments. Some of the most popular amenities include a pool, rooftop decks and patios, dog parks, high-speed internet, valet trash, and electric car charging stations.
Millennials make up one of the largest renter demographics, and with that has come a higher demand for useful common spaces and other amenities that have utility rather than just visual appeal. Multifamily property owners are working to accommodate these amenities requests by also including package lockers, barbecue areas, lofts, office space, media rooms, and fitness centers.
Virtual Tours and Self-Guided Showings:
Studies show that even prior to COVID-19 there was an increase of residents that preferred self-guided tours when looking for an apartment. Now in a world that is limiting human-to-human interaction, it’s become increasingly important to adapt to these practices. Virtual and self-guided tours are also more convenient for potential renters to schedule. This kind of flexibility can increase your number of showings, resulting in higher leasing activity.
Resident Credit Reporting:
Credit scores have a critical impact on everyone’s life. But because timely rent payments aren’t traditionally reported to credit bureaus, renters face specific challenges building or increasing their credit scores. Residents are often eager to take advantage of the opportunity to build their credit scores through timely rent payments.
Resident credit reporting has also gained attention due to a recent law passed in California (known as SB1157) that legally requires multifamily affordable housing landlords to offer credit reporting to their residents. We expect this to catch on in other states, and reach non-affordable housing as well. Credit reporting can benefit both the residents and the landlord.
Industry trends are always changing, but one thing remains consistent: the need for technology, sustainability, and amenities that appeal to renters. Keeping up with these lasting trends has a positive impact on the resident experience, which leads to higher occupancy and lower turnover rates.