There are five trends witnessed during the pandemic that will be shaping the future of rental housing and apartments for years to come, according to National Apartment Association (NAA) President and CEI Bob Pinnegar.
“The world continues to change as vaccines roll out. During the past year, businesses have adapted, consumers have altered purchasing habits and industries are adjusting to a new normal. The rental housing industry is no different, and apartments will continue evolving in response to the pandemic,” Pinnegar said in a release.
Here is what Pinnegar said about the five trends he sees, in a recent Washington Post column.
No. 1: A new outlook on amenities
“There has been a shift in the amenity world—shareable areas to individual spaces.
“Shared spaces such as fitness centers and pools are still important, but communities have shifted their focus to in-home amenities like larger kitchens, balconies, in-unit washer and dryers and high-speed Wi-Fi.”
No. 2: Virtual tours and decision making
“For obvious reasons, there’s now a larger number of prospective residents virtually searching for new homes.”
While it was previously only part of the process of selecting a new community, virtual touring has been a catalyst to “invest in new technology, high-quality videos and specialized training to give prospects a more complete picture of the community.”
No. 3: Changing relationship between property managers and residents
“Communication between community managers and residents is vital, and could impact resident retention and even new apartment searches.”
Interactions between the two parties has “significantly increased” compared to pre-pandemic relationships.
No. 4: New perspective on location
“Remote work has caused residents to re-think where and how they live.”
One of the biggest rental housing trends is that residents who don’t need to be close to the office can now search for other options—a two-bedroom in the suburbs vs. a one-bedroom in the city—to accommodate the work-from-home lifestyle.
No. 5: A new generation with new values
“The younger generations—millennials and Generation Z—favor renting, which leads to higher demand for apartments, more competition and new development.
“One of the greatest hallmarks of the apartment industry is its propensity for choice, flexibility and adaptability,” Pinnegar says. “This means that the current demand for apartments is only going to increase, creating steeper competition, prompting innovations and spurring new development.”
Future of rental housing is choice
Pinnegar writes in his column that, “One of the greatest hallmarks of the apartment industry is its propensity for choice, flexibility and adaptability. As we witness a seismic shift in our society and economy, the apartment industry is racing to identify and respond to its residents’ changing lifestyles.
“For residents, it’s a critical time to communicate your needs to your property manager or leasing agent. In this way, housing providers and residents can come together to shape and influence the apartment market of the future,” Pinnegar says.