3 strategies to thrive in the modern multifamily marketplace
A global pandemic, economic uncertainty and shifts in renters’ priorities have challenged multifamily investors to evolve their operations in the past few years. Property owners who make strategic improvements to better meet their renters’ needs can gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, setting them up for future success.
Make apartment properties remote work-ready
Working from home either part or full time has become a lifestyle priority for many.
“People now expect to have enough space in their property to have a dedicated working zone," says Volodymyr Barabakh, co-founder and project director of Chicago-based property development and real estate management firm Fortress Home.
For units with multiple bedrooms, dens, alcoves or sunrooms, you can market and stage the extra space as a “Zoom room” or office space to help potential renters visualize how the unit can meet their work-from-home needs.
Other ideas for appealing to renters who work remotely include:
- Adding power outlets, additional lighting and heating/air conditioning to home office spaces
- Installing windows or skylights in home offices where possible
- Providing access to reliable, high-speed internet
- Converting common areas such as lobbies or conference rooms into co-working spaces by adding desks or soundproof pods
Widen your renter applicant pool by allowing pets
Pet adoptions boomed during the pandemic, and today, 66% of U.S. household own a pet, according to the 2023-2024 APPA National Pet Owners Survey.
In light of this trend, restrictive pet policies might significantly narrow your applicant pool. However, by accommodating pet owners, you might be able to fill vacancies more quickly with quality renters who are more likely to stay longer. In fact, according to Michelson Found Animals’ 2021 Pet-Inclusive Housing Report:
- 83% of housing owners/operators say pet-friendly vacancies are filled faster.
- 79% of owners/operators say pet-friendly units are easier to fill.
- Residents in pet-friendly housing stay 21% longer than those in non-pet-friendly housing.
Use PropTech to streamline the renter experience
Digital tools can help property owners meet their renters’ expectations for efficiency and convenience by providing a seamless way to submit digital rental applications, pay rent online and view properties virtually.
“Now more than ever, tenants want to pay bills online and look at properties online before viewing,” says Khari Washington, broker and owner of 1st United Realty & Mortgage. Washington has over a decade of experience as a realtor and real estate investor in Southern California.
PropTech “will not only help attract new tenants, but [digital] bill payment systems can simplify bookkeeping,” Washington says. That’s a win for renters and owners.
Learn more about how digital rent management can streamline operations at multifamily properties.
Though the past few years have thrown curveballs at multifamily property owners, they’ve also revealed opportunities to make strategic improvements. Upgrading your units and amenities to attract remote workers, updating your pet policies to broaden your applicant pool and using digital technology to streamline renters’ experience can help you stay competitive in today’s rental market.
By the editorial team at Story by J.P. Morgan
Published January 2022; updated October 2023