There is a significant demand in the industry for multifamily housing, and it is expected to remain quite strong moving into 2020 and beyond.
This is thanks to the increasing challenges of owning a home, population growth, and a preference by young and old to rent instead of own, all according to GlobeSt.com.
You will find that there are about one million renting households each year, and there are now an additional one million people who want to rent.
Therefore, companies like Buffalo Niagara Realty Group have to keep updated as to what their customers want, learn how to retain and attract more renters, stay ahead of their competition, and manage everything effectively.
This is no easy feat.
If you want to know what renters in Buffalo NY care about most, it’s a good idea to ask them.
Kingsley Associates filed a report by the NMHC, which did just that and showed the statistics.
At the NMHC OPTECH conference in 2019, it released impressive new research about what apartment dwellers desire heading into 2020.
The report surveyed more than a quarter of a million multifamily renters throughout the US to find out what features they like most in the community and apartment, which ones they can’t live without, and what trends are likely to affect their decision about where to rent in 2020.
While you’re preparing your business strategy for the next year’s growth, consider these six trends.
They’re some of the biggest factors in that report that your renters want most of all.
Though many of the amenities and features that are mentioned in the report carry significant costs that could drive up the rental price, affordability is still a major factor for renters.
In fact, most renters claimed that they sought lower rent, which is the number-one reason they planned to move to a different location.
This was at 47 percent.
Affordability is one of the major concerns for renters, according to Buffalo Niagara Realty Group.
Rental rates are sure to continue their rise to be higher nationwide, so rental affordability is a concern.
The need for more affordable rental options is the highest it has ever been.
The Burns Intrinsic Apartment Rent Index is designed to measure rent valuation for apartments based on a ratio of rent to income.
This suggests that almost half of all major markets within the country are overvalued by over five percent, and some as high as 10+ percent.
Though it depends on the property classes and locations of your portfolio, there could be a greater emphasis on how affordable the unit is instead of what amenities are included.
For most renters, the quality of the rental experience goes far beyond the unit in which they live.
The second common reason that renters left their current location in search of a new one was dissatisfaction with the management quality in their community.
Almost 31 percent of renters surveyed cited this as a primary reason for moving to a new apartment.
It is essential to improve your resident’s experience, and it can be a cost-effective option to retain and attract more renters.
That’s because it involves you changing your policies and practices, so you don’t have to invest more money into upgrades for the community or apartment building.
The goal here is to listen to your renter’s needs.
Try sending out surveys and review sheets to gather feedback.
Go through the responses to identify common issues mentioned by the renters and then focus on process changes that can prevent these problems from happening again.
Almost 72 percent of renters surveyed claimed that they visited a website for an apartment listing while searching.
Out of those who rent, about 79 percent said that the reviews and rating content stopped them from going to one or multiple communities.
Plus, 85 percent said that the material had influenced leasing decisions for them.
Residents usually expect a response when they leave a negative review.
Your well-written one could preserve the brand reputation and keep prospective renters interested.
Make sure you check out your ranking on these sites, too.
Anything below a 3.5-star rating is likely to turn away a potential renter.
Convenient Amenities in the Unit
If you’re focused on various in-unit amenities to add to the list, it makes sense to focus primarily on those that are low-cost to install and implement.
However, you also have to make sure that the renter feels that it is a good value.
Many renters put a high value on those features that give them more convenience for their everyday lives.
This addition is one that’s relatively inexpensive, and it can help you avoid expensive plumbing repairs.
Therefore, it might be wise to invest in them during the 2020 year.
In-unit dryers and washing machines are other features that renters desire above all else.
About 91 percent of renters were interested and wanted this feature, and 55 percent claimed they wouldn’t rent a place without it.
You’ll also find that 90 percent of residents want a dishwasher installed, and an astounding 63 percent of those who rent wouldn’t take a place without it.
Likewise, 86 percent of people said a built-in microwave would be nice, and 47 percent required one before moving into the apartment. If you think about a microwave is quite inexpensive to buy and install, this appliance could be a great welcome gift to the community.
Are there any other inexpensive amenities that renters seem to want?
In-wall USB ports and smart thermostats are about the same when it comes to how many want it, but 76 percent of people desire in-wall ports, and they’re cheaper to install.
Plus, 61 percent of renters want TV wall mounts, and they are inexpensive to add to the units, too.
If you install these things for your renters, you also get the benefit of making sure it’s done right to avoid damage and injury for those who self-install later.
Most residents prioritize places where they can use multiple connected devices.
The number-one amenity that residents wanted was an exceptional cell phone reception.
About 91 percent of renters believe this was important and part of their decision to rent or not.
About 44 percent of people said they couldn’t rent a place without reliable cell phone service.
Some residents will also check the service in the community before they tour a unit – 47 percent of renters claimed they checked mobile phone connectivity while visiting.
Of course, high-speed internet is always a top priority for people who rent.
It’s currently ranked in fourth place as a much-needed apartment feature, with 92 percent of people expressing interest and 48 percent saying they wouldn’t rent if it weren’t available.
The reason for this is because many people now work from home, and most people use one or more online streaming services as the primary option for home entertainment.
About 64 percent of renters use streaming services for entertainment while only about 43 percent use cable, four percent have satellite, and five percent use an HD antenna.
Secure Delivery of Packages
With the rise of e-commerce, there has also been a demand for more secure package delivery services within apartment complexes and communities.
The Pitney Bowes Parcel and Volume Index were recently released, and it shows that more packages are being delivered everywhere.
Next year, it’s expected that there will be over 100 billion parcels delivered throughout the world.
Because residents are receiving more packages than ever, it’s not surprising that 84 percent of residents wanted secure, self-service options that were available 24/7 for retrieval.
Out of all of those, 76 percent wanted package lockers and self-service pickup while only 10 percent wanted a specific room designed for pickup.
Mobile Access to the Resident Portal
Since many residents are all about mobile connectivity, it is easy to see that it would extend to their ability to interact with the management.
Roughly 64 percent signed their lease online, and if they were given a choice, about 58 percent of renters would rather pay their rent using a mobile app than going to a website on a desktop or laptop.