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4 Multifamily Residential Experience Trends for 2023

Posted by Alex Godwin-Austen on Sep 19, 2022

It’s important for multifamily residential property managers to stay on top of trends. The opening line of the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report from PwC and Urban Land Institute says it all: “‘We’ve always done it this way’ doesn’t cut it in real estate anymore. We need to find the best way to do it.”

The report states that trends provide information based on carefully vetted resources to ensure that businesses can make decisions with confidence. “If you have thoughtfully assessed your resources, been careful about your objectives, and lined up the physical, financial, and human assets needed for success—well, your approach should have some staying power,” writes PwC and ULI.

Moreover, trends identify where the industry is heading. Those who adopt these trends early have a greater chance of getting ahead of their competitors. Trends are dynamic.

A big reason for that is technology. New technology comes out faster than the multifamily residential industry can keep up. Technology is not the only trend you can expect in 2023. Here are the four residential property trends worth noting.

1. Flexibility Due to the Rising of Remote Workers

The pandemic changed remote working for many businesses. Though some companies have already started bringing workers back into the office, many have changed their policy on this.

A Grace Hill blog post discusses the results of the Grace Hill/NMHC 2022 Renter Preferences Survey Report. More than 200,000 renters participated in the survey that found that 45% are remote working at least part-time. This is more than double from the 19% in 2019. Clearly, multifamily residential properties must take steps to attract remote workers.

Residential multifamily property management must offer amenities geared to remote workers. One advantage of remote working is that workers can live wherever they want. They may be tempted to move to a place with a lower cost of living or to be closer to their family. Thus, if the multifamily residential property wants to retain them, they need to prioritize multifamily residential amenities remote workers want.

One of the most critical is high-speed internet access with pre-installed Wi-Fi and reliable connectivity. The survey says 89% of respondents are willing to pay a premium for this. They also want soundproofed walls so they can work and sleep in silence. This is the third most popular home feature after air conditioning and an in-unit washer/dryer as 90% of respondents said they would not rent without these.

Flexibility also refers to being able to adapt and change floor plans, furnishings, and co-working spaces. Residents may not want to have meetings in their units. Therefore, another option is to provide a meeting room where they can have virtual meetings in a private, quiet space.

Another benefit of having an on-site coworking space or business center is to give workers a way to network with others without leaving the property. These spaces also help them separate their home and work environments.

Residents who are remote workers like anything that eases their lives. This could be grocery delivery or an onsite grocery store. They also like cleaning services, ridesharing, and washer and dryers in the units. With remote workers staying cooped up inside, it’s no surprise the survey has found almost three-fourths of respondents want outdoor amenities. This includes a community pool, rooftop space, or a patio or balcony.

According to the Grace Hill/NHMC survey, one-third of residents have a pet or service animal. At 70%, dogs were the most common pet. These pet owners may want access to pet services such as dog walking and bathing services. Fitness options are big too. They appreciate pools and a fitness center with exercise and weight machines.

2. Smart Home Technologies for Convenience

As more residents come from Generation Z, where they’ve had technology their entire lives and spend more time in the building, smart home technology is a priority. Many of them have their own device or voice assistant. They’ll want to be able to connect it to smart home technology for multifamily residential properties.

Here are some of the smart home technologies residents want according to Homebase.ai:

  • Smart amenities: Technology that lets you control things inside the unit, such as lights and locks. It may be able to integrate services like package delivery.
    • Smart locks: Keyless entry via an app on their devices. Residents can remotely unlock the door to let in a housecleaner or dog walker.
    • Smart lighting: Remotely manage lights through an app on a compatible device.
    • Smart thermostat: Remotely control the air conditioning and heating with an app and set it to automatically adjust based on the time of day.
    • Resident app: Gives residents a way to communicate with property managers and other residents as well as pay for rent, utilities, and other bills.
    • Wi-Fi: Residents order the service through the property manager instead of a carrier.
    • Access control: Adds security by tracking who enters and exits the property.
  • Connectivity: Uses an Internet of Things (IoT) network to connect devices, residents, building systems like HVAC, and management.
  • Community management: Allows tenants and property managers to communicate with each other. It could have features such as an event calendar, instant messaging, group forums, and on-demand property services requesting house cleaning or dog walking services.

The Grace Hill/NMHC survey lists the following as the most popular smart home technologies residents want:

  • Smart thermostats
  • Leak detection and notification
  • Water-saving features
  • Smart security and alarm system
  • Smart lighting
  • Smart glass
  • Smart locks

They are more likely to rent if the multifamily residential property has these features. Residents order more online and have more things delivered. Any solution that makes it easier for them to access their deliveries while providing security would be a boon.

3. Sustainability Matters

The majority of residents are more environmentally conscious than ever before. They prefer to choose a place that has energy-efficient building features and appliances. Smart home technology also helps with sustainability because it can control things like the air conditioning or heating system to ensure minimal use.

They also appreciate sustainability initiatives, such as recycling, community gardens, and sharing economy.

4. Security

As residents spend more time at home, they view safety and security as a priority. Most traditional security technologies won’t catch anything until after the crime, when the damage has already happened.

Live video surveillance is a proactive security solution that allows residents to have peace of mind. By adding security cameras with monitoring services, your multifamily residential could see its net operation income (NOI) increase as well as resident retention.

The way live video surveillance works is that a security specialist designs a setup that can strategically place cameras around the multifamily residential community. The specialist can help make sure the security cameras can see everything on the entire property.

Video surveillance with video analytics and trained monitoring operators watch the entire property. Video analytics monitors for any one of its many programmed scenarios. As soon as it has a match, the system notifies the monitoring operator who acts as needed.

The trained monitoring operators aren’t located on the multifamily residential property. They work remotely. This keeps them safe and prevents them from conspiring with employees or criminals. Anytime someone suspiciously approaches the property, the operator can issue a warning on the on-site speaker system.

If that doesn’t work, then the operator can call law enforcement while staying on top of the suspects’ movements and providing updates to the police. The police officers typically arrive while the suspects are still on or nearby the property, often before any damage occurs.

More Benefits of Video Surveillance with Remote Monitoring

Security cameras with monitoring services can do more than help deter crime and damage. They can help identify and report safety hazards. More seniors are selling their homes and moving into multifamily residential properties because they don’t want the responsibility of maintaining a home. Video cameras are useful to help ensure older residents using a walker, canes, or wheelchairs remain safe.

Not only can you enhance your amenities by adding remote video surveillance as a must-have amenity, but you could also strengthen resident retention. Another thing is that video surveillance may help you lower your insurance premiums. Video surveillance shows your insurance provider that you’ve taken action to reduce your risk. That’s why video surveillance helps lower liability.

How do you find the right security partner for your multifamily residential property? Use this video surveillance safety checklist. It lists things to consider like the cameras to use, where to put them, and more. Shopping for video surveillance can feel daunting and the checklist will simplify it for you. Beware that the requirements for your multifamily residential property’s security may not the same as another property or business in another industry.

Want to learn more about multifamily residential security technology? Pick up your copy of Complete Guide to Securing Your Multifamily Residential Building. This guide lists options for securing your multifamily residential building to help protect your residents, staff, visitors, and vendors. You’ll learn about four lines of defense that fortify building security. And finally, it will show you how to select the right security system that fits your budget. To learn more, contact us.