The next generation of renters is here. So, what can multifamily operators do to prepare their communities to meet new demands?
The future forecasts an increased number of renters with remote careers in their renter profile; however, this is not solely COVID-related; a much bigger trend is happening here.
Forbes recently noted that the Census Bureau indicated 2020 through 2030 will be the lowest working population growth our country has seen since the Civil War. Moreover, these predictions indicate the smallest increase in the number of people, not the percentage, aged 20 through 60 in the workforce since the Civil War. Why? Baby Boomers are retiring, 21% less immigration through 2030 than predicted, and a global pandemic that created the cherry on top of this unique set of circumstances that formed today’s tight labor markets.
Managers and employers have to adapt to tight labor markets by meeting the demand of today’s remote workforce. And the desire to work remotely is valid; rent has risen 16% and gas by 78%, which means an individual’s job has to be worth it to sacrifice family time, commute time, and more affordable living. Moreover, today, people don’t have to tie themselves to a geographic area for a career. At the beginning of the pandemic, only 36% of workers were remote because they wanted to be, but now, 61% percent of people who work remotely do so because they want to.
If today’s workers can afford to be picky about where they work, then today’s renters can afford to be selective about where they live. So if your apartment community’s most significant selling point was its location, what do you do now?
Remote careers provide renters with the flexibility and freedom to work from almost any location, which means a community’s amenities must accommodate their new lifestyle and out weight location.
- Upgrade your community’s business center and co-working spaces. These areas are especially important if your floor plans aren’t exceptionally office-friendly or accommodating.
- Invest in a more practical resident package delivery system. Online shopping skyrocketed during the pandemic and is here to stay. Remote workers who no longer commute past various stores, businesses, and restaurants will be more dependent on shipping.
- Provide your residents with high-quality WiFi. Having high-speed internet is essential for work, entertainment, and connection. Bulk WiFi increases revenue for property owners and brings enterprise-grade WiFi service to renters.
- Smart home amenities bring luxury to the everyday renter. The more time spent in an apartment, the more influential the value of those amenities becomes. We’re talking about smart locks, thermostats, lights, security systems, and more.
- Coordinate community events. The pandemic re-awakened the value of family time and is one of the primary drivers of remote work. If there was ever a time to encourage one another to know their neighbors, it’s now. Building tight-knit communities through events encourages individuals to re-sign their lease because of the relationships they’ve built with their neighbors.
The new age of renters will spend more time in their rentals than previous generations. As a result, the operators and owners who make their apartments well-rounded ecosystems will be the ones renters most likely call home.