The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on renters’ wants and needs, according to a new report from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and Grace Hill. The firms surveyed more than 221,000 renters in 4,564 multifamily communities nationwide to get a better understanding of their preferences—from home features and community amenities to leasing terms and connectivity needs.
According to the report, of the respondents who moved in the past 18 months, 60%, a quarter of those cited that their relocation was because of a shift to remote work. One in three respondents, 35%, also indicated interest in using shared workspace at their communities, while only 19% said they would consider using a co-working facility when teleworking.
Connectivity also is critical for renters, with 82% of respondents saying they are streaming video daily and 73% streaming music daily. In addition, 39% reported video conferencing for work daily and 31% said they are gaming daily.
“The data provides the first glimpse of how today’s renters plan to live in a post-pandemic world, and that involves a highly connected lifestyle,” said Rick Haughey, NMHC vice president of industry technology initiatives. “Renters are streaming video content and music, gaming, working remotely, and all of that indicates a need for a strong technology infrastructure in rental communities.”
Other initial highlights from the report include:
- Nearly half of the respondents, 46%, said they would consider joining a rental housing membership program that would allow the flexibility to move between apartment communities within a brand’s network of properties; and
- More than three-quarters of respondents, 77%, said that pet breed restrictions would either have no impact on their leasing decisions or would make them less likely to rent a property with restrictions in place.
“Now more than ever, it is critical to have insights into how renters have changed over the last year. The pandemic caused some temporary, and some lasting, changes in our industry. Developers, property managers, architects, and designers all need to know how renters’ needs and wants have shifted, and this report provides that critical information,” said Grace Hill CEO Kendall Pretzer. “Armed with this powerful data, our industry is better positioned to adapt our operations, amenities, communities, and partnerships to ensure we are providing the best living experiences possible and optimizing business objectives.”
Source: Multifamily Executive
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