HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Reassessing Reopenings as Covid-19 Continues
The resurgence in Covid-19 cases, particularly in the South, has apartment communities either pausing or reversing their reopening plans. Work schedules and back-to-school plans are in limbo for residents, while multifamily corporate and onsite offices are still either closed or minimally staffed. While social distancing and masks are a must at the workplace, employees who test positive for the virus trigger another set of safety procedures. Those who are awaiting test results are required to take additional precautions. Leadership teams from companies including Greystar, RAM Partners, Perennial and The Management Group in Atlanta recently met in a monthly Multifamily Huddle to discuss these issues, their teams’ current policies and their recommendations for navigating the pandemic moving forward.
The Surprising Application of Maps in Multifamily
The framework to combat systemic discrimination in the multifamily industry has The addition of interactive maps to community websites is usually designed to attract and make lives easier for prospects. While that functionality is key, maps can provide much more of an impact for apartment communities. Most notably, they can serve as a tool for first responders. Paramedics and firefighters generally have no difficulties locating a community—it’s where to go when they arrive, particularly at communities with many buildings. 3D maps with wayfinding capabilities can guide first responders to the precise location of an emergency, which is key considering up to 10,000 lives could be saved per year if response times were sped up by one-minute. While comparatively less urgent, delivery drivers can use maps in the same capacity.
Three Things Every Apartment Owner Should Consider
Questions still remain about the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the multifamily market. Moving forward, apartment owners should consider three things as they assess their properties. First, developers need to think about designing more capacity for digital infrastructure. As more tech channels are routed to homes, multifamily properties need to be equipped to handle the increased capacity. Second, while eviction moratoriums and renewal increase restrictions already encourage residents to stay put, property managers need to think about rental assistance programs and flexible rent payment programs in order to further increase resident retention. Third, companies should reconsider their hub-and-spoke site selection model. A rebirth of the suburbs is underway, and millennials are leading the migration.
IN THE NEWS
Apartment Market Recovery Hits a Bump in the Road
While the national unemployment rate has skyrocketed, the commercial real estate The multifamily sector appeared to have recovered from the worst impact of the pandemic. But the forward momentum grinded to a halt, as traffic and leases were down two straight weeks according to data from Radix. For the seven-day period ending on July 12, traffic was down 8.5% and leases 11.1% from the previous week, representing one of the steepest week-over-week declines since the start of the pandemic. The national occupancy rate stood at 93.52%, representing a weekly drop of 10 basis points and year-over-year decline of 1%. The national net effective rate held steady at $1,667, which represents as 7.7% year-over-year drop with Houston (-13.4%) hit the hardest.
Hard Time for Homebuyers Might Be Boon for Multifamily
For the past few years, one of the primary concerns for apartment developers has Due to pandemic-related financial repercussions, many individuals hoping to buy a home sometime soon might be delayed several years. According to Realtor.com, it takes about nine months to recoup from a single month of financial setbacks. For the apartment world, this means renters will either stay put or move to another apartment rather than a single-family home. While retention rates have been historically high, data from SatisFacts indicates plenty of renters will be on the move, as well. According to a survey of renters whose lease expires within the next six months, 35.9% do not plan to renew, 38% are iffy or undecided and only 26.1% claim they are very likely to renew.
Steps to Remember When Disaster Hits
The end to supplemental unemployment payments and rising COVID-19 infections Post-disaster recovery can be a long, arduous process. But proper preparation by apartment operators can help them respond and assist their residents throughout the process. Industry leaders suggest developing a disaster plan and sharing it with residents. Team training is essential, as are hard copies of emergency contacts and procedures in the event that cell towers or power lines are destroyed. Have someone located out of harm’s way that residents can connect with. When it comes to physical recovery efforts, accept residents’ offers to assist but also have them sign waivers. Above all, remain calm and compassionate. Residents and team members will be stressed, and it’s important to have a plan that ensures that everyone is cared for.