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Lessons Learned From Pandemic Become Best Practices
Some of the modified onsite processes resulting from the pandemic will have a limited shelf life. Others have the ability to remain staples of the industry moving forward. Various industry professionals recently shared their thoughts during the Property Management Association’s PMEXPO 2020, with many underscoring the need for added flexibility. “This pandemic has really shown the value of the onsite team and what they bring to the table, but also what remote and off-site working could be in the future,” said Tom Rucker, managing director and COO at Berkshire Residential Investments. Leveraging technology to assist day-to-day operations was also a common theme of the session.
Survey Shows 3.5% Salary Increase Across Multifamily Jobs
The latest National Multifamily Industry Compensation report shows the average salary across 100 different apartment industry positions increased by 3.5% in 2019. The largest salary differentials compared to the national average were found in the Northeast region, followed by the West Coast. The average housing discount offered to employees was 21%. The survey, conducted in partnership with Willis Tower Watson Data Services, included participation from 104 multifamily organizations from 186 geographic areas and featured data on 65,689 employees. Data on incentives, cash bonuses, annual increase, turnover, work/life policies and prerequisites, as well as custom data reports, is available with the full survey.
Removing Negative Reviews Can Be Worse Than a Low Score
Rather than directly facing negative reviews, some community management teams would rather find a way to remove the feedback. They should be channeling their efforts toward addressing the problem rather than finding a way to hide it. In actuality, negative reviews provide an opportunity for property teams to showcase their customer-service skills and genuinely fix problems, which oftentimes results in a modified, less-scathing review anyway. Additionally, prospects reading review sites while searching for a home won’t perceive a community with all positive reviews as authentic. They are more swayed by how effectively a community responds to negative feedback.
IN THE NEWS
Ground-Floor Grocers Pay Off As an Amenity
Reports about the impact that one Whole Foods store can have on a neighborhood are well documented, and the same holds true in multifamily. Apartment communities with a ground-floor Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s achieve an average 5.8% rental premium nationally, compared with properties within a half-mile radius. Other premium grocers like Sprouts, Fresh Thyme, Harris Teeter and Safeway also drive meaningful premiums of around 3.3%. In ideal markets, grocer-anchored apartment communities have reported up to 23.4% rent premiums. Properties see the benefits from the initial announcement of the grocer location, and in the first year, grocer-anchored communities typically see a 13.7% rent premium.
NYC Rent Slips to 2011 Levels
For the first time since 2011, the median New York City apartment rent is less than $3,000. Because more renters are working from home and not going to the office, they’re no longer willing to pay a premium to live in the city. With nearly half of all apartment listings currently discounted, the median NYC rent dipped to $2,990 in the third quarter. Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens all saw their rent indexes fall, according to a report from StreetEasy. An inventory spike also contributed to the rent decline, which in turn also caused a stall in the investment sales market.
15 U.S. Cities Most Popular with Millennial Renters
While the apartment industry’s focus has gradually gravitated to Gen Z, it should be noted that millennials remain the largest generation in size and account for a greater share of the U.S. workforce. In some markets, well over 40% of apartment applications are submitted by this 24-to-38-aged generation. Seattle tops the list, as 50.5% of apartment applications have come from millennials over the past five years. Next is San Francisco (48.7%), followed by three Texas cities—Austin (48.1), Houston (45.6) and San Antonio (44.8). While focus on emerging Gen Z renters is certainly justified, the industry should not ignore what continues to be its key demographic.