HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Five Ways Cities Can Increase Housing Affordability
To solve America’s housing affordability crisis, the housing supply in high-wage metro areas must be increased. That’s the view of Salim Furth, senior research fellow at Mercatus Center at George Mason University. According to Furth, cities can increase the supply of affordable housing by taking five steps: allowing residential development in commercial zones, shrinking minimum lot sizes, eliminating parking minimums, switching to “as-of-right” development and encouraging manufactured homes.
Product Knowledge: The Unsung Hero of Apartment Leasing
To say the least, apartment operators have spent the last year navigating an extremely challenging market. But prospects are still out there shopping for their next home. And while they understand some of the limitations of leasing in the COVID era, they still expect onsite associates to bring their A game and deliver outstanding service. Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of providing that great customer service is having a deep knowledge of both the apartment community itself as well as the surrounding area.
Easing the Package Burden of Onsite Teams
Package management already accounts for too much of an apartment associate’s workday, and the burden is only growing. Unfortunately, the stress and even abuse that associates are subjected to while simply tending to residents’ package needs is substantial. With this in mind, many operators have turned to third-party package management systems that receive and store packages offsite and schedule deliveries directly to residents’ units.
IN THE NEWS
Construction Delays Abound in the Multifamily Industry
Three-quarters of apartment developers are experiencing construction delays for one reason or another, according to a recent survey from the National Multifamily Housing Council. The main reasons cited were permitting, entitlement or professional services (listed by 72% of those experiencing delays), economic uncertainty (37%) and projects not being economically feasible (30%).
Has the Moment Already Passed for Suburban Markets?
Since the pandemic began, there’s been a lot of talk about how suburban multifamily and commercial real estate markets may be poised for an extended boom at the expense of urban centers. But a new survey indicates that may not be the case. Seyfarth recently asked respondents if their companies will shift their investment sights to suburban markets, and 67% said, “No.” In addition, nearly 40% of those surveyed believe urban multifamily will recover faster than any other commercial real estate type once the pandemic is over.
Take Care of Pet-Owning Residents
One of the few feel-good stories of 2020 concerned the explosion in pet adoption. Once-full animal shelters quickly emptied as people sought the companionship of pets while they sheltered in place during the pandemic. Many of those pets, obviously, landed in apartment communities, and operators found themselves even more pressed than before to increase their pet friendliness.