HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Identifying the Barriers, Benefits and Solutions to Diversity
A 2015 McKinsey report revealed that companies in the top quarter for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to surpass peers in terms of profitability. Those in the top quarter for gender diversity are 15% more likely to do the same. Yet, C-Suite positions continue to lack diversity and the percentage of women in senior VP, managing director and partner level positions in commercial real estate has dropped from 27% to 22% in the past five years, according to a 2020 Crew Network study. Owner/operators weighed in on what could be changed.
Creating Connectivity and Curating Comfort in a COVID World
Since March, property management teams have been scrambling to cancel events, modify amenity spaces and rethink retention strategies for increasingly at-home renters. Those who have been able to creatively pivot have experienced the best results, notes JoLynn Scotch, managing director of operations at Bozzuto. One Bozzuto community, Falls Green, adjusted a summer concert series to safely take place in an open-air setting and broadcast them over Zoom for residents. The community hosted several additional active virtual events, sent residents Starbucks gift cards thanking them for their patience, built sanitation stations and rearranged furniture to safely accommodate more guests.
The Trouble With In-House Review Responses
Multifamily property managers are typically eager to respond to positive feedback in online forums, but conveying an appropriate message becomes complicated when faced with a negative review. Because management teams are directly invested in the community and the living experiences of their residents, it’s understandably difficult to receive negative feedback from a renter without taking offense. Ultimately, contracting with a firm to handle online review responses not only saves time, but by taking emotions out of the response process it might also save your company’s reputation.
IN THE NEWS
Apartment Construction is Different, Not Dead
COVID-19 not only halted multifamily construction projects, decreasing new construction by 12%, it also reshaped development priorities as things began to open back up. Developers are now focused on short-term rentals and larger apartment homes in suburban markets, according to a recent report from John Burns Real Estate Consulting. In urban markets, which may become attractive again once the economy recovers, renters currently are looking for affordable living spaces. While a few urban hubs continued building throughout the pandemic, the number of apartments expected to be delivered this year is well behind 2019 and far below the peak in 2018.
Socializing a Big Deal for Gen Z Renters
Opportunities to socialize are a growing priority for Generation Z renters, according to Multifamily Executive’s Concept Community: Tomorrow’s Renter webinar held in September. Their preference for social clusters includes a desire for larger common area spaces or “posse pods” that accommodate three to eight people. They also want opportunities to meet their neighbors and take part in fitness classes or other resident activities. Gen Z renters also heavily utilize coworking spaces. Additionally, they’re surprisingly frugal, prefer the option to do things online, and value sustainable practices such as recycling, composting and gardening, as well as energy-saving appliances and smart thermostats.
Las Vegas the Top City for Unpaid Rent
The largest increase in renters not making their lease payments is taking place in Las Vegas, where the tanking tourism industry has had a dramatic economic impact. In September, 10.6% of Las Vegas renters missed their monthly payments, up from 4.1% the previous year. High cost-of-living locales like New York and Los Angeles were also high on the list. Another tourism-driven city, New Orleans, had the highest percentage of apartment renters not paying, at 12.9%, up from 8.6%. Across the U.S., rent payments have managed to remain relatively stable, rising only 1.5% from a year ago.