HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Worth the Effort: Building a CRM Playbook
To get the maximum benefits of a CRM, an apartment operator needs a well-designed playbook to guide its use of the solution. But how should an operator go about building that playbook? It starts with mapping out the journey of your customers and then determining the best communication cycles for prospective renters in certain situations. Just as important: operators have to recognize that a playbook isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it thing. The best playbooks feature changes that operators make as they learn more about their customers.
You Don’t Have to Go Whole Hog With New Technology
The coronavirus has forced apartment communities to make many adjustments in their operations. One of the keys to making it through this difficult time is realizing that needed new technologies can be implemented in a scaled-back, barebones fashion at first. Take self-guided tours. Operators don’t have to immediately go out and purchase a bunch of expensive smart locks to offer self-guided tours. Instead, they can have a system in which a prospect shows a driver’s license through the leasing office window and then an associate passes the prospect a FOB or a key through a slot. Properties can determine if a more sophisticated self-guided tour solution is warranted.
Dealing With the Growing Number of Support Animal Requests
Emotional support animal accommodation requests are rising across the apartment industry. And so is the stress level of the leasing associates who have to deal with the requests. Multifamily operators can alleviate these headaches by eliminating size and breed restrictions. Prospective residents with forbidden breeds often make the accommodation requests as a way to work around the restrictions. This not only creates a tsunami of accommodation requests, but it also deprives communities of valuable pet-related revenue.
IN THE NEWS
Suburban Apartment Markets Poised for Strong Future
With many residents now working from home and looking to move to lower-cost areas, many multifamily experts are forecasting a strong future for suburban apartment markets. In addition to lower rents, residents also are seeking out suburban communities because of their larger units and because they’re more conducive to social distancing. Since suburban areas have seen relatively little new construction in recent years, the growing demand should quickly translate into rent growth, observers say.
Affordable Housing Developers, Investors Ready to Buy
During the Great Recession and its aftermath, developers and investors who wanted to purchase existing workforce and affordable housing properties to keep them from being converted to higher-end communities weren’t as successful as they wanted to be. Now, with the current economic turbulence likely to cause another round of property sales, they’re making a concentrated effort to raise the capital they will need to successfully bid for properties. For example, the Low Income Investment Fund announced this month that it had formed a partnership with two non-profits to raise $1 billion over the next five years to build, protect and preserve approximately 10,000 affordable homes across the country.
For Gen Z, Wellness Is More Than Cutting-Edge Fitness Center
Gen Z renters place a high emphasis on wellness when choosing an apartment home. But they’re not super-focused on a standalone gym. While they do want to see a modern fitness center, they also want to see such features as virtual cooking classes, nutritional counseling, personal training, fitness classes, and shared bike and scooter services. Indoor air quality also is extremely important to them, as are quality outdoor spaces such as community gardens, fitness areas, sculpture gardens and event spaces.