HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Multifamily Can Help Create Path for Inclusion
While multifamily operations teams are well represented with regard to gender and ethnicity, the same cannot be said for the industry’s leadership. The number of women in the industry’s C-suite has remained flat at 9% since 2010. That’s despite widespread study data that indicates companies with more women and diversity in their leadership ranks produce consistently higher revenues. This creates a unique opportunity for the industry to make up ground in this relevant area. Multifamily professionals share their thoughts on potential solutions in this piece by Samantha Chalmers.
Student Housing Rebounds in Wake of Pandemic
After an early end to the 2019-20 school year due to the pandemic, many experts predicted a steep drop-off in the demand for student housing in college towns. It hasn’t been as disastrous as first thought, with approximately 66% of colleges resuming on-campus classes in some capacity this fall. Off-campus housing is actually experiencing a boost, as students are seeking larger private spaces that are less communal in nature. It remains to be seen whether the newfound preference for off-campus housing is a pandemic-only trend or something that will remain for the foreseeable future. Whichever the case, the industry will need to have strong contingency plans moving forward.
Using Data to Increase Asset Value to Offset Falling Revenue
While paused evictions and forgiven late fees have helped renters, they’ve done no favors for housing providers. Providers are responding by investing in tech to grow their asset value, and have discovered that open API platforms and true integration can make their data more actionable than ever. “For example, it used to be sufficient to adjust rents broadly across a specific floor plan,” said Brent Steiner, chief executive officer for Engrain. “Now rent decisions will take into account inventory, maintenance requirements, proximity to amenities, number of packages a resident receives and multiple sensor inputs coming from the property and within each apartment.”
IN THE NEWS
NAA Survey Shows Trending Changes Among Renters, Owners
Times are changing in the multifamily industry, according to the latest survey by the National Apartment Association. Apartment residents with pending renewals are showing a preference for shorter terms. Nearly 35% of property managers reported the trend in the latest survey. Owners are also losing confidence in the market, the survey shows. Among multifamily owners and operators, 23% responded that they don’t expect operating metrics to return to pre-pandemic levels for another one to two years. Only 17% shared that sentiment in April. The shift coincides with an increase in operating expenses. Nearly half of all owners and operators reported a marginal uptick in expenses, with 11% experiencing significant increases.
Apartment Residents Most Affected by Job Losses
While all job sectors have taken a hit to some degree, residents in the accommodation and food service industry have been most impacted. Those in real estate and in management roles have been affected the least. That’s according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which broke down the impact by profession in its latest survey of current employment metrics. While accommodation and food services experienced the largest number of job losses at roughly 3.27 million, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector experienced the largest percentage of layoffs with a 35.2% employment change from Feb. through Aug.
Mom-and-Pop Property Managers Feel the Squeeze
Smaller-scale apartment managers are feeling the economic pressure, especially now that the federal government has halted evictions for the rest of the year. Without the traditional methods to maintain income, and with operating costs on the rise, mom-and-pop and midsize operators find themselves in a dire situation. Many are dipping into their savings and retirement accounts, or simply throwing in the towel. With smaller margins, it doesn’t take many residents who can’t pay rent to impact small-scale property managers. The pressure to sell is high, and investors are ready to pounce. With so many mom-and-pop owners looking to get out of the industry, the multifamily landscape may be poised for significant change.