Lessons Learned From The Pandemic: Looking Ahead to 2021 And Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought upheaval and sweeping changes throughout society, including to the multifamily housing industry. Our residents have seen dramatic shifts in their daily lives. From working from home and digital schooling to recurring lockdowns and public health concerns, these changes have impacted multifamily investors just as much as they’ve touched our residents.

Our industry can remain relevant, vibrant, and profitable when we learn the lessons of the past year and adapt for the future. Take this opportunity to modernize, which will improve your services and attract new residents in the coming years. Explore important trends created by the pandemic and learn how to adjust to the new multifamily market demands.

Our Residents Care About Cleanliness

The average person is much more conscious of public health and cleanliness than they were a year ago. Concepts that used to be too basic to consider, such as breathing or touching surfaces in public, are now an important part of everyone’s day. People are newly concerned about germs, contagion, and hygiene. This is likely to be a generational shift, changing habits for decades to come.

Multifamily residents want to be reassured that their home is safe. Your community has a new awareness of shared HVAC systems, water filtration, surface contact, shared spaces, and more. Plan to keep investing in disinfecting, sterilization, and other preventative measures—both in community spaces and in individual units—to help your residents feel safe and secure over the longterm.

The Work-Life Balance Is Changed

Today’s workday looks different for many people. Professional employees and office workers in your community have been working from home for almost a year. Some of your families have been navigating online school for just as long. Daily life looks very different for these residents, who need new amenities to meet their commitments. 

High-speed Internet capabilities will remain a necessity. Your residents need instant, reliable web connections for work, school, and play. The Internet isn’t a luxury or an optional service anymore. Support your community and keep your residents happy at home by providing the latest, most robust Internet connections.

Since they now spend so much time at home, your residents also need new opportunities to unwind and socialize while staying safe. Common spaces are still in demand. In fact, your communal areas may be more popular in 2021 than ever before. Consider renovating or rebranding your common areas to meet today’s needs. Coworking spaces, creative outlets, and open-air event facilities are all popular ways for your residents to leave their units and see other people while keeping safely distant.

New Residents Love Virtual Tours

In 2020, virtual facility tours became a vital part of finding new residents. Some multifamily complexes had offered virtual tours before the pandemic, but both residents and management saw these digital experiences as optional. With today’s public health concerns, virtual tours have become the standard. 

Whether you utilize pre-recorded video tours or offer live streaming visits, plan to provide video tours throughout the coming years. Today’s consumers have adjusted to a digital shopping experience. New residents are confident they can find the best home through digital tours, so offer a wide range of photos, videos, and 3D or enhanced reality visits for your new community members.

Urban Growth Will Return

The housing market and multifamily industry saw strange, unexpected trends in 2020. When concerns about COVID-19 were at their highest, some people started to second-guess their big city lifestyles. Social distancing, lockdowns, and high contagion rates changed the fast-paced lifestyle that draws many people to urban life. Instead, we saw an unprecedented period where people moved away from big cities, heading towards suburban or even rural communities.

This trend is not going to last forever. With improved treatment methods and the promising results of multiple vaccines, the tides are turning against COVID-19. Cities remain major cultural and economic hubs, drawing new residents even during a global pandemic. Urban areas—and urban multifamily residences—will continue to grow and thrive throughout the future.

Learn More with Multifamily Matrix

We’ve just lived through an exceptional year, but there is always something to learn about the multifamily industry. The Multifamily Matrix is here to help you learn about the industry and grow as professionals. From COVID-19’s new lessons to timeless insights, there’s always something to discover. Click here to explore the Multifamily Matrix and continue your multifamily investment journey.

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Bryan Chavis

Bryan Chavis

Bryan Chavis is the only property management coach whose book appears in the US Library of Congress, is ranked #4 on the National Association of Realtors “Top Real Estate Books” list, is a worldwide bestseller and the only book to appear as an official resource in Wikipedia under property management.

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