In this post, we continue on with our predictions of the hot new trends for 2023. In our last post we covered improving efficiencies, customer focus, the home and communal office boom, environmental concerns and how technology can boost both service and operations. Let’s dig into Trends 6-10 for the multifamily property management industry in the year ahead.
6. Increase in Self-Service Tools
The pandemic woke everybody up to the necessity of embracing technology to operate our housing assets. Many self-service tools like booking a self-guided tour and virtual tours, which were seen as a safer option during the pandemic, are now the preferred way of seeing a property. We won’t be going back to the old ways anytime soon.
Residents are enthusiastically embracing contactless transactions, like online rent collection and using communication portals to make maintenance requests and upload photos of the needed repair. While introduced during the pandemic, these innovations offer unmatched convenience for the renter.
7. Investment-Minded Owners Want a Strategic Partner
Recently a report published by Buildium, Propertyware, and NARPM, 2023 Property Management Industry Report, stated that there has been a shift away from “accidental landlords” and “unintentional investors” to “intentional investors,” which now represent 52% of rental owners. Accidental landlords are people who are renting out a property they inherited or couldn’t sell and unintentional investors became landlords by accident, but now consider themselves investors.
What this shift means is that while unintentional investors and accidental landlords were happy to hand over their keys to a professional who could take care of maintenance and rent collection for them, this new breed of intentional investor is looking for a strategic partner. They want someone who understands the local market, knows the competitive landscape, and delivers the insights and expertise to continually maximize their profit. It’s a shift from property manager to property steward and asset manager. In 2023, property management companies have the opportunity to differentiate on the strategic insights they bring to investors, not just services.
8. Increased Cyber Security
Multifamily property management companies are sitting on a pile of data. And, too many organizations – property management or otherwise – fail to consistently update their computers' security software. Combine this with the all-to-common mix of outdated operating systems and a lack of regular backups, and you are opening yourself up to viruses, hacking and potential data ransoms. With cloud-based property management apps you don’t have to constantly be updating to the latest version, or downloading security patches. The app itself handles this type of around-the-clock security updating, continually protecting you from the most recent malware and hacking strategies.
More and more property firms are changing the way they do business, by switching over to web-based property management apps for leasing and applications, communications, reporting and many other functions. In fact, according to PwC, 69% of Canadian CEOs plan to increase their long-term investments in cybersecurity and data privacy over the next three years.
Digital solutions that leverage cloud, automation and paperless solutions help to tighten security and remove the “human touch” that can play a role in security breaches, either through carelessness or criminal intent.
9. Retaining & Attracting Staff
Across the country, property management firms put a ton of time and effort into tenant retention. As the talent war heats up, they will have to put the same emphasis on keeping employees.
Surveyed employees often cite wanting to work in a better environment as a top reason for jumping ship. Property management companies looking to build a stronger company culture would benefit from clearly defining and communicating their values, beliefs, purpose and standards.
As well, the pandemic changed how we think about work, and many employees want the ability to work from home. Give your employees the property management software tools to work from home or on the go. And companies that allow flexible schedules to accommodate things like an employee’s child’s daycare pickup times and offer perks like generous paid vacation time and career pathing and development.
10. Multifamily Sees Multi-Generations
At one end of the spectrum, more and more Baby Boomers are deciding the hassle of housing upkeep isn’t worth it and are making the leap to downsize. At the other, Gen Z — those born between 1997 and 2012 — is just starting to eyeball their first apartments. And, you can’t forget those rental powerhouses, the Millennials, who tend to be lifestyle renters — defined as renters with above-average incomes who are using their bigger budgets to rent in amenity-rich, fancier apartments rather than shell out money for a down payment on a home.
According to data from the Pew Research Center, young people today are renting more than ever before. As barriers to homeownership remain high, which will likely hold true for some time, renting remains the most cost-effective option for many would-be-buyers. Yet at the same time, we are seeing more and more Boomers selling their homes and renting.
Despite renters from all generations heating up demand for rental units in the market, there are some commonalities across all ages: they all want convenience. Residents are looking for more digital options when it comes to communication and rent payment.
While the one-bedroom has been the bread and butter of the rental industry, with Gen Z sharing apartments with roommates and Millennials having families and everyone wanting a home office, we will definitely see more demand for larger 3+ bedroom accommodations.
Demand, short supply of housing and lifestyle changes will provide the tailwind for the multifamily market throughout 2023 and the foreseeable future.
How Property Vista Prepares You for 2023
Property Vista’s solution has been created by a team of experienced property management professionals. So, it’s specifically designed for property management organizations and landlords that oversee portfolios of properties – whether they are across a city, a region, or scattered throughout one or more provinces. Our property software can be leveraged to streamline operations and drive down costs in marketing, leasing, maintenance, rent collection and more. To see how we can help your company improve revenue and lower costs, see pricing and book a demo here.