December 15, 2016
The Year in Preview: A Look Ahead to the 2017 Rental Market
Every year around this time, pundits, professionals and other interested parties take a collective look back at the developments of the last few years, trying to pinpoint trends that will have the most impact on the property management industry.
Here, we dig in to take a look at what we, and industry analysts, foresee for 2017.
More Purpose-Built Units
If you look around the Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal landscapes, there’s one thing you can’t miss: cranes. Rising housing prices combined with the comfort of having a landlord maintain properties are two prime factors at play in the recent resurgence of multifamily, purpose-built projects. Whether by preference or out of necessity, many millennials are renting for longer before making the property ladder leap. Meanwhile, boomers are selling their homes and opting to rent instead. There’s a particular demand for purpose-built units along public transit lines, offering easy commutes for people of all ages. And according to PwC, renters are showing renewed interest in living in communities that offer a mix of residential, office and retail communities.
More Disruptive Technology
Advances in technology are changing everything from how to market properties to how to build them. Leading property management firms will increasingly look to develop interactive websites that feature enticing technological perks, like virtual tours of rental units. Not only do these types of features appeal to today’s tech-savvy renters, but they also cut down on admin time, as fewer prospects will request in-person tours of the units. As well, more residents will demand technology-driven energy-efficient properties and amenities, including LED lights, green roofs and Energy Star appliances. This pressure is expected to mount as concerns about climate change continue to grow.
Online, All the Time
Speaking of technology, today’s mobile culture has redefined expectations about how tenants want to interact with landlords. Modern renters require the same level of responsiveness and accessibility they get from their banks; they want to be able to interact with landlords and property managers online and at their convenience. Property management firms must respond to customers’ rising demands or risk falling behind.
The Quest for Paperless
In keeping with the digital theme, forward-thinking property managers will embrace everything from digital payments and reminders, to digital receipts and maintenance requests. Not only does this approach save on paper, but it also cuts back significantly on the need for office space, as records can be stored and accessed digitally. In addition, reducing paper minimizes the potential for human error caused by transposing numbers, and decreases the odds of maintenance requests slipping through the cracks.
In every industry, trends and technologies are changing the way businesses operate. Property management is no exception. Firms and managers need to recognize these advances and learn how to integrate them. If they don’t, they’ll miss key opportunities to secure a competitive advantage.
For more information about how you can prepare for the future of property management, in 2017 and beyond, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.