Every year brings about new trends, and while we’d like to say that 2021 is no different, the reality is that the year following (and continuing) a global pandemic has changed a number of things about life as we know it—maybe for the long term.
The same is true in the world of property and apartment management, where the realities of the COVID-19 virus had a significant impact on the industry—and even in the relationship between apartment communities and their residents. As a result, there are some trends in this industry that are definitely coming, and others that are already here to stay. Here, we break down the Top 5 trends that you may notice in apartment communities in 2021.
1. Tech-focused tours
While early shutdowns kept people at home and away from the general public, the continued year of social distancing has left many realizing that there are alternatives to the original walk-through showings of available apartment units. In return, many communities had to come up with virtual methods of showing and leasing up their apartments—from live, individual virtual tours on Zoom or Facetime, to 360-degree virtual walk-throughs online.
In any case, the result has been the same—renters now look for ways that they can “see” available units without ever having to step foot on site, making it more and more important for communities to have reliable ways of tracking and notating interested parties and being able to follow up with them on their future housing plans.
2. Virtual Community Events
Similarly, the pandemic quickly put an end to in-person gatherings, meaning that the community-hosted annual Trick-or-Treat event or Visit with Santas quickly got the boot. Successful communities have been able to pivot, offering “Pizza and a Movie” nights with to-go pizzas, or even online costume contests for the kids who missed out on going door-to-door in October. While things begin to pick up in 2021, it may be that the summertime pool party and bar-be-que is back on the calendar, but make no mistake: residents will still want more virtual options and distanced ways to remain engaged for quite a while longer.
3. Amenity Boosts
With a year of many people staying home or working from home has come the realization that some of the amenities once deemed “extra” are now actually lifestyle makers. The home has truly become the castle and mainstay for so many; that means that for many, valet trash service or dry-cleaning drop-offs may get renewed attention—as will upgrades trims and design elements.
4. Less focused on location, more on living on site
Just as there is more focus placed on community and unit amenities, the focus on location has shifted, with many realizing that they can afford more apartment in a smaller market or outside of the town limits. Where big cities have typically drawn to reduce commute times, the remote workforce is more concerned with lifestyle and where they will work from—making smaller markets and suburban communities get a big boost.
5. Fewer New Apartment Communities…For a While
As a seemingly long-term result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply lines for everything from appliances to building materials has skyrocketed, meaning that a new community build can sometimes cost four times what it would have only two years ago. While no doubt some communities will keep building or growing to meet market demand, you can expect that overall, building will slow as the supply chain struggles to regain footing.
Regardless of what your 2021 looks like, Easlan Management is here to help. Our team has the expertise to help guide and grow your apartment community—no matter what trends come to pass. For more information, contact us today.