How Landlords Can Prepare for Changing Tenant Demands
Written By: Haley Fox
Friday, January 29, 2021
Tenant demands are changing in response to evolving preferences and external influences, particularly from COVID-19. There is increased emphasis on rental experiences that integrate technology to provide safety, flexibility, and convenience to tenants. Property managers and landlords must stay on top of these changing demands in order to minimize risks, increase tenant retention and maximize profitability.
Changing Demands From COVID-19
COVID-19 has had a major impact on our way of life, particularly when it comes to how we interact in shared spaces. Hygiene has become a much bigger concern for building renters and managers. Occupants are forced to be extra vigilant for surfaces or behaviors that can increase the risk of exposure to disease-causing germs. As a result of the pandemic, renters are looking for tenant experiences that offer convenience and cater to their health safety.nbsp;
As such, theres increased emphasis on mobile-friendly housing, package delivery, and online payments and communication.
Tenants will continue to prioritize convenience and user-friendliness into the foreseeable future, which means more smartphone capabilities. Phones are a huge part of our lives and there is increasing demand for mobile-friendliness in everyday life. The majority of Generation Z renters want technologically advanced apartments with smart features such as adjustable temperature, lighting, and garage access, all which can be done easily with a smartphone app.
Technology that enables renters to remotely lock or unlock the door is becoming more important, as well. Tenants want to be able to access and manage their spaces without the need to carry keys or other physical access tokens that may be easily lost or stolen. In addition to enabling automation, mobile apps also support a video interface for visitor management and package delivery.nbsp;
COVID-19 has meant more people working from home. Many restaurants and shopping facilities have also been closed or instituted capacity limits. Consequently, the rise in e-commerce has skyrocketed.nbsp;
Renters are drawn to buildings that have a system for safe and secure package delivery, especially with contactless delivery options. Multifamily buildings may use a variety of methods - including one-time-pins, QR codes, and video intercom, to facilitate convenient access to delivery people with minimal interactions. In addition, renters want to know that packages can be delivered safely even when they are not at home or around to answer the door.nbsp;
Online Payments and Maintenance Requestsnbsp;
The need for convenience has resulted in growing preference for online payments and maintenance requests. Having to visit the propertys front office in order to make a payment or request maintenance is no longer a reasonable or safe option. Renters can - and want to - use technology for their own convenience and safety. Landlords who accept online payments and are receptive to mobile maintenance requests are perceived more favorably.nbsp;
How Landlords Can Respond to Changing Demands
As landlords strive to provide a well-maintained property and stay on top of maintenance, they also need to respond to evolving tenant demands. This is best done by aligning with renters preferences and finding solutions to problems that crop up.nbsp;
Moving to Cloud-Based Software
Innovative, modern technology makes it possible for landlords to streamline health and safety, efficiency, facility reputation, and security issues. Landlords can also look to technology as a way of ensuring a seamless tenant experience at their facilities. But on-site software solutions are expensive and time consuming to install and maintain.nbsp;
Cloud-based software solutions give landlords and property managers the ability to manage their facility remotely. This can mean changing access permissions without having to manually make adjustments in the on-site system or granting access to building staff or a locked out tenant without having to visit the property. Cloud-based systems also support contactless and touchless technology which is a highly-sought amenity for renters.nbsp;
Package Management System
Secure delivery management has become an important part of a modern tenant experience. Landlords need to provide a secure method for authenticating delivery people and ensuring that package delivery is not subject to theft or porch pirating. This may be achieved by integrating a visitor management system or strategy to coordinate with delivery people and couriers. This could include an intercom system that gives tenants the discretion over their packages and deliveries. It could also integrate access control functionalities that issue temporary access via pin or QR code. Either way, landlords and property managers should be prepared to demonstrate to tenants that they are prioritizing deliveries.nbsp;
Communication With Tenants
Effective communication is at the core of proper tenant management. Landlords need to convey meaningful information at the right time, to the right people, and using the right channel. A convenient, timely, and efficient method for interacting with tenants ensures that issues can be addressed in a timely manner. Creating an environment where efficient and timely communication is the norm can help ease building management tasks, enhance a buildings reputation, and boost tenant retention and acquisition.
Rental buildings that are able to successfully adapt to change and maintain the trust of their tenants are those that will withstand adversity. COVID-19 has changed the multifamily industry in almost every capacity. Seeking out the right smart technology solutions to respond to changing tenant needs, regardless of the reason for those changes, not only inspires tenant trust and loyalty, but also simplifies property management for landlords and property managers.
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