6 Things from 2020 that Will Stick Around for Multifamily (And That’s Actually a Good Thing)

Though we would collectively like to never think about last year again, there were actually a few positives. Hear me out!
Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor
Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor

Goodbye, 2020! See you never.

I know we’re all eager to drop this year like a failed sourdough starter. But if you look back (you might have to squint a little) there were actually some positive trends for multifamily that came about.

So, yeah, let’s quickly move on to 2021. However, here are some multifamily trends and innovations that are not going anywhere anytime soon. And—shockingly—that’s a good thing.

Virtual Tours: These were starting to pick up steam before 2020, but this is the year they really became popular. It makes sense: during a global pandemic, potential renters could tour a unit without having to worry about spreading germs. It’s safer for the renters and property managers. And virtual and self-guided tours aren’t going anywhere. Sure, people might want to tour the property in person, but it’s invaluable to also be able to see an apartment in your own time from anywhere (and probably in your pajamas).

Package Management: With a lot of renters confined to their apartments during quarantine, every day was like Christmas in terms of boxes and packages. The need to have a package management system—maybe even cold storage because people are getting groceries delivered more frequently now—will continue, even as people venture out. 

Working from Home: Many people worked from home this year. According to a study from MIT, about half of the United States workforce is remote. More and more large companies are announcing that they are going to allow working from home to continue, for at least some of the time, according to Business Insider. Plus we’ve all discovered the joy of working in sweats. So multifamily communities will need to make sure they continue to have strong Wi-Fi, common work stations as amenities and printers.

Smart Tech: Things that allowed for contactless entry to apartments and apps that let residents approve visitors were great during the stage of quarantine where we were all crazily wiping down our jugs of milk and packages of Oreos (just me?). Smart technology was already popular, but it’s going to go from a “Hey, that’s cool that they have that at this apartment!” to “Uggh, I have to go downstairs and let in the pizza guy? What is this, 1973? I’m going to rent at the place across the street.”

Awesome Apartment Sites: Chat bots, options for self-guided tours, social media, these are going to continue to be crucial as your “virtual front door” as Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi, said. You’re not going to be able to go back to just having the phone number to your leasing office (please tell me you at least have the phone number to your leasing office) as the only information about your apartment community.

Stretchy Pants: This isn’t really multifamily related, but, please, let’s not go back to “real” clothes. Same for makeup and high heels. Viva la comfy! Who’s with me? 

What else do you think will stick around from 2020? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Post your comments on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @MHNOnline or @jfiur

Happy New Year, everyone!