July 12, 2018
By Zoe Stutman
Out with buying and in with renting! Today’s real estate market is being dominated by renters. Apparently now it’s cool to own less. So that begs the question, in a renter’s market, how do companies attract and retain renters? Leaders in the industry, Pinnacle’s Jennifer Staciokas, KTGY’s Mark Oberholzer, Alliance Residential’s Jonathan Tullo and Amenify’s Everett Lynn all gathered for a panel at 2018 Connect Apartments in Los Angeles to express their opinions on what helps bring in new renters, as well as keep the ones a property already has.
When searching for new apartments, it’s important for buildings to have amenities and services that appeal to large groups of renters. Lynn believes that access to work and a healthy lifestyle are vital for building residents to have. Tullo thinks that customer service and having student friendly housing options are critical. Once you’ve drawn in the renters, it’s now time to think of keeping them. Retention is just as important as securing new residents, and retention revolves around the happiness of the resident. Oberholzer says that it’s all about vision– the vision of how you want to live vs. how you currently live. It’s this vision that draws residents in and gets them to stay. With this in mind, what should companies want to include in their buildings to increase demand? Essentially, it comes down to what the residents want. It’s important to consider making buildings distinct, having unique amenities in them to make residents choose their place over another. These specific elements and amenities increase the demand of renters.
The group also provided some hacks for and insight on succeeding in the current renter’s market. Tullo says that selling the space and the lifestyle is of most importance. You need to sell them the vision of them living there, he notes. Staciokas recommends partnering with high end businesses to put on events and offer deals that the residents couldn’t get on their own, something instagram-worthy or viral in nature are successful approaches to drawing in the new age of renters.
So, what’s in store for the future of the real estate market? Lynn says that the future depends on adaptability, flexibility and fluidity of the market. Buildings and companies need to be able to fit the current demands of the commercial real estate world. And, according to Oberholzer, that’s where mixed-use buildings come into play. It’s the best kind of retail since these amenities are accessible by all residents and it provides a space that fits certain needs a physical apartment or rented living space doesn’t. Tullo also argues that the future relies on building a sense of community. You need to show what is available to the residents should they choose to live there, he points out.
Whether you are a renter or a landlord, it is clear that there are shifting trends in the market, so what’s in and what’s out? According to Oberholzer, pets, but really dogs, (sorry cat lovers), are in… and will always be in style. Pet-friendly buildings are very important to the modern consumer, he says. Having an upfront and center area for pets will increase the types of tenants who can occupy the space. Features that are out? Golf simulators. Has anyone seen one of these in a new apartment complex? I don’t think so, notes Oberholzer, who advises it is key to track where the trends are going, not just where they are now.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Zoe Stutman