Uncertainty hit everyone when the pandemic started, and businesses suffered greatly. Most are still at a loss even as we slowly started resuming daily activities in the new normal. For the rental industry, things are even worse.
Can you still expect customers in a pandemic-wrought world? What about income? More importantly, what should you expect in this new normal? The pandemic changed everyone, and five trends have recently emerged among renters in the aftermath of this pandemic.
Since the world’s population spent its time under quarantine, renters switched from viewing homes physically to viewing them virtually. While virtual tours themselves aren’t new, a trend where renters signed contracts without seeing the home units in person emerged.
In this new world, high-quality videos and pictures of properties ensure your rental business’ survival. Online resources available to tenants or applicants also come in handy, such as resident portals for support requests and application portals to process documents and fees.
New Location Preferences
In the pre-pandemic world, location mattered a lot. Location always dictated an employee’s commuting time, dining options, and lifestyle. Yet, in a post-pandemic world where people can work from home, new location preferences emerge as employees realize work doesn’t dictate where they should live anymore.
While this is healthy and progressive for employees, it’s terrible news for rental units. Rental units strategically placed in crowded locations near big companies may witness a decline. On a positive note, rental homes in greener places may attract more customers. Units catering to specific needs may garner renters as well.
People who rented one-bedroom or studio apartments pre-pandemic may opt for two-bedroom homes post-pandemic or units with extra room for storage or offices. So, it now falls to those in the rental industry to think of ways to cater to their customers’ perspective shift and provide value within the units that don’t translate to “optimal location” alone.
Different Amenity Demand
Pre-pandemic, people valued community spaces. Shareable areas like pools, parks, fitness centers, and picnic grounds promoted a sense of community and happier living space. But as the pandemic raged on, people learned the value of in-home amenities like terraces, adaptable areas, in-unit washers and dryers, exercise rooms, and larger kitchens.
Rental property owners may still rely on shared amenities, but they also need to find ways to cater to a home’s amenity needs. Some renters may exhibit cautiousness in visiting shared spaces post-pandemic and opt for homes that can stand on their own. Adaptable spaces, larger kitchens, balconies or terraces, in-unit washers and dryers, high-speed Wi-Fi, and plenty of natural light within a home increase a unit’s value.
Closer Client-Customer Relationship
Only a few reasons for client-customer interaction existed before the pandemic. Renters would call their property managers for maintenance help or building questions and nothing more. Landlords and landladies would only reach out when payment issues arise and not much else.
Both parties must keep and spread up-to-date information about health protocols, amenity status, maintenance issues, and policy changes in the post-pandemic world. It’s also vital to interact with one another in good terms to establish a genuine relationship, increasing customer retention and referrals.
Fresh Generation of Renters
The new generation favors renting, so the renting industry can expect higher demand for housing units. On the negative side, higher demand equates to higher competition. With plenty of competitors and homes for rent, it can be hard to stand out.
As the competition increases, expect to need more innovation to ensure that a unit attracts renters. Consider the fast pace our world follows. Plenty of millennials expect high-speed internet, smart appliances, and amenity-filled homes. Some also lead towards more eco-friendly units.
Rental Housing and Its Future
The post-pandemic world guarantees more uncertainty to everyone’s future, but one thing is sure: the ability to recognize and adapt to the industry’s emerging trends is crucial. Rental housing and its future heavily rely on understanding the customers’ evolving preferences and adequately catering to their changing lifestyles.