Property management trends that you need to know

This year brought tremendous changes to the real estate industry, and a host of new trends in property management and operations practices. We are living through the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes thus far have significantly impacted the market. Some of the most critical changes include large increases in demand for rental properties, increased regulation on single family rentals, property value increased by over 19% between 2020 and 2021, and the cost of construction and lumber has skyrocketed.

The pandemic also triggered a lifestyle shift that required most people to work remotely and spend the majority of their time at home. This change had substantial effects on property management functions, demanding new systems and changes to operations practices. Property managers were charged with developing new processes and procedures for general operations, implementing new cleaning and safety guidelines, and making adjustments to accommodate residents that have transitioned to working remotely. While improvements may have been in the pipeline for future plans, the pandemic kicked them into full drive, forcing immediate upgrades to technology, maintenance, resident services, and safety measures.

After a long two years we are approaching the end of the pandemic. But the idea of going “back to normal”, or to the version of normal that was once widely accepted, has changed quite a bit. The pandemic ignited the pursuit of lifestyle changes for a considerable amount of people. Americans are making adjustments to their lifestyle choices with health, wellness, and a flexible work-life balance as top priorities. New market trends and lifestyle adjustments will continue to develop and evolve as the pandemic comes to a close. For now, the trends making most of the waves this year include: 

Market Changes

  • Property managers expect high growth portfolios for 2022, primarily through acquisitions, and anticipate new development initiatives and investment opportunities.
  • Build-to-rent communities are becoming a force in the market, offering rent-to-own opportunities at a time where property values have reached record highs.
  • Another steadily growing trend is investments in flexible office spaces. Flexible offices and co-working spaces provide solutions for people working remotely with limited space in their homes, satisfies cabin fever woes, and accommodates companies that are transitioning to hybrid work schedules. Many companies have adapted well to working remotely, some have even
    reported higher productivity levels with employees. This realization presented the opportunity for business owners to save on overhead costs and consider transferring office operations to remote work, permanently.
  • The increased demand for single family rentals is also a major trend this year. A wave of families and individual renters living in apartments moved into single family homes after the pandemic proved that apartment living can be daunting. They opted for small homes with access to nature, more windows, and a more spacious environment to operate comfortably and successfully in the virtual, remote world.

Increased Demand For Maintenance Services

  • Pandemic safety measures limited access to public spaces and bound everyone to their living quarters. This only meant more wear and tear on appliances and facilities. Property managers experienced an extreme uptick in the volume of service requests, and most struggled to meet the new demands. Maintenance vendors were heavily relied on to manage the overload and property managers tried hiring additional maintenance staff. This was no easy task; labor shortages have been a nationwide hurdle for service businesses, and vendors were already strained from the increase in volume overall. 

Resident Support Services & Technology Upgrades

  • Residents have grown accustomed to expecting access to software and cellphone applications for basic communications and contact-less day to day interactions. Most property managers have invested in new resident management software that allows residents to submit maintenance requests online, manage package delivery systems, pay rent online, and even offer virtual tours for future tenants. The new technology gives residents a more convenient experience and allows for staff to manage properties efficiently.
  • Having reliable internet services is the key ingredient to remote work. During the pandemic, many residents were required to increase their bandwidth and service plans to accommodate working from home. Unfortunately service providers were not prepared for the sudden boost in demand; internet outages and disruptions were constant in some areas. Forward thinking property managers have invested in installing high speed wifi services for residents to have a back up option.


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