Industry News | Wk of July 9



Amazon Chooses Charlotte For New High-Tech $200 Million Center
Amazon has yet to choose a location for its long-awaited HQ2, but the tech giant has chosen Charlotte as the home for its new $200 million distribution center. The Charlotte City Council approved a sizable incentive package to help lure Amazon, which included the sale of 100 acres of undeveloped land for a mere $7.5 million. The council also will provide $13.4 million in incentives for the new $200 million distribution center, which is projected to add 1,500 jobs to the area. Read Scott Jensen’s article in Charlotte Stories.

Five Nontraditional Ways to Increase Revenue at Your Apartment Community
Rent will never be surpassed as the primary source of income at an apartment community, but tech advancements are creating new ways to earn ancillary income. Some ideas include repurposing parking lots to fill unoccupied spaces through sharing-economy principals, dedicating certain apartment homes exclusively to short-term rentals, outsourcing amenities such as onsite dry cleaning, optimizing co-living spaces (they command more dollars per square foot), and utilizing machine learning and AI for optimal pricing. Read Lee Kiser’s article in Forbes.

technology_confusion_320x218pxSmart-Home Technology: Is Your Staff Confused or Confident
Smart-home technology is making an impression on your maintenance teams, but is it one of innovation, stress or indifference? According to industry experts, smart-home features are only prominent in certain markets of the country and largely viewed as a gimmick elsewhere. As the trend continues to take hold, maintenance technicians will undoubtedly experience a learning curve. That has led some companies to hire tech-savvy technicians while relegating experienced traditional maintenance techs to communities outside the Class-A sector. Read Paul R. Bergeron III’s article in units.


do-you-accept-felons_325x218pThe Tide is Turning on Accepting Felons
The perception of felons as renters continues to shift, and changes to real-time screening criteria are following suit. The 2018 Resident Credit Screening Research Report by Multifamily Insiders asked whether communities accept felons. The “yes” answer increased slightly from 6 to 8 percent. However, the answer of “yes, but only after a certain number of years” increased from 39 percent two years ago to 57 percent in 2018. The report also asked whether communities differentiate between violent, non-violent and sexual offenses in the screening process. Forty-five percent of respondents claim they treat applicants on a case-by-case basis, up from 31 percent last year and 17 percent in 2016. Read Brent Williams’ blog on Multifamily Insiders.


More Americans Accepting Communal Living, ‘Intentional Communities’
More and more Americans are embracing co-living, both for cost and companionship. As such, an increasing amount of apartment buildings are being constructed and repurposed with a gravitating mix of common and shared spaces. An example is Commonspace in Syracuse, N.Y., a restored office building that features 25 mini-apartments with kitchenettes and baths, with access to a larger chef’s kitchen, library, game room and other shared spaces. While $850 per month is steep for the square footage, it’s cheaper than a traditional apartment home. Read Jeffrey Kluger’s article in Time.

green-illo-buildings-solar-panels-sun_300x218pxApartment Renters Now Expect Sustainable Design Features in Their Units
What used to be considered a luxury has now become the norm, making green features a virtual requirement in new apartment developments. Renters have come to expect energy efficiency and good air quality – they take them for granted, in fact – but they’re willing to pay a little extra to live in a green building. According to the 2017 NMHC/Kingsley Renters Report, residents are willing to pay an extra $27.21 per month to live in a green-certified building, which equates to more than $300 per year in additional rent. The cost of incorporating green features into a building has dropped, making it a win-win for the industry. Read Bendix Anderson’s article in National Real Estate Investor.

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