Industry News | Wk of September 17



Amazon Reportedly Has an Alexa Microwave and More on the Way
As apartment communities strive to match the breakneck pace of technology and remain on the cutting-edge of smart-home amenities, they now have more to consider. Just in time for the holidays, Amazon is expected to release at least eight hardware devices at an event later this month. That reportedly includes a voice-activated microwave oven, perhaps the most compelling of the bunch. Others include an amplifier, receiver and subwoofer, which could work in tandem and provide competition to Sonos. Read Brian Heater’s article in Tech Crunch.


No Announcement, But HQ2 Will Be Decided By Year-End
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hasn’t tipped his hand as to where the tech giant’s second headquarters (HQ2) will land. But he did allow a timeline when meeting with business leaders in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. “We will announce the decision before the end of the year,” Bezos said at the city’s Economic Club, noting that tremendous progress has been made. HQ2’s destination has been a popular story in tech, economic and real estate circles over the past several months, as no fewer than 25 cities have been cited as potential destinations along the way. Read Jon Banister’s article in Bisnow Washington.


Kid Friendly_320pxTop 5 Kid Friendly Amenities For
Apartment Communities

Apartment marketing efforts are often geared toward the coveted young working professional. But the family demographic remains significant in many locales, as well. In markets with a prominent family-renter presence, communities can tailor their amenities toward attracting them. These include onsite daycare, on-demand babysitting, children-focused events, playrooms and playgrounds. With 33 percent of renter households having minor children, the family-friendly concept is worth exploring according to Justin Cleary’s blog on Multifamily Insiders.



Student Housing_600x275px

Student Housing 2018: A Top Owner’s View
After a gradual decline from 2010-17, university enrollment is back on the rise. Demand for student housing is following suit. While proximity to campus remains one of the primary selling points for student-housing communities, privacy and dependable Wi-Fi also factor in. According to EdR’s Scott Barton, technology-friendly group study areas are continuing to get more use, and college students are demonstrating an increased affinity for pet amenities. In addition, sharing-economy concepts such as onsite bike-share are gaining in popularity. Read Adina Marcut’s Q & A with Barton in Multi-Housing News.


Essential Wildfire Preparation For Property Managers
While many apartment communities regularly engage in hurricane preparation efforts, the recent wildfires in California serve as a reminder that natural disasters come in different forms. Preparing for wildfire season has never been so urgent, considering they are not limited to the west coast. In addition to obtaining necessary firefighting supplies and ensuring that they are insured, communities should safeguard their properties by taking various steps outlined in Carolyn Berk’s article in Buildium. That includes avoiding fire-inviting landscape features and removing combustible materials from around buildings.


Batik_Seattle apartment building_320Rental Glut Sends Chill Through The Hottest American Housing Markets
U.S. rents increased only 0.5 percent in July, a figure that represents the smallest gain since 2012. Seattle felt the brunt of that trend, as rents remained flat during the month. San Francisco and Portland recently experienced similar months, as renters are starting to reclaim the upper hand in many urban centers. Now, amenity-rich buildings constructed in response to the booming market in recent years are starting to compete with others for renters. The trend is exacerbated by the millennial renter base’s emerging surge toward homeownership. Read Bloomberg’s full article on National Real Estate Investor.

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