Industry News | Wk of April 15


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Amenities War Might Not Be The Best Student Housing Strategy
Amenities make a big splash and provide Instagrammable moments. But some developers and school administrators are rethinking the emphasis of these glitzy additions at student housing communities, instead dedicating their focus to more mundane-but-necessary features. Spaces that help students succeed socially and academically, such as open amenity areas and a variety of study and co-working spaces often provide more value. Read Brian Rogal’s article in Bisnow Chicago.

Taming Trolls Who Skewer Your Community
One- and two-star reviews, sometimes written by those who have no relationship with the apartment community, can do major damage to a property’s reputation. Sometimes they’ll even recruit their friends to team up in a smear campaign. But techniques exist for silencing the trolls, from unmasking the reviewer, softly shedding doubt on any fabricated claims to fixing any issues that actually ring true. Avoiding escalation and online arguments are also crucial. Read Priyanka Agarwal’s article in UNITS Magazine.

Blackboard list of pros and consThe Pros and Cons of
Insourcing Reputation Management
By now, most apartment operators understand the importance of responding to online reviews. The method they choose to do so is still up for debate, as some opt to keep it in house and others outsource to a third-party agency. The pros of keeping it in house include the idea that managers who monitor it are close to the situation, and that it appears less expensive on paper. Cons include the difficulty of removing emotion from responses and sounding defensive. Responses also are more of a public relations task than a customer service task. Read Peter Jakel’s blog.



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Multifamily Demand Rising From Rising Age of First Marriages in U.S.
The average age of first marriages rose to 29.8 for men and 27.8 for women in 2018. This all-time high has helped the multifamily sector in that marriage is closely associated with home buying, so the longer people wait to tie the knot, the longer they’ll rent. In addition, marriage rates in general are declining. Fifty years ago, 72 percent of adults were married compared to 50 percent today. And married couples account for 66 percent of homeowners across all age categories. Read Michael Gerrity’s article in World Property Journal.

Gen Z Americans Already Saving to Buy Homes Before They Turn 30
Unlike their millennial predecessors, Gen Z individuals prioritize saving money over frivolous spending. They rank saving for a home as more important than saving for things like a wedding, shopping or vacations. In fact, 59 percent of Americans aged 18 to 23 want to buy their first home within the next five years according to a Bank of America survey. More than half in that age group have already started saving for a home, and many have acquired second jobs to aid the cause. Read the full article in National Real Estate Investor.

Economy Emerges_MHNSlower, More Sustainable
U.S. Economy Emerges

Volatile markets that led to a recession a little over a decade ago and a multifamily boom over the last five years have many wondering what dramatic shift is coming next. In actuality, things are normalizing – at least for the moment. The unemployment rate has remained steady at around 3.8 percent and the economy is trudging forward at a slower, more sustainable pace. These factors, combined with low interest rates and strong multifamily fundamentals symbolize a strong outlook for the remainder of 2019. Read David Shillington’s ViewPoint in Multi-Housing News.

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