Industry News | Week of February 24
HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Protect Your Apartment Community from Coronavirus
The Coronavirus has made its way to the U.S., and while the odds of it ever showing up at your apartment community are slim, taking precautions against the spread of viruses is never a bad idea. Some easy ways to combat transferrable health issues in a community living environment include making hand sanitizer readily available, frequently cleaning common area surfaces, keeping garbage can lids closed, and encouraging sick team members to stay home. Despite their increasing popularity, wearing facemasks isn’t necessary unless you’re directly caring for someone with the virus.
Read Jessica Fiur’s story in Multi-Housing News.
Here’s What Gen Z Actually Wants in Multifamily
Don’t lump them in with their millennial predecessors. And don’t paint them with too broad of a brush, even though some of their tendencies are prominent enough to cater to. Generation Z, those born after 1996, are joining the rental-housing landscape rapidly, and they have affinity for smaller apartments, practical amenities, and, according to many brand experts, are such a distinct demographic that attracting them requires a mostly new approach. They often avoid luxury properties and seek common-area amenities such as yoga rooms and happy hours. From a marketing standpoint, influencers and celebrities more often sway Gen Z’ers than millennials.
Read Dean Boerner’s article in Bisnow.
Learn From Reputation Management Mess in Pro Sports
The Houston Astros and NHL each provided examples this month of the wrong way to handle a crisis. In a multifamily industry where negative press can cost you leases, the pro sports situations underscored the need to consider consumer reaction when releasing a statement. The Astros were deemed to have cheated by illegally utilizing technology in their 2017 championship season, and the apologies issued by the front office and players had a very perfunctory feel. The backlash from their Major League Baseball cohorts has been fierce. Earlier this month, the NHL’s outdoor game in Colorado Springs was a logistical disaster, as some fans still hadn’t reached the venue by the second intermission. The NFL released a statement essentially blaming fans for planning poorly. The blaming-the-consumer route is seldom received well.
Read Douglas Pike’s blog.
IN THE NEWS
Cincinnati Legislation Gives Renters a Choice in Security Deposits
The Cincinnati City Council earlier this year approved legislation that requires multifamily operators to offer alternatives to traditional security deposits, with the goal of reducing financial barriers for renters. Operators can choose among three alternative options, including rental security insurance, security deposits paid in installments over six months, or payment of a reduced security deposit not to exceed 50% of the monthly rental rate. Cincinnati’s changes, which go into effect April 14, are expected to be adopted in several other markets this year, and similar legislation is currently being drafted in at least five other states.
Read Christine Serlin’s story in Multifamily Executive.
TCR Reboots its Attainable Housing Initiative
With affordability becoming more of a concern in recent years, Trammell Crow Residential has relaunched its Attainable Housing initiative first introduced in the early 2000s. The goal of the initiative is to offer renters who are at or slightly below the Area Median Income the opportunity to live in a new, Class A apartment home. Currently, most renters in that income demographic are forced to settle for Class B or C homes. With a focus on renter preferences and a close eye on land, materials and development costs, TCR is navigating local design hurdles to make such homes a reality.
Read Les Shaver’s story in UNITS Magazine.
Birth of a Rental Monolith? RentPath Declares Bankruptcy, Agrees to Sell to CoStar
CoStar’s already prominent name in online rental real estate just got heftier. CoStar, which already owns nine rental sites including Apartments.com, announced earlier this month that it has reached a deal to acquire competitor RentPath. The latter recently declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and CoStar agreed to pay $588 million in cash to acquire the digital marketing solution, which also owns Rent.com, ApartmentGuide.com, Rentals.com and Lovely.com. All will operate under the CoStar umbrella when the deal becomes official. During RentPath’s bankruptcy proceedings, other companies can submit a higher bid, which would trigger an auction for RentPath.
Read Ben Lane’s article in HousingWire.