Industry Trends Report | Wk of May 11
HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
TikTok: Time for Marketers to Consider Social Media Channel
Already popular as the fourth-most downloaded app of 2019, TikTok has exploded in a shelter-in-place environment. Unlike traditional social media platforms that cater largely to the younger demographics, TikTok is regularly being utilized by teens to those in their 40s. Apartment marketers are taking note during times of social distancing and putting together cheeky, quick-hit marketing videos on the user-friendly software. “We subscribe to the idea that if people are having fun, they’ll remember us,” said Kate Good, senior vice president of multifamily development for Huntington Residential.
Resident Fraud to Increase with Coming Recession
Financially qualifying for an apartment can already be an uncertainty for some prospects. For many, the pandemic-caused recession will make it even more difficult to qualify. Unfortunately, that means some will aim to find ways around the system. Applicant fraud has already increased 9% during the pandemic, underscoring the need for apartment operators to bulk up their fraud detection efforts. According to a Transunion study, 50% of evictions could have been avoided if a community had proper fraud prevention protocol from the outset. As with the Great Recession, the cost burden of rent will be significantly increased, which could have ripple effects.
The Future of Connectivity Might be Contactless
Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, people have become far more aware of the surfaces they touch. Some wear gloves, others carry disinfectant wipes, but it might be time for a digital transformation to ensure health and safety in the multifamily space. Through contactless connectivity—technology that helps to limit the contact required with shared surfaces—the multifamily industry is poised to move beyond commonplace smart-home technology like lights, locks and thermostats. Buildings designed with automatic doors in key areas, or properties retrofitted with automated door openers, might be the first step. Motion-controlled access, or wave-to-open entries could be implemented where permission-based controls aren’t required. Built-in voice-activation and spatial analytics technology would further reduce risks.
IN THE NEWS
Making Plans to Reopen Leasing Offices, Amenities
Multifamily owners and operators don’t have a universal playbook to refer to when reopening their properties amid the COVID-19 health crisis. Different states are taking different approaches, requiring management groups to do the same. In order to maintain social distancing as leasing offices reopen, most onsite associates will follow state, municipal and CDC protocols, according to industry leaders. Facemasks will be required when interacting with others, and associates may return in staggered shifts to limit the number of people in the office. Amenities should reopen later this month, although with occupancy limits and attendants to help monitor and facilitate social distancing. Fitness rooms will likely be the last amenities to open, as the industry takes a safe-rather-than-soon approach.
Researchers Predict Uptick for Private Offices, Falloff in Coworking
Conventional wisdom would seem to indicate that coworking spaces would be in high demand after the pandemic. Many residents will be slow to return to the office or will do so gradually, heightening the already brisk demand for work-from-home solutions. But research from Jones Long Lasalle indicates private office space will be in higher demand, as people will be in the habit of distancing and won’t necessarily feel comfortable within the open concept of coworking spaces. According to the research, 70% of office spaces had at least partially open floor plans in 2020 and workers had significantly less personal space than at the turn of the century. A hefty 60.6% of respondents indicated they’d favor to split time between home and the office after the pandemic.
Camden: Working with Residents Is Important
Camden Property Trust is following the operations template created during Hurricane Harvey as COVID-19 concerns continue to shut down the economy. During Harvey, Camden took an empathetic approach. But the coronavirus situation has created unique circumstances. Camden is paying close attention to its internet services, connection speeds and bandwidth in its communities, and trying to make sure that residents have everything they need to work remotely. One investment that is paying off for Camden is an Oracle Cloud Conversion that it recently implemented. With its enterprise software sitting only in the cloud, the system has been invaluable in allowing Camden’s corporate and field associates to continue working from home.