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Navigating 2024: Key Insights for Multifamily Developers


As we enter a post-pandemic era, there's no doubt the digital age has changed the dynamics of our daily lives. The past four years since the onset of COVID-19 have not only reshaped the way we live and work; they've also emphasized the importance of forward-thinking in the realm of development.

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) 2024 Renter Preferences Survey Report, 52% of renters work from home. While some industries have seen a push to return to the office, the fact that a majority of respondents still report working remotely signifies that "work from home" is more than just a fleeting trend.

The report also finds that by and large, renters enjoy living in their rental communities. One of the top factors contributing most to their positive sense of community is access to services meant to enhance residents' well-being.

The survey sheds more light on evolving expectations in a post-pandemic era:

"In analyzing this data, it becomes evident that today's renter is navigating a landscape of emerging technologies and practical considerations. While they continue to desire creature comforts, they also seek modern features and amenities that reflect a very mobile and connected lifestyle. This is evident in the strong interest in things like shared workspaces, with respondent interest growing from 35% in the previous survey to nearly half of respondents (48%) today, or high-speed internet, which 86% of respondents say is either very important or absolutely essential. Understanding these shifting priorities is paramount for property investors, managers, developers, and architects."

Building with the future in mind goes beyond physical structures—it involves crafting spaces that seamlessly integrate with the evolving needs and desires of an increasingly tech-savvy population. Here's what developers should consider in 2024:

Embracing Remote Work

The demand for home offices and dedicated workspaces is not a temporary trend but rather a fundamental change that requires integration into the design of residential spaces. The flexibility afforded by remote work has become a lifestyle choice, shaping not only where we work but also how we choose our living environments. In addition to a dedicated workspace, working from home requires reliable, high-speed Internet access. Poor connections and slow speeds were previously an inconvenience—now, they can be a serious issue.

Technology as the Cornerstone

Community-wide high-speed Internet has transitioned from a "nice-to-have" to a necessity. However, the role of technology goes beyond connectivity. Smart home features, integrated security systems, and sustainable solutions are becoming expectations rather than luxuries. To meet the preferences of the modern renter, developers must ensure their properties' technology infrastructures are well-designed and scalable to support an ever-changing landscape.

Sustainable and Resilient Design

The post-pandemic era has also brought our attention to the importance of sustainability. As environmental consciousness grows, developers need to incorporate eco-friendly practices, energy-efficient systems, and resilient infrastructure. In addition to lowering their environmental impact, developers embracing sustainability are laying the foundation for reduced energy costs and improved operational efficiency in their communities.

Creating a Sense of Community

Technology should unite rather than isolate. Developers must consider community amenities as a way to cultivate social connections amidst the demands of our increasingly digital world. Shared workspaces, communal lounges, and outdoor amenities tailored with connectivity for both work and leisure are becoming integral to creating vibrant living environments. Additionally, resident engagement platforms can provide residents with an accessible way to connect with neighbors and actively participate in community events, furthering a sense of connection within the community.

Anticipating the Future

Many aging buildings don't have the infrastructure to support modern technologies, but replacing an outdated infrastructure is expensive, frustrating, and time-consuming. As technology continues to advance, correcting outdated designs will become even more taxing. An experienced technology partner can custom-design a scalable, future-proof infrastructure to ensure your network can support new technologies for years to come.

It's clear that the way we live and work has fundamentally changed. This year, it's about making your properties smart, secure, and sustainable while driving new profit streams.

Developers, here's your roadmap for 2024: Embrace the needs of remote workers, foster vibrant communities, welcome sustainability, and, most importantly, partner up with a tech expert who can not only future-proof your setup but also guide you through the ever-evolving digital landscape.

The future of living is tech-driven, and it's time to lead the way.



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