News & Research Listing
Revenue management systems and bundled fees are among the many ways to improve net operating income.
As the industry acclimates to its new normal and multifamily housing companies ease the reins on operating budgets, management companies are looking for new avenues to increase net operating income (NOI). The 2021 Apartmentalize session, “Top 20 NOI Strategies to Implement Today,” discussed various strategies for improving NOI—from revenue management to bundled convenience fees.
While revenue management isn’t new to multifamily, more operators are beginning to tweak their revenue management systems on a more regular basis for optimal performance.
“I think those of us who have revenue management are now doing it daily, because that’s part of your NOI strategy,” said Ian Bingham, Senior Vice President of Client Services for Roscoe Property Management. “We’re factoring unit velocity – what was rented that day, by floor plan. If you’re not looking at pricing daily, you’re leaving money on the table.”
Many companies have taken over their own pricing, rather than relying on third-party specialists.
“They’re bringing pricing in-house, rather than using pricing advisory services, because they want to look at it on a daily basis,” said Ed Wolff, Chief Revenue Officer at LeaseLock. “They’re also keeping renewals at a minimal amount – $100 or $150 – because they don’t want to incur the turn costs. Just keep that resident intact.”
While experts are predicting another 24 months of record rent growth, pricing strategies need to remain market specific.
“Each market lives and breathes a bit differently, and everyone has a different strategy,” Bingham said. “In your major markets, our foot is on the gas because everyone in the market is doing exactly that.”
Bingham cautioned against doing away with the contactless leasing technology rolled out during the pandemic.
“I think the human touch is still something people want as part of the leasing process, but not everybody,” he said. “People still resonate, so I think self-guided is a better follow-up tool. But you can expand that self-guided touring window – 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., etc. – to capture a wider audience.”
Due to the surge in e-commerce, companies are turning to offsite package management solutions and repurposing package rooms and locker spaces.
“It’s given us back 200 to 500 square feet of amenity space per building,” Bingham said. “In the amenities arms race, it has given us more space.”
Operators are also revisiting security deposits to simplify the leasing process and make move-in more feasible for renters.
“I believe the day of security deposits is coming to an end,” Wolff said. “You can pay a security deposit, you can pay a provider for an alternative or you cannot do security deposits at all, and the resident can pay a monthly fee. But there is ancillary income by charging the resident that monthly amount.”
In today’s fee-based society, management companies have even started bundling fees for convenience services like concierge, trash, cable, Wi-Fi and package delivery to avoid the perception that they are nickel and diming residents for every service.
Doug Pike is a Content Manager at LinnellTaylor Marketing.
The Multifamily Market Survey from the National Association of Home Builders shows builder and developer sentiment is on the rise, as is occupancy.
The rental housing industry is preparing for a positive outlook the remainder of the year. The latest Multifamily Market Survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that both multifamily indices—the Multifamily Production Index (MPI) and the Multifamily Occupancy Index (MOI)—increased during the third quarter of 2021.
The MPI jumped five points to a reading of 53, while the MOI increased five points to 75, which is the highest level since the index began in 2003.
The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment on a 0 to 100 scale with anything over 50 indicating improving conditions. The three factors the MPI gages are affordable housing, market rate apartment homes and for-sale condominiums. All three factors improved in Q3—low-rent units increased six points to 55, and market rate rentals jumped nine points to 60. For-sale units inched forward two points to 47.
The MOI measures occupancies for existing apartments in Class A, B and C communities, and a reading of 50 or higher indicates increased occupancy.
“The record-level MOI is consistent with the strong multifamily occupancy rates reported by the Census Bureau, which are now higher than they’ve been since the 1980s,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz in a release. “And an MPI back above 50 is consistent with multifamily housing starts, which have been running at a 460,000-plus annualized rate through the first three quarters of 2021 — which should make 2021 the strongest year for multifamily production that we’ve seen since the tax policy-driven surge of the 1980s. As the economy continues to reopen, housing demand is rising in higher density markets, supporting both multifamily occupancy and production.”
Here’s why your text messages fail to reach your residents.
Historically, a flyer pinned to a board in the lobby was one of the most effective methods for mass communication to residents. Today, although many boards remain, owners and operators have a slew of additional communication tools at their disposal. While many remain loyal to emails, an increasing number of apartment communities have tapped into texting to connect with residents quickly and effectively.
Texts offer a fast, affordable and reliable communication channel. According to research from OpenMarket, 83 percent of Millennials open texts within 90 seconds of receipt. And older research from Gartner revealed 90 percent of all people read texts within three minutes of receipt, with a 98 percent total open rate.
That said, there is one downside to texting that is becoming more prevalent: Not all text messages are reaching residents.
Why the Disconnect?
Owners and operators intending to reach out to their entire list of residents often are using software that enables bulk text sends. This is convenient and affordable, allowing them to quickly reach hundreds or even thousands of people at a time. However, mobile carriers have a long history of blocking certain messages, and they are continually growing more stringent about the types of texts and the content within them. When carriers see the exact same messages going to hundreds or thousands of phone numbers, it gets there attention, and not in a positive way.
U.S. mobile carriers AT&T and T-Mobile are now requiring new fees and processes for any business looking to text groups of people. The rules, which went into effect this summer—called “10DLC” after the 10-digit long codes that businesses use to text people—may make message blocking an even more common occurrence.
Often, the person who scheduled the send doesn’t even realize the messages were blocked, because most software doesn’t automatically alert the sender (you can usually only see the message failed if you take the time to log into the software, which not everyone does).
How to Break on Through to the Other Side
The good news is general advice for sending messages that will make it to their intended recipients enables apartment communities to keep residents in the loop about changes, events and more, without disruption.
- Send personalized messages: Personalization is the key to messages that don’t get blocked; look for a texting software that will allow you to easily accomplish this. For property managers and owners, this can mean either including the person’s name within the text, or naming the property within the message. Mentioning a specific payment or date or other detail can also count as personalization. Not all messages that lack personalization get blocked (you’ve probably received many that didn’t), but that’s because carriers don’t catch everything, but make no mistake, they are paying closer attention than ever before.
- Show full URLs: Because carriers want to avoid having their customers receive spam by any means necessary, revealing the URL’s domain name can help alleviate their concern. Avoid using website link shorteners, which may look largely promotional in nature (whether that was the intention or not). Use full URLs when links are required.
- Always include an opt-out option: Under Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rules, it’s required to receive an opt-in before properties can start sending messages to their residents. Also required is the ability to opt-out at any time, so preserve that option in every single text. A message like “Reply STOP to unsubscribe” works well.
- Send only relevant images: Most texts to residents shouldn’t require an image; however, if there is an image that needs to be sent, ensure it is truly relevant. If the image does not pertain to the text, it could be blocked.
- Regularly update your resident texting list: If people regularly opt-out of your messages, it can be a red flag to carriers. Enough red flags, and a sender might become blacklisted from sending messages altogether. To combat this, make sure your lists are constantly updated when people move out or new residents move in.
- Keep content clean: This is hopefully obvious, but keep texting content straight forward, informational in nature and clean. The acronym “SHAFT” describes content that is forbidden or subject to additional rules:
- Sexually inappropriate
- Hate speech or profanity
- Firearms and depictions or endorsements of violence
- Tobacco (including vaping), or endorsement of illegal or illicit drugs
Text messaging is a powerful tool for property managers, when it’s used well. Used too often or to promote irrelevant information, and apartment residents will unsubscribe. Used without personalization, relevant images and full URLs, and carriers will block the messages. When property managers and owners keep these tips in mind, they can continue to utilize text messages to keep residents informed and engaged within their home and community.
Tom Sheahan is the CEO of Red Oxygen.
Video storytelling is a powerful, engaging and underused medium across the industry.
Just when owners and managers thought they were finally turning the page on the unprecedented challenges of 2020, the pandemic has yet one more card up its sleeve – "The Great Resignation.”
As the pandemic drives people to reassess their lives and futures, many are revisiting what they want, both professionally and personally. On the career front, that means a mass exodus toward unemployment in hopes of finding more money, increased flexibility and greater happiness.
In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2021 saw a record 4.3 million people their jobs for greener professional pastures. For the apartment industry, where average employee turnover was already close to 33% annually before the pandemic, “The Great Resignation” has only added to the existing problem.
As a result, operators find themselves in a fierce battle for talent in a historically tight and tumultuous labor market, fighting to distinguish themselves from the competition in not only the multifamily industry but other industries as well.
While there isn't a magic wand owners and managers can wave to fix these overwhelming labor issues, the best option they have is video storytelling – a powerful, engaging and still vastly underused medium across the industry.
Attracting the Right Talent with Video Storytelling
Humans naturally gravitate toward storytelling. From our hunting and gathering days to our modern world, immersive and engaging stories have always been able to expand our thoughts and drive our decision-making.
When you combine a target audience's natural inclination toward stories with the uniquely engaging powers of video, the result is a potent communication tool that can help messaging rise above the background noise.
In the case of talent acquisition and retention, video storytelling is a convenient and fast solution that can directly address staffing shortages in multifamily. From attracting the right talent for open positions to engaging and retaining existing employees, video could very well be the competitive edge every operator is looking for to counteract “The Great Resignation.”
Outlined below are three simple ways multifamily teams can propel their recruitment and retention efforts to new levels with video content.
1. Personalized Video Introductions to Potential Candidates
The talent you're targeting with your recruiting strategy is going to be looking at different positions at different organizations in different industries. That means you are up against some stiff competition for that talent.
Your first goal should be grabbing your potential new hire’s attention and making your opportunity stand out from other potential employers. Video is a great way to differentiate yourself and make a lasting impact on top talent. Imagine being a prospective employee and receiving a personalized video as an introduction rather than a boilerplate email or even a quick call. While a video might take a few minutes to film, edit and distribute depending on the platform you use, it leaves a lasting impression that gives you a distinct advantage.
Also, given the out-of-the-box nature of a video introduction, you’re inherently appealing to talent with a similar out-of-the-box mindset. In this case, innovation breeds innovation, a quality many communities are in short supply of at the moment.
2. Drive Employee Satisfaction and Increase Retention
Rental housing was facing serious employee turnover issues before the pandemic. Of course, in the throes of “The Great Resignation,” it's absolutely critical that you not only fill current workforce gaps but also keep the talent you have.
That is easier said than done in an environment where people are already quitting their jobs in droves. That said, multifamily teams don't have much room for error before a bad problem gets even worse.
That is why it is so important to ensure every employee feels like a valued member of the team. Recognizing success and increasing satisfaction across your staff is another area where video storytelling shines.
A video introduction of a new hire, a quick shout out for a job well done, or a thoughtful message for a team member dealing with challenges at home can go a long way in driving satisfaction. A personalized video is going to be more effective than a card or email in making your employees feel special and important.
3. Foster Employee Engagement Through Video
According to recent research from Gallup, 36% of U.S. employees are engaged by their work and employer. That means 64% are either not engaged or actively disengaged, neither of which bode well for talent retention.
When an employee is fully engaged in their work, they are committed to staying with the company and meeting both individual and organizational goals. Fully engaged employees are loyal to an organization's vision and committed to excellence.
Effective communication and employee engagement go hand-in-hand, where organizations with clear communication channels are better poised for success. Video is an ideal medium for fostering that critical communication, making it easy to convey goals and objectives at both the organizational and individual levels.
Employees want to feel included and know their individual contributions are adding to a community's overall success. There's no better way for management to relay those thoughts and foster those feelings than through video.
Moreover, providing employees with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their roles is essential for engagement. Video fulfills this need very well, and unlike in-person training, you can archive video training sessions so employees can reference them again and again.
There’s no magical solution to address the talent issues that have plagued the multifamily industry for years. However, with the pandemic indirectly intensifying the problem by way of “The Great Resignation,” managers and operators need to find a competitive edge, one that will help them win the battle for talent.
That's exactly what video storytelling offers to the industry. It’s a powerful solution to engage talent – both potential and current – that doesn't strain already heavy workflows. Now, it's just a matter of seeing who the early adopters will be, the ones that will put their communities a giant step ahead in the fight for talent.
Mike Davis is Senior Vice President of Multifamily at OneDay.
Rent growth across the U.S. continues to climb but at a slower pace than seen earlier this year.
Rent growth remains strong across the U.S. despite a slowdown in the fall. According to the latest National Rent Report from Apartment List, rents backed off a bit to their smallest month-over-month growth rate since February. The national index increased 0.8% from September to October to put the national median rent growth at 16.4% since January. Between 2017-19, rent growth averaged 3.2% from January to October.
The national median rent increased to $1,312, $107 higher than Apartment List’s forecast had projected rent growth continued its pre-pandemic path and in line with 2018-19 growth rates.
While the index continued its climb, 22 of the country’s 100 largest cities saw rents decline from month to month. This includes Boise, Idaho, which for much of the past several years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, has seen exponential rent growth. However, Boise saw a 3.1% declined from September to October.
Cities that have rebounded since March 2020 have seen a leveling off—this includes major coastal markets such as California’s Bay, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and New York. San Francisco saw a 1% decline in rent prices from September to October and is down 12% since March 2020.
Meanwhile, Boise fell from the top spot as the highest growth market with it’s monthly decline and now sits in the sixth spot of the largest rent gainers since March 2020. Tampa, Fla., overtook the top spot and is ahead 36% compared to March 2020. Greater Phoenix markets—Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa and Chandler—sit between Tampa and Boise. The Las Vegas metro follows with Henderson, North Las Vegas and Las Vegas ahead of Tampa neighbor St. Petersburg. All top 10 cities have at least a 32% rent growth since March 2020.
NAA Best Places to Work Finalist renames multifamily division.
Thompson Thrift, an Indianapolis-based full-service real estate company, has renamed its multifamily division, Watermark Residential, as Thompson Thrift Residential. This rebranding creates three business units: Multifamily, retail and construction.
“We are proud of our history, our people, and the communities we create and serve, and we need to protect and strengthen our brand,” said Josh Purvis, Managing Partner for Thompson Thrift Residential, in a release. “While our name has changed, we will continue our disciplined approach for allocating capital, developing properties, managing our communities, and preserving a culture of service at Thompson Thrift.”
The multifamily business was added by Thompson Thrift in 2008, resulting in luxury Class A communities across the U.S. Thompson Thrift was also named a 2021 Best Places to Work Finalist by the National Apartment Association.
“The renaming of our residential business unit will ensure that our company’s unwavering commitment to quality, resident satisfaction, and hard-earned reputation for developing and managing communities of distinction will be unmistakably linked to our corporate brand,” said Paul Thrift, CEO of Thompson Thrift, in the release.
Virtual leasing assistants bring greater convenience and efficiency to today’s 24/7 prospective resident.
The era of automated leasing is upon us. And it may not be an exaggeration to say that the pandemic created 10 years’ worth of apartment industry technology in about 100 days.
Smart-home technology is alive and well. Move-in and move-out features are in place. Offerings similar to Amazon Go – a grocery store with no clerk – are making their way into communities to better serve residents on the go. Amenity reservations became necessary during lockdowns, but residents are still finding them useful and convenient on an app.
But the technology with perhaps the greatest penetration – and growing – are virtual leasing assistants. Typically, they are found in the form of bots that can deliver answers to key questions from resident prospects 24/7.
Just like Artificial Intelligence (AI), which “grows smarter” the more it’s used, these virtual leasing assistants are delivering time and cost savings for busy onsite teams, relieving them of mundane but necessary tasks such as providing rent rates and setting up touring appointments by phone, text and chat.
Technology is here to lead the new way of onsite leasing operations and more communities are buying in for all of the right reasons, which was the focus of the "Autonomous Leasing" panel at the 2021 Apartment Innovation and Marketing Conference (AIM).
“Today, the volume of incoming calls to apartment communities is significant,” LeaseHawk’s EVP and Chief Revenue Officer, Brock MacLean says. “More than 50 percent of prospect inquiries are happening over the phone. Apartment companies are spending so much time to produce leads, how can they not be exhausting their teams with things like chasing leads that aren’t likely to convert?”
“No longer are there so-called ‘office hours.’ Most missed calls happen during the day. You’re busy, you’re hiring challenged. Virtual experiences are today’s consumers’ expectations.
LeaseHawk data show that about 87% of callers won’t leave a voicemail; and most will never call back if their call goes unanswered.
Bots are capable of answering hundreds of questions, but really, at this point, they are being asked mostly the same ones by any prospect who engages with them.
The Top 5 Leasing Questions Asked by Prospects:
- 44.5% Pricing and Availability
- 14% Rental Qualifications
- 9% Application
- 5.9% Pet Policy
- 4.2% Property Amenities
Meeting Residents Where They Want, How they Want
Kitty Callaghan, VP of Marketing at Wasatch Property Management, said virtual leasing assistants were practically a gift from the pandemic.
“We all use it now, we can thank the pandemic to bring it real-time into our industry,” she says. “We as an industry have proven to be really flexible. We can adopt quickly. We see now that with any problem, there’s always more than one right answer.”
She says that autonomous leasing is meeting prospective residents where they want, and how they want.
“For residents, this lets them say, ‘I’m doing it the way I want,’” she says.
The property doesn’t control all of the information anymore, Callaghan says, and that’s a good thing.
“It used to be that the resident had to come into the leasing office to get anything done: Ask a question, submit a work order, pay their rent,” she says. “That’s very inconvenient for residents. With automated leasing, we can provide the optimal experience to each resident, as they would want it.”
Callaghan says that on average, per community, per month, the bot creates 375 conversations with 220 unique prospects. She says that having bots there to answer the easy questions enables the onsite team to adjust its priorities and frees up leasing staff to handle things that can’t be done through automation.
“This has reduced our call volume by 20 percent,” she says. “We are now able to redirect an average of 56.3 hours per month to other duties. That’s a lot. Meanwhile, 90 percent of self-scheduled appointments result in the prospects coming to the property for the tours. Our aim is always to reduce the length of the leasing cycle, and we’re seeing that bots can save a day or two off the leasing cycle.”
Delivering Consistent, Accurate Information is Critical
Programmed bots provide consistent and accurate information about the community. Prospects use multiple platforms during their search, and this way, “we can make sure the information we are providing is consistent across all of those platforms,” Callaghan says. “Paid advertising is not enough anymore. We need to be creating conversations with our prospects and those can get started through the bot.”
Laurel Zacher, Vice President of Marketing & Talent Development at Security Properties Residential (SPR), said that pre-pandemic, her portfolio only offered in-person tours, with just a few exceptions.
“When the pandemic hit, we had to get moving; and give prospects the chance to see or tour our rent-ready units to give them the confidence in wanting to rent with us,” Zacher says. “We wanted a self-service model. We had to handle waivers for prospects to be able to see us. We had to use locks that could be moved around, because we didn’t want to go full IoT.”
SPR sought technology that could scan driver’s licenses and upload those files with the waiver.
“These important steps were a big burden on our onsite team,” she says. “I recommend finding a tech partner to help with this to make it easier. If you can be really clear about what the problem is that you need to solve, you can have much more beneficial conversations with the technology service providers you are meeting with.”
Shooting Live Tours is a Marketing Boon
SPR also issued phones to all of its staff members and trained them on how to produce live video tours. The company had started with none, but quickly began to develop them for floorplans at all of its communities. The result was a video library that had 148,000 “views” on expenses of just about $3,000 overall.
“Not bad,” Zacher says. “Before this, it was zero. We didn’t have any. Now our available homes are shown to a global audience. India is home to our second-highest viewership. We’ve got a 5.8 percent click-thru rate on them.”
SPR hosted the videos, with closed captioning, on YouTube so they could be presented in a better organized fashion within different folders. YouTube also helped SPR improve its search results.
“The key early on was to make sure the videos were shot in landscape (not vertical) to fit the display space. Videos were kept to 1 minute or less. The onsite team narrated the tours. The videos began from the middle of the apartment home (not the front door) because we found that reduced some of the clumsiness of the action by the camera holder.”
Zacher found it best to let the leasing agents inject their own personality to the videos. She was sure to bookend community branding at the start and end of the video by including a logo and a call to action.
Zacher also found that using a $40 Gimbal stabilizing device, purchased from Amazon, was critical to ensure a smoother video. The device helps to avoid any shaky movements as the tour was conducted.
She said SPR typically has a 9% lead-to-lease conversion rate but with these tours, and self-guided tours, the rate was about 12.4 percent.
Paul Bergeron is a freelance writer.
Artificial intelligence is here to stay, but it’s not here to replace people.
It’s a tool that blends the processing power of machines with human intelligence to augment capabilities. While it’s already been deployed across many industries to increase ROI, macro use of artificial intelligence (AI) in rental housing has been limited.
During the 2021 Apartmentalize session, “AI: More Than the Next Big Thing,” industry experts discussed how employing AI as part of a revenue management strategy encourages optimization across various dimensions, including providing data on prospective resident and applicant behavior, which can further maximize asset value.
In the multifamily housing space, AI seeks to help understand more about two individual groups of people: Residents and prospective residents.
“The more we can know about those individuals and their overall behavior helps you really understand what you need to have at your communities, what type of technologies that you can use within those,” said David Polewchak, Industry Principal at RealPage. “Ultimately, AI is doing a lot of the work to help in this.”
But it’s not just the industry that needs it. Renters want it, too. Residents desire smart home technologies that keep them connected to their home, making life more efficient.
AI is used in a variety of capacities, and its presence is emerging on a daily basis. However, the true potential of this type of technology is still being explored in the rental housing industry.
“We threw a lot of technology at people last year, and we are impressed by the way that we’ve seen it evolve around digital marketing,” said Aaron Maas, Vice President of Multifamily Operations for Origin Investments. “A few years ago, it was all about aesthetics and what it looked like. Now, there's different ways to target audiences, including people who fit a renter profile and really focusing your marketing on where the renters are.”
When it comes to touring a property, the use of technology has seemingly moved to the forefront and operators should take notice.
“There’s been a lot of hesitation around more virtual leasing and the adoption of self-guided tours,” said David Danish, Senior Vice President of LivCor. “We are now the hold up, not the consumer. Us in the multifamily industry are the ones who are hesitant to rely on those, whereas potential residents are actually eager to adopt those technologies.”
With technology fueling the larger vision, data derived from AI helps monitor and measure success in ways that weren’t possible before.
“There are so many moving pieces in operations and so all of the facets come together like a well-oiled machine with AI,” Maas said.
For revenue management, data intelligence is crucial for accuracy. AI tools can look at multiple factors at once, allowing teams to access individual guest cards and prospective resident information to help forecast supply and demand.
“For us, it’s all about how far ahead of things you can get,” Danish said. “And the better sense I can get of which residents are staying and which are going, and which units I'll have available, the more I can leverage that information to market appropriately.”
AI and marketing channels provide a glimpse into the future, helping teams make better decisions and unearth opportunities to unlock more value.
According to RealPage, the average rent roll has 10% of its value associated directly with amenitization, and 60% of amenities are undervalued. Having the ability to look at data regarding amenities helps underscore the value of them and how that plays toward leasing.
AI’s future in the multifamily arena is certain to expand. As technologies progress, the industry will gain more insight into resident behaviors and illustrate macroeconomic factors such as migration patterns, showing the industry where it can improve to meet residents’ needs.
“Knowing what their preferences are, what keeps them at a community and what closes the deal is going to help us not just design better communities, but to also optimize the communities we already have,” Danish said.
Transparency and an elevated customer experience are what drive the success of the multifamily industry. AI can assist already strong team members in meeting goals and enhancing the industry at every level.
Andrew Ruhland is a Junior Account Executive and Assistant Content Writer for LinnellTaylor Marketing.
The amenity service provider honors veterans with Atlanta fitness event.
On Nov. 11, 2021, amenities provider Valet Living and fitness amenity partner, Torch Fitness, hosted their first annual Veterans Day workout at Telephone Factory Lofts in Atlanta. The event featured several local Torch Fitness veteran instructors demonstrating the most common modifications needed by the veteran community. Members of the public were shown common modifications needed by veterans.
In June 2019, Valet Living acquired Atlanta-based Torch Fitness to give residents access to hundreds of certified fitness trainers and dietitians, and it has quickly become an integral component of the Valet Living Home platform. Valet Living serves more than 175,000 homes in Georgia.
The event underscores Valet Living’s larger commitment to the veteran community. Through its Valet Giving Heroes program, the company pledges $50,000 a year in amenity services for veterans who qualify for the program. These complimentary services include pet visits, home cleans, in-home package delivery, on-demand virtual events, live fitness events and more. More than 7% of all Valet Living associates are veterans.
Valet Living Home and Torch Fitness operate in nearly 300 multifamily communities across the country, with a heavy concentration in Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas and Texas. During the pandemic, Torch Fitness has seen a 400% increase in the numbers of residential communities it serves.
New data shows rents climbing month-over-month in top cities.
New York City remains atop the Zumper National Rent Report as the highest-priced city. The October report shows the top three cities—New York, San Francisco and Boston—as unchanged from September for median one-bedroom rent prices. New York and Boston each experienced a roughly 5% month-over-month increase as did the fourth city, San Jose, Calif. Rent for a one-bedroom in New York is $3,100, while the rest of the top 10 cities range from $1,890 (Scottsdale, Ariz.) to $2,800 (San Francisco).
Nationally, rent growth continues to climb. One-bedroom rent is up nearly 12% since March 2020; two-bedroom median rent is up more than 14%.
The West Coast continues to rebound from its sudden drop off seen as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the U.S. in 2020. Some cities like Anaheim, Calif., and Portland, Ore., remained stagnant between March 2020 and January 2021; however, Anaheim has seen a nearly 13% climb in rent prices between March 2020 and October 2021, and Portland has increased almost 6% during that time. Meanwhile, larger cities—Seattle, Los Angeles and California’s Bay Area—are steadily increasing but are still lagging behind compared to pre-pandemic data.
On a more local level, the Denver metro is experiencing major rent growth, seen similar in coastal cities. Median rent for one-bedrooms in Denver was down 6% in January 2021 compared to March 2020, but it’s now ahead of March 2020 by more than 13%—over 20% rent growth in 2021. The metro area—Aurora, Boulder and Fort Collins among others—has seen double-digit rent growth year-over-year for one-bedrooms.