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NAA CEO: 5 Trends Shaping Apartments

NAA President and CEO explores five trends shaping rental housing for the Washington Post.

The world continues to change as vaccines roll out. During the past year, businesses have adapted, consumers have altered purchasing habits and industries are adjusting to a new normal. The rental housing industry is no different, and apartments will continue evolving in response to the pandemic.

In his recent Washington Post column, NAA President & CEO Bob Pinnegar describes five trends witnessed during the pandemic that will continue to shape apartments for years to come, including discussions of amenities, touring, manager-resident relationships, location and generational differences.

There has been a shift in the amenity world—shareable areas to individual spaces. Shared spaces such as fitness centers and pools are still important, but communities have shifted their focus to in-home amenities like larger kitchens and high-speed Wi-Fi.

For obvious reasons, there’s now a larger number of prospective residents virtually searching for new homes. While it was previously only part of the process of selecting a new community, virtual touring has been a catalyst to “invest in new technology, high-quality videos and specialized training to give prospects a more complete picture of the community,” says Pinnegar.

Communication between community managers and residents is vital, and “could impact resident retention and even new apartment searches,” writes Pinnegar. Interactions between the two parties has “significantly increased” compared to pre-pandemic relationships.

Remote work has caused residents to re-think where and how they live. Residents not needing to be close to the office has allowed them to search for other options—a two-bedroom in the suburbs vs. a one-bedroom in the city—to accommodate the work-from-home lifestyle.

The younger generations—Millennials and Generation Z—favor renting, which leads to higher demand for apartments, more competition and new development, states Pinnegar. “One of the greatest hallmarks of the apartment industry is its propensity for choice, flexibility and adaptability.”

Read the article on the Washington Post website.