The multi-housing industry has had its ups, downs, twists and turns over the years but the one thing that has remained constant is the continued growth and utilization of technology in business.
According to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s latest report, “Disruption: How Demographics, Psychographics and Technology Are Bringing Multifamily to the Brink of a Design Revolution,” the multifamily housing industry will have to build at least 4.6 million apartments by 2030 to keep up with demand for apartment living and product. What’s interesting is that anything being designed today won’t see its first resident until the early 2020s. This will force the industry, according to Multi-housing News, to become even more anticipatory, progressive and innovative when it comes to serving the next generation of renters’ needs via technology in the multifamily housing market.
According to Multi-housing News, the other top game changers impacting the multi-housing industry include:
It is estimated that 90 percent of the U.S. population will connect to the grid via smartphones by 2023, and they will expect the companies they interact with to know their preferences and anticipate their next moves, even before they do. Given the giant steps forward in robotics and artificial intelligence, technology is set to become part of the core design of apartment communities rather than an add-on accessory or appliance. Technology will not just be employed for technology’s sake but rather to enrich the resident experience.
Hyper-informed and empowered by a tsunami of personalized, networked data, today’s consumers control their own destinies and expect immediate gratification. This will become exponentially apparent as younger generations take command of consumption in the community. As real-time and personalized purchasing experiences become the norm, a lifestyle-focused, flexible and highly personalized apartment is as important as location and layout.
Millennials have historically been the age group most likely to rent, and their sheer mass today is impressive. But targeting only this generation would be a mistake. Aging Baby Boomers, immigrants and non-traditional families will leave their mark on rental demand down the road. So while staple unit plans such as the typical one and two bedroom have long been the hallmark of the apartment industry and housing market, in the coming years apartment communities and units will have to adapt to serve a greater variety of households and housing needs. This will require building adaptability into physical components of unit construction and areas of development.
Mobile technology, growth in non-traditional job sectors and increasing participation in the gig economy are disrupting where, how and for how long people work, impacting their housing priorities, their preferences, and ultimately, their decisions. Residents and property owners will favor having opportunities to work in close proximity to—and even provided within—their apartment communities. The old home office, typically crammed into a den or spare bedroom, is ripe for a makeover.