While location remains one of the key factors for someone deciding where they want to live, recent events have caused a shift in the trends in apartment living we’re seeing for 2021. The past must-have amenities, like washer and dryer in the unit/onsite, swimming pools, or balconies, are no longer at the top of most renters’ “must have” lists.

With Millennials and Generation Z coming of age and moving out on their own, current market trends for multifamily real estate communities are being redefined. As renters seek out apartments that meet their lifestyle preferences, they’re also prioritizing their budgets and measuring that against convenience. 

For most multifamily owners and property managers, staying updated with the latest trends in apartment living isn’t just about staying relevant. It’s also about keeping your investment to date with the latest and greatest, while also charging appropriate rent premiums. We’re taking a look at the top trends in apartment living that multifamily owners and operators should be focusing on in the new year.

Major 2021 trend in apartment living: Smart apartment technology

Smart technologies are already an integral part of most people’s lives (including renter’s lives), so much so that having technology within their homes is a must. Renters want to be able to use home automations for heating and cooling, energy management, and access control (specifically smart locks for apartments), just to name a few key features smart unit solutions offer. This technology also enables residents to customize living experiences without having to make when their current lease ends.

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Connectivity is critical to resident satisfaction, research has shown that the desirability of an apartment community greatly increases when onsite connectivity is available. Which means that in order to remain appealing to renters, multifamily owners and operators should strongly consider implementing property-wide connectivity that meets the expectations of prospective residents.

2021 is the perfect time to invest in building-wide connectivity. Remember that providing residents with a greater level of connectivity provides a greater level of convenience and excitement. People will continue to crave constant connections in 2021, especially in their homes. 

While there is no one size fits all solution for property wide wifi, each provider has its own unique features and capabilities. Additionally, having a site-wide solution in place is a key consideration for any owner or operator wishing to roll out Smart Apartment technology.

Peace of mind, safety, and wellness

2020 has seen a massive shift towards increased health and safety concerns in apartment living trends. This has led to calls for changes in systems and regulations for just about every industry, especially multifamily housing. So it’s no surprise that residents are interested in touchless systems for high traffic areas and reservable amenities with capacity limits (think gyms or clubhouses). Residents who desire a greater sense of security, safety and wellness are willing to pay for premium amenities such as touchess entry, contact tracing, tracking of community space cleaning, and contactless delivery facilitation. 

Building & information access

Uninvited visitors can be a big safety and health concern to residents and now, more than ever, it’s crucial to ensure the safety of staff and residents. 

The simplest place/ to start is by monitoring and limiting those coming and going from the building using technology like building access control systems. These allow the preapproved people and their guests to be in the right places without granting access to those who should not be there. This adds an additional layer of security, comfort and convenience without adding additional workload, time or effort for management. 

Unit access devices like smart locks coupled with smart apartment platforms tied to in-unit devices allow management to monitor and control across the entire property while also automating vacant units and even common areas and amenities. Meanwhile, residents are able to monitor and control their personal smart home devices from just about anywhere, anytime, using their smart home app.

What’s more, smart apartment tech provides management teams instant insights into their smart building’s “health,” providing a wide range of notifications, alerts, and data points that offer up true operational advantages. For instance, management and maintenance teams can receive alerts and notices about water leak, low device battery, temperature, and humidity events via property dashboard tools or email pushes. Getting alerts in a timely manner helps teams get ahead of potential problems much more quickly and efficiently. 

As winter approaches and chances to hold outdoor events dwindle, there will be new opportunities and unique ways to hold virtual and socially distant community events made possible by connectivity and smart apartment solutions. Even though people likely want to stay physically distant, meaningful connection with others in the community remains critical. Accommodating people’s wants and needs – while making their comfort and convenience priorities will give smart communities a big advantage over the competition as we head into the “new normal,” while looking at 2021 apartment living trends.