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How work-from-home has changed multifamily renter preferences

As many renters continue to work from home, they want different things from their apartment communities.

“You see this substantial increase in the number of renters who say they telework ‘most of the day’ or ‘every day,'” says Sarah Youssie, vice president of business strategy for NMHC.

These tenants are more likely to relocate because they want more space. They want features like soundproofing in their units… and they rely on reliable high-speed Internet service and a strong cell phone signal.

Those are some of the biggest takeaways out there 2022 Tenant Preference Survey Report Released in January 2022 by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and Grace Hill, it provides a one-of-a-kind to-do list for investors renovating apartments to match the wishes of today’s renters every two years. Is. In September 2021, researchers surveyed 221,000 renters living in 4,564 commercially managed apartment communities, largely owned or operated by NMHC members.

Renters are expected to continue working from homeā€”even before the Omicron version

According to the survey, tenants who worked from home in September 2021 largely said they expected to continue working from home next year. Specifically, more than half (56 percent) expected to continue working for the same amount of time, and a significant number (10 percent) expected to work from home even more.

Although these renters were surveyed at a relatively optimistic moment, right after the Delta surge and before the spread of Omicron, relatively few (only 35 percent) said they expected to work from home less in the coming year.

Telecom has also affected the reasons tenants are planning to relocate in the near future. Telecom travelers have more freedom to live away from their employers, in places where they can have more space. Of the renters who said they intended to move when their lease expired, more than a quarter (28 percent) cited “extra living space” as a reason. This is up from the pre-pandemic 19 percent. “More space” is now the third most popular reason tenants want to relocate, behind “demanding for lower rents” (49 percent) and “better community facilities” (29 percent).

Renters who spent more time in their homes were also more dependent on delivery. Three quarters (76 per cent) of renters received three or more packages a month in the past two years, up from almost half (55 per cent) before the pandemic. The share of renters who received perishable items multiple times a month nearly doubled to 17 percent, from 9 percent two years ago.

As more tenants worked from home, they were willing to pay for certain amenities inside their apartments.

  • 92 percent of renters said they are interested in a washer/dryer in-unit, and are willing to pay a $54.73 monthly premium
  • 91 percent of renters said they’re interested in air conditioning, and they’re willing to pay $54.73
  • 90 percent of renters said they are interested in soundproofing walls, and $46.21 . are ready to pay
  • 89 percent of renters said they are interested in high-speed Internet access, and $47.93 . are ready to pay
  • 88 percent of renters said they are interested in a walk-in closet, and $43.46 . are ready to pay

Working from home is also opening the minds of renters to new living situations. Nearly half (46 percent) said they would be interested in an experimental concept in which renters could move from city to city on a one-year lease within the portfolio of a large apartment company. “You want to spend September and October in New York, but then Salt Lake City for the winter, but Florida for the spring,” says Yusi.

The survey results also show that developers should focus on local priorities.

for example:

  • Renters expressed greater interest in hot tubs in Boulder, Colo. (70 percent) compared to Philadelphia (41 percent).
  • Covered parking is more important in Minneapolis (80 percent) than in Gainesville, Fla. (47 percent).

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