As with the beginning of any new year, many multifamily thought-leaders will have been publishing content about the trends they expect to see in 2020 – but bigger than just a new year, 2020 also ushers in the start of a new decade. With the pace at which tech is moving, it will be interesting to see where the multifamily industry goes not just next year, but into the next 10 years. The multifamily industry typically takes a bit longer than most to adopt new technology and trends, so taking a look at what’s currently hot in the market is important to predict where things will shake out by 2030.

Even More Flexibility

This trendy topic has continued to be one of the hottest items in the multifamily industry. With the ever-growing popularity of the “Airbnb” and “remote work” culture, more and more people are expecting flexibility to be available in all aspects of their life, including their lease term. The traditional lease term of 12 months will continue to evolve, with the duration being determined by the renter. In the near future, renters will be able to dictate many more of the parameters surrounding their rental agreements. This increased leasing flexibility will have peripheral impacts on the rental market, such as the rise in short-term rental home furnishings and necessities.

The Wow Factor

Instagram and other social media outlets have led to the increase of the “wow factor.” Everyone now has an up close look at how each other lives, including those with ultra luxe amenities. Renters are putting a lot of weight on where to live based on the image and perception they want to display to the world – they want their home to be “Instagramable.” To keep up with demand, properties will have to continue to increase their offerings to residents, regardless of the property’s asset class. Hotel-style amenities, personalized greetings and on-demand food service will be expected across the board, with renters wanting luxury-level services at a non-luxury level price tag.

Community Branding

Today, most apartment renters don’t think twice about the management company they’re renting from until rent is due. To set themselves apart from competitors, management companies will begin to increase branding efforts and create experiences unique to their properties. The apartment communities will include more social spaces, co-working areas and even bars, restaurants and dedicated pet sitting. We’ll see a rise of signature events specific to management companies – whether they’re poolside happy hours, networking events or building Friendsgivings. For renters, making the choice of which management company to lease will  choose will be a decision that involves more than just a place to sleep.

Smarthome Wars

Property Management companies will soon have to decide which Smarthome provider they want to partner with and it will become more and more difficult to select tech in an a la carte way as tech becomes more and more integrated. Similar to the recent decisions between property management software (Yardi, Entrata and RealPage, etc.), management companies will soon need to pick a side. If a building is outfitted with Amazon smarthome tech like Ring doorbells, residents who have already invested in a Google Home may prefer a property with Google Nest integrations for a more seamless experience. As more integrations are occurring within the apartment and surrounding community, a renter’s loyalties to a Smarthome provider may begin to outweigh the actual community itself.

Although some of these decade predictions may be slowly entering the landscape now, they will soon be the most pressing topics in multifamily, swaying a renter’s decision. Management companies must be forward thinking in each of these areas to stay ahead of the game in 2020 and for years to come.