Data and Privacy in a Smart Community

More and more products, such as Alexa and Google Voice, have become normalized in the market and branded as products that help consumers with their daily home tasks. According to TechCrunch, voice assistant use will triple to eight billion by 2023.One-third of current renters use these smart systems in their current living space, and some refuse to rent an apartment or multifamily property that doesn’t possess any smart home features.

With the rise of smart home features has also brought along the rise of concerns for data breaches and privacy. Renters want to know that transactions, such as online rental payments, are safe and won’t take important and personal information. Renters also want assurance that there won’t be data breaches or hackers able to find personal information while handling online transactions as well.

It’s important for property managers to consider an online system that protects their residents’ privacy while also offering online options, like rental payments or lease signings on the web, that make both residents and property manager’s lives easier. It is also important that property managers research and understand their current smart home features, so that they know the current privacy policies as well as how to elevate their residents’ current living spaces.

The Top Two Needs of Modern Renters

As the world continues to change in a COVID-19 world, more and more renters are choosing how they move and choose their next place to live in. With changes in moving come new trends in what renters are looking for. According to a recent study conducted by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and Grace Hill 2022 Renter Preferences Survey report, twenty-five percent of renters moved in the past eighteen months, and seventy percent predict to be teleworking the same amount or more moving forward.

The recent survey also discovered the top two needs of modern renters as they continue to move:

  • Flexibility: Twenty-five percent of those who said they moved over the past eighteen months also stated the reason for their move was shifting to remote work during the pandemic. The work from home option has given renters the opportunity to have more freedoms in choosing where to live without having to worry about a work commute. Renters have flexibility in being able to move whenever they want and even work out of their company’s state or country
  • Connectivity: Eighty-two percent of respondents stated that they are streaming video daily, while seventy-three respondents said they stream music daily. With the increasing demand for streaming services and requirement of high-speed internet to work from anywhere, renters are looking for places that meet these needs. Renters no longer want slow internet speeds or having to work outside their homes daily if they don’t have to. Connectivity allows renters to continue to have their work tasks completely from any location while also having the option to use entertainment such as streaming to accompany their needs.

How Social Media Can Attract Gen Z Renters

With 2022 ready to come in just a few days, property managers and the real estate are now looking at how to attract new renters for the upcoming year. One important demographic property managers are looking to attract is Gen Z. As the first group in history to be raised by the digital world, Gen Z renters are used to growing up surrounded by social media, research, and the newest innovations in technology at their fingertips.

As the Gen Z demographic prepares to rent their first apartments or multifamily units, property managers must consider the appeal of community, sustainability, and eco-friendly living areas that attract Gen Z renters. Amenities such as high-speed Internet and outdoor community and garden spaces are more likely to draw in Gen Z renters than the older, traditional properties of past generations.

The world of social media and fast-paced communication also indicates how property managers should communicate with Gen Z renters. Gen Z renters no longer want just a sales pitch, but authenticity from property managers. Different forms of communication, such as texting, attract Gen Z to properties than telephone calls. Using social media to engage and educate consumers is also important, as Gen Z renters will feel more included with social media feeds that have their customized interests, rather than just hearing sales pitches. With this in mind, property managers can use the latest social media developments to connect with Gen Z renters and make them feel they have more than just a property to live in–they have an elevated community.

Vacancy Trends in 2022

With the COVID-19 pandemic entering its third year, trends are changing within the real estate and leasing industries. The environments in which people live, work, and learn have changed drastically with the implementation of working or earning a degree online at home. Students and the workforce alike realize the change to remote work, whether permanently or with a hybrid setting, results in having to make big decisions on their living space. The current workforce also considers factors such as location, cost of rent, and how much storage area they’ll need as they prepare to make their next big move.

With moving trends come trends in proptech as well. More and more residents look for flexibility and options to tour apartments during the pandemic. Property managers also must look for options to give residents when it comes to signing leases and paying rent either in-person or online as well. With 2022 around the corner, a rising trend for filling vacant apartments is for potential renters and current renters to schedule amenity reservations and viewing vacant apartments online at their own schedule. New innovations in proptech allow current residents to schedule amenities such as pools or gyms to use whenever they need without having to worry about double booking or sharing amenity space if that is not their preference. Potential residents can go online to view vacancy lists and choose whether to tour potential living spaces online or in-person.

How Invictus Fits In

Invictus stays on top of proptech trends by offering the latest innovations for current and potential residents. Current residents with Invictus can use the amenity reservations tool to book patios, pools, or gyms for whatever they need without the worry of double booking or sharing amenity space. Potential residents can also use Invictus by viewing vacant apartments with the Invictus kiosk, and can also use the self-guiding tour option to abide with social distancing guidelines and view potential residencies that aligns with their work and daily schedule. Invictus strives to elevate the resident community and continue to be innovative with the proptech industry.

The One Way Self-Guided Touring Revolutionizes Renting

From starting as a sparsely used add-on feature to becoming an absolute necessity for rental housing, self-guided touring has now become the norm for property managers to have. Self-guided has served as a valuable asset during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they implement social distancing. Potential renters have the option to tour a multifamily or apartment property without having to meet property managers face-to-face. Self-guided touring also gives renter more flexibility in choosing when they can tour, as well as choosing the pace they want to go for a tour.

However, it’s important to note that the journey to create an efficient self-guided touring option has not always been easy. Companies had to look at solutions for certain situations that could arise, from touring after leasing offices are closed to closing off dead zones to potential tourists. The way that companies looked to remedy these situations was to take note of what property managers and residents need, as well as making sure to set options to how residents can self-tour and avoid dead zones in buildings.

How Invictus Fits In

Invictus also offers the option for potential residents to have self-guided tours. Potential residents are sent a wayfinding map and can tour living spaces at their own pace. This also gives property managers a chance to emphasize that socially distancing is taken seriously at their property with offering self-guiding tours. Residents feel more empowered with self-guided touring, as it gives them more agency to choose when they would like to tour, as well as having more flexibility when choosing the next apartment or multifamily property to live in.

How Virtual Touring is Becoming the Norm

The appeal for 3D or virtual tours had been growing for renters since 2018. 3D and virtual tours give potential renters the option to view a possible living space without having to travel or take time out of their busy days for an in-person tour. In 2020, the preference for 3D and virtual touring due to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent study by Zillow, by the fall of 2020, sixty-four percent of renters agreed somewhat or completely that a 3D tour gave them a better feel for a potential living space than static photos. Fifty-six percent stated they wished more listings would have 3D tour options, while sixty-one percent expressed agreement that it would be easier for them to unlock properties with their phone for a tour on their own time.

Virtual and 3D touring offers the chance for renters to view a new living space from the comfort of their current homes. It gives more power to the resident, as they can view multiple virtual and 3D tours in one day instead of having to use time to commute to multifamily and apartment properties for in-person tours. Property managers also benefit from virtual and 3D touring, as they have more time throughout their work day for other tasks while potential residents can tour on their own time. Having 3D and virtual tours in place also shows that property managers emphasize the importance of integrating the newest technology on their properties and options for people to continue social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Invictus Fits In

Invictus allows potential residents to view vacant spaces through its kiosk. Property managers also have the option to send touring residents a map to navigate their multifamily and apartment properties, so that residents can tour at their own pace and time. In-person interaction is decreased to protect against COVID-19, and renters can continue to have the flexibility of choosing when they want to tour and have more agency in how to navigate their new living space.

How Remote Work Impacts Potential Residents

Another one of COVID-19’s many effects on the world was changing the work landscape. Those in the workforce now have the option to work fully remote or in a hybrid setting that includes going into the office 2-3 times per week. According to Apartment List, twenty-one percent of workers plan to be fully remote post-pandemic and nineteen percent expect a hybrid environment.

Over the past year, nineteen percent of remote workers moved compared to the thirteen percent of onsite workers. This shows a new growing trend in how potential residents choose their new living space. Those that work remote have more agency in choosing where to live, as they do not have to worry about a daily commute to and from work. Remote workers may choose to remain close to family, or move to a new state or country altogether, as all that is now needed to work is a laptop and WiFi connection.

Apartment List found several reasons for why remote workers are moving, from finding a more affordable market to reducing monthly costs. Others stated that they are looking to reduce costs in order to save money to purchase a house, and now have the flexibility to move to cities that have a lower cost of living. Overall, the pandemic shows a trend in how residents move and why, and remote work will continue to influence the potential renter’s decision.

How Invictus Fits In

Invictus was designed for the on-the-go resident. With remote work promoting a more flexible and on-the-go lifestyle, Invictus can become an important asset for remote workers. Users have all residential needs located in app that include direct communication with property managers, reservations for apartment amenities, and digital coupons for local businesses. Invictus prioritizes making the resident lifestyle as easy and seamless as possible, which includes having all needs located in one central space.

Embracing Virtual Leasing Assistants

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more apartment property companies are embracing industry technology. Innovations that would have trended in the next ten years are now becoming prominent today, including smart-home technology. Companies such as Amazon are now gearing products towards residents on the go, from amenity reservations on mobile apps to delivering groceries. And virtual leasing assistants are no exception to the growing trend of technology.

Virtual leasing assistants offer time and cost savings for property managers. Property managers no longer have to handle mundane tasks such as providing rent rates or setting up appointments for potential residents. This also benefits the potential renter, as they have more opportunity to schedule tours of apartment properties on their own time, giving them more flexibility.

How Invictus Fits In

The Invictus kiosks include the opportunity for property managers to increase occupancy with virtual leasing assistant. Potential residents have the option to view apartment vacancies 24/7 and inquire about rental applications. This feature helps property managers save time by no longer having to perform mundane tasks such as setting up touring appointments or giving rent rates. Potential residents can access renting information and self-guided tours on their terms, thus making them feel empowered in their community when having the opportunity to choose a new living space independent of a property manager’s schedule.

The Top 7 Apartment Amenities to Attract Millennial and Gen Z Renters

As Millennials continue to put off becoming homeowners and Gen Z begins to enter the workforce, renting becomes more and more popular with these groups. In order to attract young renters, it is important to understand what their ideal rental property looks like. To know what factors to invest into, here are the top seven amenities Millennials and Gen Z renters look for in their future living spaces:

  • High-speed internet and strong cell phone reception
  • Lower upfront move-in costs
  • Spacious floor plans and possible outdoor space
  • In-unit laundry applicances
  • Guaranteed car and bike parking spaces
  • Virtual and in-person community gatherings
  • Quality safety and security measures

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Service and Technology Wins in Apartment Amenities

Modern apartments now include amenities from communal treehouses to sky terraces with firepits. While this may seem over the top, it shows a shift in what residents and developers look for in high-rise living. Adding that infusion of technology in a modern apartment can separate it from its competitors. Developers are beginning to realize that their new buildings need to be updated with the latest technology and amenities, and tech-enabled concierges and in-building messaging are drawing the eye of developers. The push for digital platforms that connect residents within their community is another driving demand, and will continue to be the force that persuades younger residents to continue living in modern, high-end residential buildings.

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