6B — March 27 - April 9, 2015 — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


M ultifamily /POA E xpo By Glenn Ebersole, Hollenbach Construction, Inc. Trends that will influence multifamily communities of the future

O wners of multifamily communities have been witnessing a new wave

Amultifamily community owner must be much more strategic in understanding and responding to the wants and needs of its current and future residents. They must also be keenly aware of what their competitors are offering. Swimming pools and covered parking were amenities that at- tracted multifamily community residents in the past. Today’s residents are more demanding and are requiring and receiv- ing much more. Amenities vary quite a bit from one geographic location to another, but some of the current trends will very likely become standard in the

very near future. Some of those identified trends for multifamily communities include: Common areas designed to foster a sense of community. The number of families and young professionals who are residents of multifamily com- munities is continuing to grow. As a result, younger families are spending a significantly longer time renting, which has led to an increased demand for envi- ronments that create a sense of community and “home.” There is a trend of creating large, outdoor spaces and com- mon areas that build a sense of community. These new outdoor

spaces include large gathering areas where residents can social- ize, bigger clubhouses, car wash stations, dog parks, outdoor theaters and other areas for active recreation. These added amenities establish a sense of “home” for residents and create an environment where they can interact with friends, family and neighbors. Modernizing and upgrad- ing living units . The demand is rising for more modernized and upgraded apartment units that include more modern appliances and additional technology fea- tures such as wall outlets that feature USB ports, as well as

upgraded units with energy ef- ficient appliances. The inclusion of additional technology features and energy efficient appliances help drive traffic to a community while also reducing energy costs for owners and residents alike. Enhanced convenience for residents . Multifamily communities are also taking convenience to a whole new level. Many communities are now partnering with third-party vendors to provide added ser- vices for residents. One example is partnering with vendors that provide a food delivery service that allows residents to have food delivered from dozens of area restaurants. These partner- ships create an additional level of convenience for residents and add to the overall appeal of a multifamily community. It is essential for multifamily communities to pay attention to the changes and shifts in resident’s wants and needs. The greater emphasis on creating spaces that encourage communi- ty interaction, more modernized units, and enhanced concierge services will only continue to gain popularity as residents demand these upgrades in their multifamily communities. Ultra-fast connections . A Business Center is just not enough in today’s world. The new generation often works from home and require access to reliable high-speed Wi-Fi everywhere and strong cellular signals for their smartphones. In larger cities, residents routinely ask for free wireless and Cat-5 cabling in the apartments. Popu- lar amenities that are becoming standard are docking stations for iPods. The landlines and entertainment centers that were popular in the past are not really relevant since mobile devices deliver online movies, an app for everything and social networks. And all of these require as much bandwidth as they can get. Environmentally friendly . The website Multifamily Execu- tive recently reported that, “62 percent of respondents likewise reported that their apartment’s environmental friendliness was an important factor in choosing a place to live.” Consumers want to feel that they are doing some- thing for the environment just by living there. In addition to sustainability and eco-friendly building practices, more multi- family communities will have charging stations for electric vehicles since the use of electric cars has begun and is growing. continued on page 10B

of amenities and industry trends. Resi- dent prefer- e n c e s a n d d e m a n d s continue to e v o l v e and owners must be aware and

Glenn Ebersole

flexible enough to identify trends related to a property’s target market and then plan and imple- ment what needs to be done to ensure the sustainability of the community’s long-term success.

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