In today's world, residential real estate developers need new strategies to ensure their projects will be successful. Below are four tips to help them stay ahead of the competition.
1. Design with the client in mind
As a result of the pandemic, a number of "must-have" amenities now seem less important to some people. While swimming pools, gyms and other common uses are not going away any time soon, new restrictions and continued safety concerns may make them less popular even after vaccines are widely available. What will replace these spaces in some new buildings? Amenities that provide the comfort and safety people crave today.
One service that has been growing in popularity recently is automated parking, which enables a hands-free experience for drivers. Roof decks, balconies and other outdoor areas in residential buildings are also increasingly in high demand, especially in cities where people are craving more open space to experience a range of activities such as yoga, grilling, playing with their children or just being outside in a safe environment.
2. Double down on air quality
The quality of the air we breathe has become a major focus for potential renters and buyers, particularly as Covid-19 infections have been found to occur mainly through exposure to respiratory droplets. To address this growing concern, building owners should be sure to install properly designed HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems to ensure proper air circulation and protection.
HEPA filters may be expensive, but they provide an added layer of safety and peace of mind for residents. At the least, residential buildings should install filters with a Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) of 13. While they may not provide enough protection on their own, the EPA reported that MERV-13 filters could help remove viruses from circulated air. It is also important to monitor and replace filters on a regular basis to ensure they are working effectively.
3. Technology is key
There continues to be a growing interest in the use of new technology in residential buildings, especially among the oldest members of Generation Z who are nearing 24 years old. In a recent survey conducted by RENTCafe, 62% of Gen Z renters responded that technology is "extremely or very important in their apartment and community," with high-speed internet at the top of the list.
Technology is also being used in buildings to improve safety, reduce costs and provide a better overall experience for residents. Smart elevators are another way to improve safety in multifamily buildings, transporting residents to their destination more quickly and efficiently by making fewer stops, thereby reducing the waiting and travel time for passengers.
4. Keep it green
In the short term, environmentally friendly living may have taken a back seat to safety for some people, but the move toward greener buildings will continue to grow long after the Covid-19 pandemic has ended. Generation Z is particularly focused on the environment, according to marketing research. For example, in the same RENTCafe survey, energy-efficient appliances ranked higher for them than an extra bedroom.
At new developments in particular, more and more people want to know their building uses sustainable construction methods and green materials, both for health reasons as well as for the good of the environment. While these materials are often more expensive to procure and install, they will likely make residents feel much better about where they are living.
Now more than ever, it is essential for developers to adapt to the new reality and provide the amenities and services that ensure buyers and renters of all ages will want to live in their buildings for a long time to come.