When the pandemic hit, a lot of renters fled cities and urban markets for the suburbs. There are a lot of reasons. Some renters who lost their job moved back in with family, others wanted more space for their new remote lifestyles, and others adopted pets and needed more pet friendly environments.
The thing is young people still want to live in cities. In The New York Times article, “Reverse Migration: Moving to Cities While Others Flee”, they talked to a few renters to get their thoughts on why they are moving back. Let’s take a look into how you can attract renters back to your multifamily properties in the city.
Many jobs and education programs are remote or online now. In the same article, some of the renters they interviewed who fled to the suburbs talked about how in their city apartments, there really wasn’t enough space for them to both work and live there. Many units in urban markets are on the smaller size. It can be tough to live and work practically alone in 500 sq ft for days on end, especially if your building barely has outdoor amenities.
Creating rentable, private office spaces, larger communal work rooms, or offering outside seating near outlets is a great way to convert your property to one where renters can live and work remotely. Having outdoor amenities like a lounge space or grills or a rooftop terrace is attractive to renters as outdoor amenities are the number one thing renters are looking for in 2021.
City apartments used to be just places to sleep in while young renters went out and about in the city. With things shut down, renters attitudes towards space, especially outdoor ones that are easily accessible, changed. Multifamily communities in these areas need to keep up with this change so they can attract renters back to the city.
On top of remote work, many people adopted pets during the pandemic. Nationally, 1 in 3 renters have a pet according to PERQ data. The suburbs offer plenty of spaces to walk dogs, yards with fences, and even more parks. Attracting renters back to the city means attracting their furry friends as well.
You need to take a look at your pet policies and if you are a place that would make a good home for a dog. Charging too much in pet rent and having little to no grass/turf nearby won’t work with today’s renters. Whether it’s finding the space in your own property or advertising nearby parks and trails, you need to have some content on your website or social media that shows you are pet friendly. We have a blog post on how to be more pet friendly with some tips from industry leader Jamin Harkness.
With all of this in mind, you need to evaluate if your property meets these standards. Would it be easy to live and work at your property? Does your property offer enough outdoor spaces? Is it pet friendly? Bringing renters back to the city is going to be a pretty big hill to climb but meeting some of the basic needs that caused renters to move out in the first place is a good place to start.