multifamily housing apartment buildings

A year for the books, 2020 has dramatically reshaped the real estate landscape — especially multifamily housing. COVID-19 introduced social distancing, new security concerns, and a push for contactless entry solutions. As a result, renters’ priorities have shifted.

How Multi-Tenant Living Has Changed in 2020

  1. The shift from amenity to necessity
  2. The demand for safety-focused proptech
  3. How to implement proptech at your apartment building


The shift from amenity to necessity

Before the global events of 2020, highly amenitized living focused primarily on convenience. Apartment amenities that simplified and streamlined residents’ lives helped differentiate multifamily properties from the competition, leading to higher rental rates and lower turnover.

But this year, convenience isn’t the only priority in multifamily housing.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we must evolve to meet new challenges. Though convenience will always remain on renters’ wishlists, safety is now a top priority when choosing where to live. Real estate professionals who fail to invest in safety-focused property technology (proptech) for existing buildings or new projects risk falling behind competitors and losing residents.


The demand for safety-focused proptech

COVID-19 has disrupted nearly every facet of life. Perhaps the most significant change has been the mass transition to remote work. Before 2020, only 7% of U.S. workers had the option to work from home. Residents who believed they would be splitting their time between their home and the office now spend most of their time at home. As a result, people are shopping online, ordering food, and using other digital services in record numbers.


infographic of residential deliveries


Fortunately, proptech is uniquely positioned to meet the demands of these changing times, where social distancing and contactless living aren’t just desired — they’re imperative. Proptech offers the best way to ensure safe building access for residents, property staff, service providers, and couriers alike.


How to implement safety-focused proptech in your building

There are abundant safety-focused proptech products that can help streamline and secure building access. One key proptech solution is a smart video intercom system, which lets residents open and manage doors with their smartphones. Smart video intercoms eliminate person-to-person contact and reduce the use of high-risk surfaces, all while streamlining building access. For example, a resident can replace their dog walker’s physical key with a virtual one and maintain social distancing by opening the door for their Grubhub driver remotely.

The smart video intercom also offers managed property access for delivery people who can leave parcels in package rooms. This ensures a secure, contactless, and timely delivery for residents ordering everything from groceries to furniture online.

And residents aren’t the only beneficiaries. Safety-focused proptech also helps real estate professionals save in human capital and keep residents happy by providing the secure living experience they demand.

Learn more about how 2020 has changed multifamily housing, plus how technology improves resident safety and what to expect from the future of multifamily housing in our latest white paper: From Amenity to Necessity


Amenity to Necessity

Johanna Gruber


Johanna Gruber

Based in Los Angeles, I enjoy learning and writing about the real estate industry, and exploring how proptech can help people live and work better.

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