Future of Rental Housing

September 7, 2023by melissad0

I’ve spent 16 years in rental housing, and for the first time I am questioning the future of rental housing. For a while, I thought this industry had a long steady future. But the last decade of questionable legislation, insane rent control battles and lack of basic human respect has me concerned. The future of the rental housing industry is influenced by a range of factors, including economic trends, technological advancements, demographic shifts, and societal changes. Predicting the exact trajectory is challenging.

Here are some potential trends that could shape the industry on its current path:

  1. Increased Demand for Rental Housing: The rising cost of home ownership, changing attitudes towards home ownership, and a preference for flexibility are contributing to a growing demand for rental housing. This demand is likely to continue, particularly among millennials and younger generations.
  2. Technology Integration: Technology is transforming the rental housing landscape. Online platforms, mobile apps, and virtual tours have already streamlined property searches and application processes. Expect further advancements in smart home technology, online rent payment systems, and property management tools.
  3. Sustainability and Energy Efficiency: As environmental concerns grow, rental properties are likely to emphasize sustainability and energy efficiency. Energy-efficient appliances, renewable energy sources, and green building practices may become more commonplace. But what about the cost of this?
  4. Affordability Challenges: In many regions, housing affordability remains a significant issue. This could lead to increased government intervention and policies aimed at addressing affordable housing, rent control measures, and incentives for developers to create affordable rental units. Less legislation, more incentive if you ask me.
  5. Remote Work’s Influence: The rise of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted priorities for many renters. Proximity to workplaces is no longer the primary consideration for rental decisions. Suburbs and more affordable areas may experience increased demand.
  6. Urbanization and Mixed-Use Developments: Urban areas continue to attract renters seeking proximity to jobs and amenities. Mixed-use developments that combine residential, commercial, and recreational spaces are likely to become more prevalent.
  7. Tenant Preferences: Tenant preferences are evolving, with a focus on health and wellness amenities, flexible leasing terms, and community spaces. Property managers may need to adapt to meet these changing expectations.
  8. General Respect for Others: The lack of common sense from renters and owners is astonishing. But the lack of common decency and respect for those providing service is even more scary. I cannot honestly say that I would encourage people to pursue this industry without some real tough skin.
  9. Regulatory Changes: Government regulations and policies can significantly affect the rental housing industry. Changes in rent control laws, eviction moratoriums, and property maintenance regulations can influence property owners and managers. We have become defense attorneys instead of property managers.
  10. Property Management Evolution: Property management companies are likely to continue embracing technology for efficient operations and improved tenant experiences. Personalized services, quick issue resolution, and enhanced communication will be priorities.
  11. Investment Opportunities: The rental housing market remains an attractive investment for individuals and institutional investors. Rental properties offer potential for consistent income and long-term growth. Hopefully.

In summary, the rental housing industry’s future will be shaped by a blend of economic, technological, and societal factors. While demand for rental housing is expected to remain strong, property managers and owners will need to adapt to changing tenant preferences, regulatory shifts, and technological advancements to remain competitive and provide quality housing experiences.

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