The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in many ways. For instance, these changes have extended into the rental industry as well. How commercial landlords organize, build, and manage multifamily buildings shifted drastically during the pandemic and post-corona era. Many of those alterations are here to stay.
What emerging technologies are lingering beyond the conclusion of the worst of the pandemic? From sanitation to communication, commercial landlords and rental property investors have many things to consider.
Get in the know about the latest shifts, what to expect from new HMO buildings, and how you might want to renovate your multifamily buildings today to fit the new normal.
Cleaning and Sanitation
HMO buildings have many common areas due to how multifamily spaces are structured, and being able to properly clean and sanitize those areas became a big issue as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Common Area Cleaning
Health and safety are big deals in the modern era, and many technological improvements can improve these factors. In particular, biometric screening and disinfecting tools may become more normalized.
UV light disinfection and electrostatic sprayers work to disinfect areas more effectively than ever before, and it is likely to become a new standard to have these in shared spaces. Notably, residents and renters are looking for this technology in gyms and pools where virus transmission is riskiest.
Building basics such as air ventilation systems have also been rapidly improved and adjusted during the pandemic to ensure that the virus was not being spread through the air systems in multifamily buildings. Sticking with technology that will minimize the risk of spreading diseases will continue to be a priority moving forward.
Working with your architectural engineer to plan new buildings with these cleaning technologies in mind can ensure that your building fits into the new world order of safety and sanitation post-corona times.
Another way that we are likely to see a call for sanitary living is to use more touchless technology. Smart locks and similar types of technology were already hitting the market before the pandemic; the pandemic accelerated the implementation of this technology around the country.
Whether your buildings are old and in need of upgrades or new builds, individuals are likely to be on the lookout for the following:
- Motion-sensor-activated sinks, hand dryers, etc.
- Smart locks
- Smart electronic keys to minimizing the need to touch things (i.e., elevator, garage door buttons)
Technology like smart locks has a relatively high up-front investment cost. However, the long-term payoffs will last beyond the end of the pandemic. You can use insurance savings, higher rent, and other bottom-line boosters to implement this technology efficiently.
As we move forward, we may see the use of touchless technology for incorporating even more advanced technological changes. For example, you can use your smart key in the area to control certain facilities or tools. This will all be possible as buildings are set up to match these advances in technology.
Further Communication Expansion
Another area where post-corona technology growth is likely to continue is in communication functionalities.
The last decade has already seen considerable changes in how property owners and managers communicate with tenants. From tenant web portals to specialized building smartphone applications, technology has made it easier for online rent collection or payment, building-wide announcements, and other communication to be done.
Throughout the pandemic, these communication technologies have only continued to expand. Now, property owners are finding ways to incorporate many things. They include ordering new household items, setting up reservations for limited-use areas, and disseminating essential information to tenants quickly through technology.
A need to minimize traditional, contact-heavy ways of working with tenants has led to a rapid increase and acceptance of digital technology. Even tenants that previously hesitated to use applications and online payment systems have experienced their usefulness first hand.
It is unlikely that communication will ever revert to a more traditional style. Especially now that technology has become wholly engrained in tenant-property manager communication.
Video, Virtual Reality, and More
Finally, builders and investors should expect more renters to want to utilize video tours, augmented reality visits, and other virtual technology to see properties before they visit them in person.
While this puts additional up-front investment costs on property owners and managers to set up these methods, it pays off in the long term. Not only does showing properties virtually take up less of your time, but it also limits the pool of prospective tenants to those that are more interested.
This means that property managers are spending less time sorting through potential tenants after physical visits. Reduced time cost equals a better bottom line. Therefore, sticking to virtual visits even after corona is an excellent idea for many.
Final thoughts on Post-Corona Era
As you move forward with managing rental properties, remember to think about what needs have become more pronounced due to the pandemic. Keep those needs in mind as you renovate, build, and invest