As the housing market turmoil of 2023 continues into the new year, every multifamily property management company will be faced with new challenges. Home ownership is unaffordable, pushing many new renters toward multifamily and single-family rental properties.
While this seems great at first glance, it’s worth noting that property managers will need to meet some increasingly high expectations to remain competitive as more units in large markets are completed and become available.
2024 Multifamily Trends Forecast: What’s next for every property management company in Dallas
While many of these 2024 rental and real estate market trends are universal, the Dallas area multifamily market is unique in two key ways:
- The market is highly desirable, moving into the Realtor.com Top 100 list for the first time in 2023; and,
- An additional 44,000 rental units will flood the market in 2024 and 2025.
With those factors in mind, 2024 could be a roller coaster year for Dallas property management company professionals. Get ahead of, and monitor, the following trends to keep your occupancy rates up and attract the best renters.
Trend 1: Use a Data-Driven Property Management Company Approach
Your Task: Collect and analyze all the data.
To really understand how your property is performing, you need more data. Data tells a story that provides insight into a property’s desirability, so here’s what you need to be doing to collect more data:
- Tenant satisfaction surveys that address maintenance schedules, amenities, rent rates, and any other possible data point for which you don’t have good intel.
- New tenant and lost tenant surveys. Why are they moving in? Why are they leaving? You need to know.
- Quarterly marketing ROI analysis. Are you marketing to the right people, in the right places? Has your target audience changed as demographics have shifted due to local market changes? Keep up or get left behind.
Trend 2: Renter Mobility on the Rise
Your Task: Understand local market migration trends.
Post-COVID, remote work has become a lasting reality that gives many people the freedom to work remotely. That means your available pool of renters is no longer tied to local employers; those workers may choose one of the growing secondary markets, while others who don’t work locally may be looking to move into your area.
Surveying large local employers to learn more about their remote work policies could help inform your marketing and give you a heads-up when you’re about to see a big change, such as an impending return to the office (RTO) policy or a move to permanent remote work.
Trend 3: Cybersecurity and Data Protection
Your Task: Use property management company software and payment platforms with advanced protections.
Since more and more of what we do as property managers includes moving sensitive personal and financial information through the web, we must protect that information from a growing cybersecurity threat. Every day we hear about another major data breach. Does the Mr. Cooper data breach ring a bell?
Don’t leave yourself open to becoming another cautionary tale like Mr. Cooper. Lock down your renters’ sensitive data.
Trend 4: AI, AR, and VR-Driven Property Marketing
Your Task: Find solutions that give prospects access to AI chatbots and enhanced virtual tours.
Your prospects most likely won’t show up to your manager’s office in person to tour an apartment. They expect to be able to take a virtual tour through each of the floor plans on your website, and enhancing your tours with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) options will help you stay ahead of the competition.
If you’re a property manager looking to create VR and AR tours, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
- Determine your objectives: Identify why you want to incorporate VR and AR tours into your marketing strategy. Whether it is to attract more tenants, enhance brand visibility, or stand out from the competition, having a clear objective will guide your decision-making process.
- Research available technology: Evaluate the VR and AR tools and platforms available in the market. Look for software that suits your needs, offers user-friendly interfaces, and provides the features required to create engaging tours.
- Gather the necessary equipment: To create VR tours, you will need a 360-degree camera capable of capturing high-quality images and videos. Additionally, ensure you have a stable tripod, a microphone for audio, and a computer powerful enough to handle VR content rendering. Grab a ring light to address low-light areas while filming.
- Plan and capture the property: Choose the areas and features you want to highlight during the tour. Begin by capturing high-resolution, 360-degree photos and videos of each room or area. Pay attention to lighting, angles, and staging to showcase the property in the best possible way. While we hope it doesn’t have to be said…make sure your property is clean.
- Create a storyboard: Before diving into the editing process, create a storyboard to outline the flow and narrative of your VR or AR tour. This will help you organize the captured content and ensure a smooth and engaging experience for your viewers.
- Edit and enhance the content: Use VR and AR software to edit and enhance the captured content. This might include adding interactive elements, integrating features like hotspots, annotations, audio descriptions or closed captioning (TikTok style), and fine-tuning the visuals to create a seamless and immersive experience.
- Test and optimize: Once you have created a VR or AR tour, test it thoroughly on your website to ensure everything functions as intended. Fix any technical issues or bugs that might hinder the experience. Additionally, optimize the content to ensure fast loading times and compatibility across various devices and platforms, especially smartphones.
- Publish and promote: Once your tour is ready, decide on the platforms where you will host and distribute it. You need it on your website (that’s a given), but you should also upload it to popular virtual tour hosting platforms and real estate listing sites. Promote your tours through various channels, such as social media, email newsletters, and local Realtor email services.
- Gather user feedback: Encourage viewers to provide feedback on their experience with the VR and AR tours. Analyze the feedback to identify areas for improvement and continuously enhance the quality and effectiveness of your future tours.
Trend 5: The Housing Affordability Crisis Remains an Issue
Your Task: Deliver a rental experience that meets the needs of those priced out of the buying experience.
Home prices and historically high-interest rates are expected to normalize slowly throughout 2024, but many people are still priced out of the dream of home ownership. Like remote work, this is leading some to migrate to more affordable secondary markets. For those who choose to stay in Dallas, a great property management company can get on board with their dream and still keep rents and occupancy rates up:
- Reach prospects through Realtors, who continue to help clients find great rental properties.
- Jump on the MLS-style listings for apartments, led for now by Bright MLS and RentSpree. Get your property listed.
- Offer credit-building options for renters who pay on time. For many would-be homeowners, their credit score needs work before they can buy. Help them remove that barrier to finally owning a home of their own by participating in Freddie Mac’s rental credit reporting partnership with Esusu. As a bonus, participating multifamily property investors can get help with closing costs from Freddie Mac on new property purchases.
The Bottom Line: 2024 Looks Like Work and Opportunity
It might not be pretty, but this year has a lot of opportunities for improvement and growth for rental properties and their management companies. Take a proactive look at what you’re delivering and how your property is preparing for what’s to come, and then make a plan to lead the Dallas rental market from the front of the pack. Class A Management can help, so reach out to learn more about our revolutionary Dallas rental property management company.