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Brent Williams' Apartment Blog

Thoughts, comments, and ideas about the overall multifamily industry, as well as a property-specific focus on resident retention and apartment marketing.

My Top 5 Takeaways from OPTECH

 

I was asked to team up with Mike Whaling of 30 Lines and Greg Isaacson of MultiHousing News to share our top 5 takeaways from day 2 of the OPTECH Conference.  I hope you find these takeaways meaningful!

 

1.       Explosion of Service and Experience-Based Amenities

During day 2 of the conference, physical amenities within individual apartments gave way to a dramatic shift towards service and experience-based amenities.  In a convergence with hospitality, more amenities were focused on the overall community and how the residents interact with it.  Here were some examples we heard:

  • Shifting job roles to provide concierge-based services
  • Towel service and food delivery at the pool
  • Building a personal profile of each resident to understand their individual preferences, and then cater the service to those needs
  • Expanded event planning, such as ski trips, book clubs, and wine clubs
  • Weaving technology into the amenities provided, especially for signing up and reserving amenities

Note:  I only covered Day 2, so amenities within the apartments may definitely have been on display in other days.

 

2.       Coworking

While coworking had been a growing amenity in multifamily, COVID has caused this amenity type to completely take off.  With so many offices shutting down temporarily, or even long term, communities are shifting to coworking to provide a space for residents to work from home.  This includes the ability to reserve offices on an hour, day, or monthly basis to provide additional revenue, or providing social spaces for coworking, residents have begun to adopt these amenities in dramatic fashion.

 

3.       Technology in Relation to Multifamily Staffing

For years we have heard questions about whether additional technology options would affect the need for leasing consultants.  However, we are hearing that “tech should assist people, not replace them”.  Although technology and alternative communication solutions might assist leasing consultants in some ways, it will simply shift their duties in different ways, possibly shifting their roles into a more service-based role in relation to experience-based amenities. 

That said, technology is impacting how companies are evaluating certain leasing consultant attributes.  Now, leasing consultants are expected to have a much higher comfort level with technology, and even better, be curious about technology, which leads to easier adoption.

 

4.       Community Role in Stress Reduction

Looking for a new home is stressful as it is.  Add in COVID, and our prospects are struggling in many ways.  Therefore, we are seeing trends in reducing stress for prospects and residents through their stay at our communities.  From massage chairs and a glass of wine while a prospects wait to tour, to innovative green spaces for residents, assisting our customers reduce anxiety is key.

 

5.        Making Sustainability Visible

Not quite a “trend”, but one thing I did notice was how a community put their sustainability efforts on display.  Rather than hiding away a power bank, it was a key part of the outdoor space, highlighting those benefits to residents.

 

That’s it for now – If you attended the OPTECH conference, please share your own takeaways below.  If you were not able to attend, I highly recommend trying in 2021!

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Love the recap, Brent - thanks!

  Kara Rice
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks, Kara!

  Brent Williams

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