Within the past year, Americans have seen how far-reaching the impact of COVID-19 has been on a variety of industries. One of the most visible industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic has been real estate. In early 2020, many Americans began looking for new properties to rent due to loss of income, reduced exposure risk, or space concerns during the pandemic. Phil Lamb, Arizona resident and International Senior Vice President for SmartRent, has seen firsthand the pandemic’s impact on apartment tours, renter trends, and the greater real-estate market. Today, Phil Lamb of Scottsdale, Arizona will discuss in detail how COVID-19 has impacted rental properties and what renters are now looking for in their next apartment.
Virtual Apartment Viewings and Tours
In response to new social distancing orders, landlords and property managers have turned to virtual apartment tours as a way to reduce the potential exposure of current and future renters. Either through a video format or zoom call, many landlords are choosing to have their showings take place completely online. This format is greatly beneficial to all parties’ safety; however, it can be challenging for renters as online showings have been shown to increase how quickly a new space is rented. Since March 2020, a large percentage of new renters have rented apartments sight-unseen with minimal problems; as a result, this trend is likely to continue past the pandemic.
New “Must-Haves” for Renters
More space, home office, and balconies have become some of the most popular items for renters looking for their next apartment. Since the start of the pandemic, many Americans have dramatically increased their time spent. This has led to space becoming the number one priority for many renters, with designated work areas for a large number of Americans still working remotely. Today, apartments with a large amount of square footage, outdoor space, and second bedrooms have become the most popular option for many renters.
Parking During the Pandemic
One of the more unexpected effects of the pandemic has been an increased need for parking. In many urban cities across America, renters are looking for guaranteed parking spaces from their landlords. While fewer Americans are using their vehicles to commute to and from work, many renters still rely on their cars to run errands as many Americans do not feel comfortable using public transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic.