Coming out of the COVID-19 lockdown, many apartment owners are keeping two words in mind: resident experience.
Throughout the pandemic, residents and potential residents became accustomed to a new level of service, whether it was virtual tours, being able to go into an app to book someone to walk their dog or even simply being able to sit in a thoroughly sanitized common area space.
A higher level of service isn’t all that apartment residents will demand coming out of the pandemic. COVID-19 has adjusted what residents want in amenities as well.
By comparing apartment searches from 2020 to 2021, apartment listing service Zumper determined that residents will demand more access to outdoor space in the future.
Six of the top 10 amenities with the largest year-over-year search rates were related to getting fresh air, including outdoor spaces (a 143% increase in searches), roof decks (91%), balconies (87%), gardens (86%), swimming pools (78%) and decks (73%).
Interestingly, residents also sought storage space (92%), which came in second on the list. While it’s hard to draw definitive conclusions, perhaps renters need to store more items since they are spending more time working at home. Outside of storage and outdoor space, residents are also seeking garage parking (73%) and in-unit laundry (64%).
The final item on Zumper’s top 10 list of most searched amenities shouldn’t be a surprise. During the pandemic, online shopping exploded. Consumers bought $861.12 billion online with U.S. retailers in 2020, up 44.0% from $598.02 billion in 2019, according to a Digital Commerce 360 analysis.
Many of those packages were going to apartments, which also makes package management systems an essential amenity. In a recent Zumper survey, package services were the sixth most popular amenity with an 80% increase in search compared to the year before.
This is just another example of how COVID-19 affected what apartment renters want.