To thrive in these perplexing times and plan for the future, residential developers, owners, HOA/management firms and broadband providers need to plan for intersecting key trends of 2023. The economic landscape carries forward supply chain woes, radical shifts in workplace operations, and other challenges. Part 1 explains which broadband providers will likely reign in 2023 and why the economic state is propelling some forward. Also, Part 1 reveals the intensification and blending of physical security and cybersecurity concerns, which is shaping a technology trend for a multifaceted and competitive amenity that developers, owners, and management firms/HOAs will want to acquire.
Part 2 of this series focuses on our two final trends driven by residential lifestyles (social) and emerging real estate opportunities (environmental). The residential industry and internet providers have new reasons to embark on early stakeholder engagement and unique partnerships.
Social trend: Residential lifestyles will propel next-gen solutions of tomorrow, now
One of the biggest lifestyle changes has been the work-from-home phenomenon. Originally a necessity because of COVID-19, by December 2021, data scientists at Ladders crunched the numbers and announced remote work is most definitely here to stay. According to their calculations, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022, and remote opportunities will continue to increase steadily through 2023.
To understand what matters to your residents, keep an eye on your demographics. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, mostly Gen Z is looking to rent or buy. 47% of multifamily renters are under 30 years of age, and 33% of multifamily buyers are in that age group, having been born between 1997 and 2015. And when it comes to technology, they have very high expectations. They are considered “tech natives,” with technology such as smartphones, the internet, and social media being inextricably embedded in their lives. Gen Z and Generation Alpha will be heavily into gadgets and the IoT in 2023 and beyond and seek broadband providers in their communities who consistently break the speed barrier over competitors.
What does this mean for property owners and builders in terms of getting it right for their 24/7 residents’ lives in 2023?
- Putting more pizzazz in amenities. Think beyond the pool and the exercise room. Residents take them for granted. Owners and builders are installing technologies for lifestyles, hobbies through selective (not general) amenities, designs, and locations—such as unique spaces for certain clientele (virtual golfers and office-less entrepreneurs). They may want, for example, video production space for creative projects, and opportunities to socialize both digitally and physically with other residents, as well as performing on-demand fulfillment of routine chores such as laundry and dog-walking.
- Increasing connectivity day and night. During work hours, residents need video for meetings, and collaboration with emerging tools such as merged videoconferencing and whiteboards. After hours, high-definition video is positively required for gaming and streaming.
- Planning for next-gen residents. Coming up behind Gen Z is the Generation Alpha, which, as far as tech literacy is concerned, is Gen Z intensified tenfold. For them, the technology that comes with housing will be personalized and seamless, using the latest access technologies, such as voice and biometrics. They’ll also be much less patient with multifamily builders or managers who don’t meet their immediate needs.
We predict barebone residential internet service won’t cut it in 2023. All these lifestyle adaptions require more and more secure bandwidth. Reliable internet with symmetrical speed can handle the upload capacity required for videos and games, and the download speed needed for streaming. Quantum Fiber now offers one of the fastest internet speeds in the United States, with upload and download speeds up to 8 gigabits per second in selected cities. And residents want tailored amenities to be seamlessly connected. Fiber internet for multifamily communities can deliver on residents’ overwhelming demand to live digital-forward lives. This means it can handle the growing number of connected devices, virtual work environments, and next-level gaming. And it has the ability to upload extremely large files in just seconds. Developers and property owners need to recognize clear advantages when choosing one provider over another.
Environmental trend: Reuse of existing commercial properties will accelerate
As working from home becomes ensconced in U.S. business culture, there’s the question of what to do with all the commercial space opening up because of office closures. Office vacancy nationwide was 15.1% in July 2022, up 10 basis points when compared to July 2021, according to Yardi. Almost all of the top 30 major markets tracked by Yardi are seeing office vacancy rates in the double digits.
Redesigning such spaces into multifamily developments has accelerated in the last year and could go a long way in 2023 towards helping with the housing shortage. The United States faces an underbuilding gap of at least 5.5 million homes over the next decade, according to a study commissioned by the National Association of Realtors.
Retrofitting residential units from commercial space isn’t easy, but analyses suggest reuse is more sustainable than building entirely from scratch. According to data provided by Yardi Matrix, commercial space that was turned into approximately 20,100 units—almost double the number of apartments created in 2020 and 2019 combined—was converted in 2021. Yardi Matrix expects approximately 52,700 apartments will be converted this year.
We predict this trend will continue in 2023, and all these retrofits will require imperative broadband infrastructure to make the units attractive to prospective residents. To penetrate the inside of buildings, fiber internet has an edge over other technologies. Fiber is simple to install and can save developers time, money, materials, and labor. Plus, fiber is durable, strong, flexible, and less prone to service disruptions. According to Quantum Fiber, there are at least six cost-effective reasons fiber works for residential communities.
For future success in multifamily markets, go with Quantum Fiber
Getting your multifamily community broadband infrastructure right and supporting the new demand has never been more important—for resident satisfaction, community reputation, and net operating income (NOI). But you need to pick a Tier 1 internet provider that is anticipating (and already finding) solutions for whatever challenges 2023 brings.
Quantum Fiber delivers the whole connected world with ease. At apartments, townhomes, garden homes, and single-family home communities, residents can enjoy future-ready fiber internet and digital service, giving families a place they want to call home.
To read about upcoming economic and technology trends for 2023, go to Part 1.
Contact a Quantum Fiber Connected Communities expert to learn about connectivity solutions tailored to your multifamily community.
Quantum Fiber(SM) Connected Communities provides customized fiber solutions for apartments and communities.