What Is Multifamily Real Estate?

Multifamily real estate refers to multiple dwelling units with shared building facilities, including duplexes, triplexes, apartments, townhomes, condominiums, and dorms. This sector of the real estate industry underwent rapid transformation after the Covid pandemic hit, and residential investment properties are poised to see further changes throughout 2022 and beyond. 

Commercial properties, and especially apartments, saw tremendous growth in recent years. According to Real Capital Analytics, all U.S.commercial property transactions in the fourth quarter of 2021 exceeded over $300 billion dollars with the apartment sector representing 42% of that amount.

The Demand for Multi-dwelling Units Is Growing

In February of 2022, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Economists’ Outlook stated that while the demand for apartments is starting to stabilize, it still outpaces supply. 

According to the National Apartment Association, both economic factors and the convenience of apartment living are driving this shift. In fact, at the current pace, they project a need for 4.6 million apartments by 2030. 

This projection means that developers would need to construct 325,000 units each year to meet that demand, a rate not seen since 1989. In addition, 11.7 million older apartments could require renovations before that time. 

Other factors driving up demand for multi-dwelling units include:

Delayed home ownership – Adults between the ages of 25-34 are delaying home ownership due to being priced out of the housing market or choosing a more flexible living arrangement.

Demographics – As baby boomers age and international migration increases, the U.S population is projected to increase to 400 million by 2058, which will increase the demand for more housing options.

Downsizing – Many active adults who are 55 and older are opting to downsize from larger homes, save their equity, and move into smaller apartments in senior communities.

Key Multifamily Industry Trends Happening Now

During the height of the pandemic, many people left crowded urban environments and, according to NAR, migrated to smaller metropolitan areas, towns, or rural locations. Those who moved are now deciding to stay versus returning to urban living. This rings especially true for employees who can work remotely, and 59% of people surveyed by Pew Research in January of 2022 indicated that they could work from home.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the vacancy rate for the fourth quarter of 2021 decreased to 5.6%, a 0.9% drop from the previous year. Also, rent increased in the last quarter of 2021, according to the Multi-Housing News, to an average of $1,594 nationwide. While the 13.5% annual increase was unprecedented compared to previous years, they project that the rental increase in 2022 will adjust down to 5% annually.

With more people working remotely, many empty office buildings are being converted into apartments. Also, new building designs incorporate more work from home spaces, including coworking amenities and dedicated in-unit work areas, sometimes reconfiguring a closet, or installing a murphy bed for added space. Other developers now offer the option of leased office spaces within the same building as residential units, or incorporating individual conference rooms and offices within shared work areas. Some places also have large rooms for package delivery.

Careers in the Multifamily Industry

As a trillion dollar industry that serves 39 million people, job seekers can explore a wide variety of multifamily career opportunities. Many of the available opportunities require employees to possess a range of skills in order to be successful. 

Some of the positions available include:

Property Manager – Serves as the point person for the owner, supervising all the building operations. The typical duties of a property manager include collecting rent, responding to maintenance issues, and resolving tenant complaints.

Building Leasing Agent – The building leasing agent acts as the liaison between the potential tenant and the building management, negotiating rental agreements between the two parties. They typically work for one building and help prospective renters navigate the leasing paperwork, tour the property, and coordinate moving days for new tenants.

Apartment Locator – An apartment locator is similar to a building leasing agent, except, instead of working for only one building, they search several properties to find the best fit for the client. Then, they coordinate the leasing paperwork and moving details on a renter’s behalf.

Maintenance Technician – The maintenance technician ensures that all the systems for the building complex are running smoothly for the tenants. This position includes maintaining and repairing the air conditioning, heating, and plumbing systems. 

Development Analyst – A development analyst will study potential future building sites by performing a market analysis of the area and evaluating all relevant financial considerations. In addition, they also look at any city ordinances that could hinder the project. 

How AptAmigo Fits Into the Multifamily Market

AptAmigo helps people find their next apartment in major cities throughout the US. We save time and frustration for clients with a free service that personalizes and streamlines the search process. Our tried and true system eases the stress of moving so that clients can focus on enjoying their next home.

Enter the Multifamily Industry with AptAmigo

Becoming an apartment locator is a great way to launch your real estate career. Would you like to help clients find their next home, while learning new skills and increasing your earning potential in a supportive environment? Then, visit AptAmigo’s list of current career opportunities. Our apartment locators have earned six-figure incomes and you can too! 

AptAmigo is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and does not discriminate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, in connection with any aspect of employment at AptAmigo.

Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer Schmidt is a freelance writer in Vancouver, Washington, who specializes in real estate topics.