Smart technology. Green space. Sustainability. For years, apartment owners have been in search of the ideal mix of amenities and
building features to attract the best renters. In return, they have
been met with an avalanche of suggestions, some of which have hit
the mark and others washing out.
For example, while virtual tours of apartments have been heavily
marketed by vendors as the next big thing, research has found that
the majority of renters still prefer an in-person tour with a community representative. Such findings, of course, are rarely absolute.
For instance, 14% of renters noted that they would rent an apartment sight unseen, says Rick Haughey, VP of Technology Initiatives
at the National Multifamily Housing Council.
This data point comes from an exhaustive survey by the National
Multifamily Housing Council and Kingsley Associates. They say the
report is the largest-ever collection of apartment resident insights,
featuring input from nearly 373,000 renters living in 5,336 communities across the US. In short, they hope to set the record
straight on what apartment renters really want. Here are some
other findings from the report.
Short-term rentals. The view on short-term rental activity on site is
strongly reflective of resident age, with younger renters expressing
more interest. Nationally, nearly 60% of respondents said that having short-term rentals would either positively impact their perception of a community or have no effect at all; conversely, 16% said
they would not rent at a community that allowed short-term rentals.
Coworking. While 42% of survey respondents said they telecom-muted at least part of the time, just 15% said they either had or
would use a coworking space, while 55% said they were interested
in an on-site business center.
Coliving. Despite a lot of investment in coliving start-ups, nationally, apartment residents remain skeptical about the trend—at least
for now—with 69% saying they definitely would not be interested
in this type of living arrangement.
Voice-activated technology. 43% of respondents said they were
interested in or would not rent without voice-activated virtual assis-
What Apartment Renters Really Want
UP Front A comprehensive look at what’s trending in the world of commercial real estate
Mike Krueger, counsel with Newmeyer Dillion, represents investors, developers, fund managers and nationwide brokerage firms
in Opportunity Zone projects. While he sees a lot of potential in
the program, his crystal ball says there could also be some legal
“We, as attorneys, are anticipating a substantial number of lawsuits down the road from ‘fund managers’ who don’t do this properly,” Krueger says.
“I think a lot of people are assuming that they can just put
money in their own bank account,” Krueger says. “That has to be a
completely separate entity.”
If investors keep money in their own account, Krueger says they
will face legal risks. That said, each individual investor can set up
their own fund, which is a separate entity. They don’t need to invest
in another big fund.
“I think that’s one thing that is being missed by a lot of investors,
especially people who otherwise would be very savvy investors that
understand capital gains,” Krueger says. “The reason they’ve
incurred capital gains is because they either sold a bunch of stock
or maybe they sold a real estate development project. That person
or that entity can set up their own new LLC or corporation, put
those funds in and integrate their own fund.”
Problems, according to Krueger, don’t just occur when investors
neglect to set up a fund. They can also happen when they’ve com-
mingled the assets into a giant fund and they haven’t done the
proper paperwork. He sees a lot of lawsuits coming on the
Qualified Opportunity Zone Businesses (QOZB) level. Whoever
owns the building or plot of land in an Opportunity Zone will be a
“It’s where either the promoter or the developer or the
startup company is saying, ‘Hey, we’re a Qualified Opportunity
Zone Business where your qualified opportunity fund can invest
and receive these benefits,” Krueger says. “Those on the QOZB
level will qualify for opportunities on a business level. That’s
where they really need to have a professional advising them on
how to draft their funding documents, because each of these
has to be either a corporation or a partnership. A partnership
can be an LLC, but they have to set that up. In the conversations
that I’m having with investors, they seem to just be glossing over
QOZBs need to be careful when drafting proposal documents
for investors to contribute their Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds
“It is important for all of those reps and warranties to be accu-
rate,” Krueger says. “They’re relying on that, not just for their
investment, but also for tax purposes to qualify. That is why it is so
important to have this nexus with the QOZB and QOZF. If either
of those is out of compliance, not only will you not get the benefit
of growing tax free and deferring your taxes, but your capital gains
tax that you anticipated deferring until 2026 could potentially
come immediately due.”
Despite legal pitfalls, Krueger thinks Opportunity Zones still
present a lot of promise.
“If you do this properly, it is an amazing program,” he says. “This
is a once in a lifetime program to take advantage of these tax savings. But, if you blink for a minute and you mess up [with how you
set up your fund], there’s no reset button three years down the
road. There is no cure.” —Les Shaver
Get Ready for Opportunity Zones Lawsuits
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