What Multifamily Property Managers Are Thinking

Amidst inflationary and debt turmoil, these are the top concerns of property managers of multifamily assets.


Main Takeaway: Top of mind for property managers is technology, and most believe this will become more prominent and important to tenant retention and revenues in the coming years.

Story: Several new surveys have been released in the past few months outlining the overall sentiment of property managers. The 2023 VTS Global Landlord Report was released last month, outlining some trends PMs should pay attention to. Here are some highlights:

  • 91% of landlords say their business goal is to create a hospitality-like experience for on-site tenants in buildings.
  • 90% of landlords say technology is critical to managing their tenant relationships.
  • Landlords say that touchless tech enables a positive tenant experience, food and beverage options, tenant experience technologies, outdoor communal areas, and building management systems.
  • 41% of landlords are sure they have insight into upcoming renewals or tenants that are at risk of leaving.
  • 87% of landlords say that the retention and renewal of current tenants are more of a focus in 2023 than acquiring new tenants.

Despite the above, 62% of landlords say they don’t have the adequate technology tools to understand how tenants currently utilize apartment assets.

The National Apartment Association (NAA) also released a new survey of property managers, titled Voice of the Property Manager. In the survey of 2,000 real estate professionals, most respondents said that dealing with abusive and aggressive residents was the most challenging part of their work. 

Here are other significant findings:

  • 75% consider their work detrimental to their physical and mental health.
  • Despite this, over 80% are satisfied with their work, proud of their jobs, and enjoy colleagues.
  • 60% said that they had a good work-life balance.
  • During the past 18 months, the top five technologies adopted were: Resident portals, social media or email marketing, online and digital leasing, virtual tours and mobile inspections, and resident mobile apps. 
  • Only 39% of property managers are satisfied with their salaries.

Finally, when asked how the property management industry will change over the coming years, the majority answer (30%) was that there will be more tech-enabled property managers.

“With 22% of property managers at age 55 and older, it is vital to the industry that the property management talent pool stay stocked with workers who may be replacing retirees in 10 years’ time. It’s evident that owners and operators are already using tactics to attract and retain talent including allowing flexibility, giving employees basic tools and resources, as well as techheavy ones, and providing legal and compliance training.”

Parks Associates recently released a new research report revealing that staffing shortages and labor pressures impact the multifamily industry. “The research found 24% of property owners and managers report being understaffed for maintenance operations and almost half report difficulty both retaining and hiring staff. In addition, 34% of property owners and managers note challenges in completing unexpected maintenance and repairs.”

Expert Take on What Property Managers are Thinking

“Focusing on renewals means the work doesn’t end once a lease is signed. Landlords now need to consciously focus on creating exceptional in-building experiences, leverage the context of relationships across their portfolio and adjust expectations to account for tenants’ rising adoption of flex work. Data for reporting and forecasting has become essential, and landlords now rely on tenant experience strategies to attract and retain high-quality tenants.” — Nick Romito, CEO VTS

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