Change Before, Change Again (Maybe Even More Change to Come?)

Searching for apartments has changed over the decades for Renters.

Additional fees, requests for more personal information, security / bond deposits and all of the above for pets generally wasn’t widespread across the industry 10 years ago.

However, over the last few months, given the current state of affairs, change has stretched across a different spectrum and continues to journey away from familiar processes.

As a unique renting market already existed in Austin, the COVID-19 pandemic tested the resolve of Renters, apartment properties and marketable amenities (for future Renters) beyond any solutions or backup plans anyone had in their “just for emergencies” drawer.

The closing of leasing offices across Texas put future Renters and new-job-offer recipients in a state of flux. Do I move? Do I wait to move? Do I still have this job? – a few questions that may have come to mind of potential relocating individuals.

All in all, the state – the world – was in flux. So for an individual to feel the same way was to be expected. But now that the state is passing through the “Reopen Texas” phases, do we stay in flux since COVID-19 is still present (whether someone shows signs or not)? Or, do we pick up our Lives as safely as we can to get the state’s economic motor running again? Will some go in one direction and others in another?

Only time will tell.

The long-term impact this will have on Renters is yet to be determined, but we already see signs of resilience from those looking to move forward with life plans – including those within the city and those moving to Austin, Texas from other areas.

Some leasing offices have adapted quickly by allowing “self-guided” tours which typically incorporates an app, a verification system, a bluetooth/cellular based storage box for future Renters to retrieve keys to the units of interest. This helps those who want to use multiple senses to get a feel for their next places compared to those who rent/lease a unit “site unseen”.

Pretty snazzy – I love it actually. Curiosity of renting in the future is intoxicatingly interesting (yes I made up that word).

Will we “go back” to the way things were? Or, will we forge a new path ahead, accelerating even more change in an even shorter amount of time?

Only Time will tell.