This week’s roundup takes a special look at the coronavirus (COVID-19), including industry insights for property owners, managers and investors. First, National Apartment Association lists several ways that property managers can stay engaged with their residents while ‘social distancing’ policies are in place, including using technology to host events like online book clubs. Next, the Arbor Chatter blog highlights the coronavirus’ potential impact on the economy and multifamily industry, emphasizing the apartment sector will likely fare better than some other property types. RealPage analyzes how apartment investors are strategically taking the “Wait and See” approach, looking out for smart deals while preparing for longer-term holds on their properties.  Then, Zillow does a deep dive into how we can look at past pandemics to inform what we could expect as a result of COVID-19 under different scenarios. Finally, MBA offers a perspective from its Chief Economist Jamie Woodwell on how the outbreak is affecting commercial real estate finance and his outlook for the U.S. economy. 

10 Ways to Keep Residents Engaged During COVID-19

National Apartment Association – March 17

“Now more than ever, apartment owners and operators have a real opportunity to make a difference in how we respond to these challenges by moving resident events and communication online to further engage residents in a different manner.”

 Coronavirus Impact on Multifamily Property

Arbor Chatter – March 17

“The coronavirus impact on multifamily property has thus far shown relative resilience when compared to other real estate groups.”

COVID-19: The Unintended Consequences of “Wait and See” to the Apartment Market

RealPage – March 19

“Talking to investors, ‘Wait and See’ is very much the rule of thumb. The problem isn’t their appetite for apartments. Investors still like this sector. Even if returns diminish, multifamily assets project more favorably compared to other options.”

Information From Past Pandemics, And What We Can Learn: A Literature Review

Zillow – March 13

“During epidemics such as the 1918 influenza or the 2003 SARS outbreaks, economic activity fell sharply during the epidemic but snapped back quickly once the epidemic was over.”

CRE Finance in a World of Uncertainty – Where Are We Now

MBA – March 18

“It is also important to note that, while not immune, the longer-term nature of most leases acts as a cushion for the sector – particularly for shorter duration events.”