A lot of us might have imagined that the remote work trend was just that – a trend to keep the economy moving during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Turns out it’s more than a trend; it’s a new way of life for a lot of American workers.
What does this mean for the real estate industry? Many experts believe it’s contributed to higher prices in both the sales and rental markets. This is especially true in a market like ours. Orlando and Central Florida are highly desirable locations for people to live, and now that they can live anywhere while retaining their high-paying jobs, Florida seems like the best place to be.
Remote work has driven thousands of people to Florida. The impact on our real estate industry is huge, and we’re talking about the opportunities and challenges that exist for Orlando property managers and the investors we serve.
Home Values and Rental Values in Orlando Real Estate
In much of the country, the real estate market has begun to cool. There’s less of a frenzy when it comes to buying property, and a lot of homeowners hesitate to list their homes now, feeling like they might have missed the biggest window.
In Orlando and throughout Central Florida, the real estate market is still competitive, it’s still bringing owners a lot of buyers, and it’s still seeing some historically high prices. If you want to sell a property, you’ll make some money. If you want to buy a property, you can expect to be in a crowded field of fellow investors and home buyers.
The rental market is also strong; rental values are high and there’s a large pool of tenants looking for well-maintained homes in good neighborhoods.
A lot of this is thanks, in part, to remote work. The local population is growing daily, and there are a lot of new residents establishing themselves here. Part-time residents who once spent the winters in Florida and the summers in the north or the Midwest are becoming permanent residents.
This has a lot to do with the additional flexibility people have in choosing where to live. They can work remotely and therefore live wherever they want. They can keep a high-paying job in San Francisco or New York while living in a location such as Florida, which has a lower cost of living and for many, a higher quality of life.
Shifting Demographics in Orlando Real Estate
Florida has long been a hotspot for retirees. This is a logical place for active adults to buy a home once they’re ready for a new stage in their lives.
It’s still a popular place for retirement-aged residents, but the remote work trend has changed the demographic population of Florida slightly. There are younger people establishing themselves in the Sunshine State, not just retirees. While 55+ housing developments are still popping up all over the state, there’s also a demand for housing that isn’t age-restricted, thanks to so many people of different economic backgrounds, age groups, and industries relocating to Florida.
Attracting Remote Workers to Your Orlando Rental
The challenge with remote workers driving up the demand for property is that there’s a real push to bring more inventory onto the market. Plenty of new construction is helping with this, but the output can barely keep up with the pace of the demand.
So, if you can provide them with an excellent rental home that has the amenities they need, you can enjoy some consistent cash flow and excellent return on investment (ROI). With higher rental prices and lower vacancy and turnover rates, you’re setting yourself up for some serious success.
Here are some ways to make your property more attractive to remote workers in the Orlando area:
Think about your layout and floor plan. Remote workers will appreciate a dedicated working space, whether that’s an extra bedroom or den that can be used as a home office, a loft space, or even a section of your open floor plan that’s suitable for built-in bookshelves or a desk.
Good technology. You likely will not provide Wi-Fi to your tenants, but you want to be sure that your property is well-wired and easily accommodating to the fastest internet speeds. The thicker walls in older homes can sometimes be an impediment. Make recommendations to new tenants about internet service providers.
Pet-friendly amenities. Pets are popular with remote workers, and they enjoy being able to spend more time with their furry family members. So, make sure you’re willing to consider pets when you list your property for rent. Provide a space for dogs to go outside; a fenced yard can be great.
Outdoor space. Your remote working tenant will want some green space and fresh air once in a while. If your property provides a small yard or even a courtyard, you’ll have a better chance of attracting those residents. Even a patio or a balcony can be a great selling point; who wouldn’t want to create an outdoor office when the weather is nice?
You should think about what types of properties you’re looking for when you’re preparing to invest, as well. Keep these points in mind before you buy, especially if your ideal tenant is a remote worker from out of the area.
This is not a trend that’s likely to die anytime soon. Many companies were experimenting with remote work situations and hybrid schedules even before the pandemic took hold of housing, work life, and the economy. Now, it’s normal in a lot of industries, thanks to the available technology and the preference that most people have to avoid going into the office.
If you have any questions about how you can position your investment property to best leverage the remote work trend, please don’t hesitate to contact us at RE/MAX 200 Realty. We manage rental properties in Orlando and throughout the greater Central Florida area, including Orange County and Seminole County.