Quick Takeaways

  • Multifamily housing is an increasingly popular option for homeowners of all ages, not just the stereotypical young couple and/or older adults.
  • Multifamily housing comes in many shapes and sizes from the well-known options like apartments and condominiums to students housing and mixed use developments.
  • Multifamily housing in today’s market reflects residents desires – it often contains a home gym, smart/green technology, and inviting outdoor space.

Source: Multifamily Housing (National Association of Home Builders)

The multifamily market did not escape the many changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it was predicated that people would leave their city apartments and condos in droves, the market is already on the rebound. Amenities are at an all-time high, as home offices, gyms, and individual outdoor spaces are often seen as necessities in a post-COVID world.

The multifamily market is back with a bang! Properties that were completely changed because of COVID-19, like shopping malls, are being converted in multiuse residences. Due to the low inventory and record high prices of single family homes, many first time homebuyers are opting for condos.

There are many option for investing in multifamily properties. Not everyone has the desire or capital to buy or build an entire apartment complex, though the apartment market does seem to be on the upswing post-COVID. If you are interested in investing in multifamily properties, but do not want to manage a property, you may be interested in a real estate syndication.

From eviction moratoriums to a historically hot housing market, it has been an interesting two years for property managers. However, many property managers that managed to keep residents feeling happy and safe throughout COVID-19, listening to their concerns and acting fast. Multifamily management, according to some, is in for a technology disruption in the coming months and years.

See References for more information.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

multifamily properties: 10 tips for landlords

The Basics

Multifamily Emerges from Pandemic with a Bang (Globe St., Oct. 23, 2021)

While the COVID-19 pandemic did cause an influx of movement out of city centers, it never reached the heights predicted. Now, as we come to the close of the second pandemic year, not only have renters returned to cities, but rents are up in every market. Vacancy rates are also “extremely low” across the country.

FHFA Extends Multifamily Forbearance Indefinitely (Housing Wire, Sep. 24, 2021)

“Forbearance options for multifamily mortgages backed by the GSEs were set to expire on Sept. 30, but the FHFA has extended until needed. On October 1, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue offering COVID-19 forbearance to qualified multifamily owners, unless otherwise instructed by FHFA. But landlords must inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods; and agree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance.”

Multifamily Housing Law and Legal Definition (USLegal)

“According to 12 USCS § 1715z-22a (1), the term multifamily housing means “housing accommodations on the mortgaged property that are designed principally for residential use, conform to standards satisfactory to the Secretary, and consist of not less than 5 rental units on 1 site. These units may be detached, semidetached, row house, or multifamily structures.”

Multifamily Trends

New Lease on Life: Apartment Projects Popping Up at Distressed South Florida Shopping Centers (The Real Deal,Oct. 25, 2021)

“Shopping centers in densely populated areas are among the best in-fill sites for multifamily developments because they can meet the residential, occupational, and recreational needs of residents, said Art Falcone, co-founder and chief investment officer of Boca Raton-based Encore Capital Management.”

The U.S. Multifamily Market Roars Back – What’s the Outlook? (Commercial Observer, Oct. 19, 2021)

With inventories still low and the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic hopefully behind us, the rental market has proven its strength once again. According to Apartments.com, search activity for renters is up 20% year-over-year, with many would-be first time homebuyers opting for another year of renting amongst a low-inventory, high price market.

Multifamily Influencers (Globe St., Oct. 15, 2021)

Many agents specialize in multifamily properties, but some have gotten creative, even during the unprecedented pandemic market, and made a name for themselves. These agents often own their own companies, forecast multifamily trends, and have innovative and creative properties and selling techniques.

Condos are Back! Here Are The Cities Where They’ve Become the Hottest Thing in Real Estate (realtor.com®, Oct. 4, 2021)

“As move-in ready, single-family homes have hit record-high prices—and record-low availabilities—many buyers are turning to their cheaper, oft-overlooked cousins: condominiums and townhouses. Sales of these units have exploded over the past year as people who could work from anywhere moved across the country or scooped up a second home to enjoy on vacations near the beach or the ski slopes. Nationwide, there were twice as many condos sold in May 2021 as there were in May 2020, according to a Realtor.com® analysis of home sales data.”

Investing in Multifamily Property

A Guide to Investing in Real Estate Syndications (Forbes, Oct. 26, 2021)

Real estate syndications are a great solution for those who are not interested in managing a property, but interested in investing in one. “A real estate syndication is when a group of investors pools together their capital to jointly purchase a large real estate property. Apartments, mobile home parks, land, self-storage units and other real estate assets are some of the investment opportunities available through real estate syndications.”

5 Tips for Investing in Multifamily Real Estate (EconoTimes, Oct. 25, 2021)

Follow these five helpful tips as you begin your journey into multifamily property investing; valuate your investment, consider the market trends, location is everything, expect the unexpected, and make property improvements.

Property Management

4 Steps to Laser-Focused Property Managements (Multi-Housing News, Oct. 18, 2021)

Multi-Housing News has four steps to help multifamily investors deal with the quickly changing multifamily landscape; always operate with an owner’s mindset, take a unique data-driven approach, know and accept that one size does not fit all, and overcommunicate during the entire process. Both the increase in working from home and the various digital tools for showing and purchasing homes that became commonplace over the course of the pandemic

10 Ways to Show Multifamily Residents Your Appreciation (Forbes, Oct. 5, 2021)

Keeping residents happy is the best way to keep them in your property. Here are ten tips from a property manager that will keep your residents satisfied; listen, respond, get residents involved, host contests and giveaways, host resident application events, hold competitions, provide community fitness classes, throw a pool party, hold a yard sale or swap, and host tailgates and/or watch parties.

Multifamily Property Management is About to be Radically Disrupted (Forbes, Jan. 11, 2021)

“Radical disruption is coming soon, made possible by the industry’s adoption of smartphones and smart locks. I predict the disruption will come not from the incumbent giants, but from emerging multifamily exponential organizations (ExOs) that will simplify and automate complex manual processes, delivering a far better stakeholder experience.”

Useful Websites

Marketing and Leasing: Multifamily Properties (NAR.realtor) — NAR’s education matrix

Multifamily Housing (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Multi-Housing News — Provides current news and statistics about the multi-housing industry

National Apartment Association — A trade association for the apartment housing industry

National Association of Residential Property Managers® — A trade association for residential property managers

National Multi Housing Council — Provides a forum for insight, advocacy and action for members and the community

Property Manager — Sells property management software, and shares perspectives and best practices to help manage your property management business

Multifamily Biz — Provides current news about sales, construction and the multifamily industry

Books, eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings (eBook)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties: How to Analyze and Single-Family, Multifamily, or Commercial Property (eBook)

Complete Landlord and Property Managers Legal Survival Kit (eBook)

Happy About Apartment Management: 30 Years of Expert Tips and Advice on Multifamily Property Management (eBook)

Multifamily Housing (eBook)

The Multifamily Millionaire Volume II (eBook)

Opportunities in Property Management Careers (eBook)

Rich Dad's Advisors®: The ABC's of Property Management (eBook)

Streetwise Landlording & Property Management (Audiobook, eBook)

What Every Landlord Needs to Know: Time and Money-Saving Solutions to Your Most Annoying Problems (eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Field Guide for Practical Apartment Management (Chicago, IL: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2015) HD1394 .F48 2015

The CompleteLandlord.com Ultimate Real Estate Investing Handbook (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009) HD 1382.5 L49

Buy It, Rent It, Profit! : Make Money as a Landlord in Any Real Estate Market (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2009) HD 1394 C39

The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings (New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2005) HD 1377 B46

Practical Apartment Management (Chicago, IL: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2005) HD 1394 In7pr Ed. 5

The New No-Nonsense Landlord: Building Wealth with Rental Properties (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2003) HD 1394 J76

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.