When I started thinking about what amenities people who work in tech might look for in apartment homes, I asked a friend who’s been working in the video game industry for years. “High-speed internet!” he said. “Coffee makers! Vegetables! Arduinos or Raspberry Pis! How many more great ideas do you need?”
While I think most of his answers were meant to make me laugh, he gets the sentiment right: tech workers want modern, upgraded tech (go figure!), but they also want the regular things, too, like upgraded kitchens and pool areas.
These days, Silicon Valley isn’t the only area leading the way in tech. There’s a growing number of urban areas putting concentrated efforts into attracting new talent in the technology sector, and for savvy real estate owners, that means lots of opportunities to profit off of real estate markets that are poised to be part of the next big technology boom.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm: Anticipating Technology-Driven Real Estate Growth
One of these areas is San Diego County. Let’s take Carlsbad as an example. The city sponsored the opening of a biotech incubator in the city’s northside in 2013 and partnered with MiraCosta College’s Technology Career Institute in 2015 to help meet the labor needs of local tech companies. What they’re doing is allocating city funding into projects that focus on making technology industry development a priority, and in that sense, they’re the poster child for the tech industry in the area. San Diego County wants to live up to the hype that it’s the “Next Silicon Valley,” and they’re making real, concrete steps towards making it happen.
From whatever angle you approach it, San Diego is investing in the creation of high-powered, high-paying technology jobs from the ground up, and the people who fill them will want correspondingly high-end living spaces. So how can we tap into that market? If you own a multifamily property in San Diego County, this “calm before the storm” is the perfect opportunity to make a few targeted upgrades to your units as a way to attract those Silicon Valley émigrés.
What Techies Want: Using Data to Target Your Upgrades
First, though, we’d better talk a little bit about their demographics. Popular perceptions about tech workers are generally true: an overwhelming amount of them are millennials. While there are a lot of conflicting ideas about who, exactly, qualifies as being a millennial, the prevailing idea is that it’s anyone born between the years 1982 and 2004. They’re usually not ready to buy, and they want a pretty particular set of amenities in the units they rent.
- Upgraded tech throughout the home. This one’s a no-brainer, right? We’re talking electrical outlets with USB ports, nuanced HVAC controls (the Nest Learning Thermostat is a good start, or something similar), apartment-wide surround sound, and maybe even some recessed LED lighting (just don’t get too carried away).
- On-site dog park. More than 76% of millennials have pets, so if you’ve got the space for this big renovation, full speed ahead! Just make sure that you’ve also got the resources for keeping this area clean—one of the big drawbacks of having a pet area is that they can get real messy, real quick.
- Sleek, modern, and clean design aesthetic. As much as you might love vintage built-ins and other period details, tech workers and millennials typically do not. Consider trading in the design aesthetic in your older units with one that feels more contemporary, more stoic, and more spare.
- Bike storage. In 2009, the average millennial drove 23% less than in 2001, so if you can allot some space for their two-wheeled friends, this is an easy way to give your building a little extra oomph.
- State-of-the-art gym space. These days, gyms come pretty standard in most high-end apartment buildings, so if you’re targeting techies looking for luxury and you don’t have a gym yet, well…you’d better get on it!
Integrating Technology Into Your Multifamily Renovations with REIG
If you’re looking to renovate your multifamily property in San Diego County to make it more attractive to workers riding in on the wave of recent (and future) growth in the technology sector, there’s no better place to get started than REIG. We’ll work with you to develop a broad palette of contemporary redesign options that work best for you and your property, and we’ll walk you step by step through every part of the process it takes to get there. Contact us today to learn more about how to get started.