Multifamily Real Estate Industry, Construction Management, and Technology

by Adam Stark


The multifamily industry stands at a critical juncture, influenced by dynamic economic conditions, technological advancements, and evolving consumer preferences. This blog post explores the current state of the multifamily industry, focusing on critical aspects such as construction, construction management, market data, and the role of general contractors.

The multifamily housing sector has experienced significant growth over the past decade, driven by urbanization, demographic shifts, and changing lifestyles. As more people choose the convenience and amenities of multifamily living, the demand for new developments and renovations continues to rise. This surge in demand has profound implications for various aspects of the industry, particularly in the efficiency of construction management.

The Construction Boom

The multifamily construction boom is evident in cities worldwide. High demand for rental properties and low vacancy rates have spurred a wave of new projects. Despite rising material costs and labor shortages, construction activity remains robust (although, activity may not be as robust as peak activity in recent years).

Technological Integration in Construction

Technology plays a pivotal role in modern multifamily construction. Innovations like Building Information Modeling (BIM), prefabrication, and advanced project management software like Jet.Build has streamlined processes, improved efficiency, and reduced costs. BIM, in particular, allows for the creation of detailed 3D drawings and models, facilitating better pre-construction planning and stakeholder collaboration, alongside management software.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has revolutionized the construction industry by enabling more precise planning and execution. BIM's ability to create detailed 3D models of buildings allows for improved visualization and coordination among architects, engineers, and construction managers. These models provide a comprehensive view of the project's components, helping identify potential issues before construction begins and reducing the likelihood of costly changes during the building process.

Prefabrication and Modular Construction

Prefabrication and modular construction are gaining traction in the multifamily sector. These methods involve assembling building components in a controlled factory before transporting them to the construction site. This approach reduces construction time, minimizes waste, and enhances quality control. Additionally, prefabrication can mitigate some of the challenges of labor shortages, as specialized teams complete much of the work off-site.

Sustainability and Green Building

Sustainability is a growing concern in the construction of multifamily housing. Developers and builders increasingly adopt green building practices to reduce their projects' environmental impact. Energy-efficient systems, sustainable materials, and LEED certification are becoming standard in new developments. This shift benefits the environment and appeals to environmentally conscious tenants.

LEED Certification and Energy Efficiency

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. Multifamily projects that achieve LEED certification are committed to energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable building practices. Energy-efficient systems, such as advanced HVAC and lighting solutions, reduce operational costs and enhance the living experience for tenants. These features also contribute to lower utility bills, making multifamily units more attractive to cost-conscious renters. It's important to document equipment to best manage their maintenance lifecycle.

Renewable Energy Integration

Integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, is becoming more common in multifamily developments. These systems reduce the building's carbon footprint and provide long-term cost savings. Incentives and tax credits for renewable energy installations encourage developers to incorporate these technologies into their projects.

Market Data

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), the U.S. multifamily market experienced a 10.6% increase in rents from 2021 to 2022, with an average rent growth rate of 8.4% per year over the past five years. As of 2023, multifamily construction has reached approximately 560,000 units, a 15-year high, indicating robust investor confidence and sustained demand.

Construction Management

Effective construction management is crucial to the success of multifamily projects. It involves coordinating various aspects of the construction process, from planning and design to execution and completion. Project management software like Jet.Build can support construction processes, communications, and data retention for on-time and in-budget project delivery.

The Role of Construction Managers

Construction managers oversee the construction processes, ensuring that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. They manage teams, coordinate with subcontractors, and address any issues during construction. Often, construction managers will facilitate the cross-coordination of a construction project via project management software.

Project Planning and Scheduling

One of the primary responsibilities of construction managers is to develop detailed project plans and schedules. These plans outline the sequence of construction activities, allocate resources, and set timelines for each project phase. Effective planning helps prevent delays and ensures all stakeholders know their responsibilities and deadlines. It is vital to leverage critical path scheduling platforms to facilitate collaboration across project teams and responsibilities.

Budget Management and Cost Control

Construction managers are critical in managing the project's budget and controlling costs. They monitor expenditures, negotiate contracts with suppliers and subcontractors, and identify cost-saving opportunities. Regular budget reviews and financial reporting help keep the project on track and within the allocated budget. Management of project financials should be executed via a central project management software. A central project management solution will enable enhanced project transparency for necessary cost control oversight.

Importance of Detailed Drawings

Detailed drawings are essential in multifamily construction. They visually represent the project's design and specifications, serving as a roadmap for construction teams. Accurate drawings help prevent misunderstandings, reduce errors, and ensure the final product meets the intended design.

Types of Construction Drawings

Several types of construction drawings, including architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical drawings, are used in multifamily projects. Each type provides specific information about different aspects of the building, such as floor plans, elevations, sections, and detailed schematics. These drawings are crucial for coordinating the work of various trades and ensuring that all components fit together seamlessly.

Role of Shop Drawings

Shop drawings are detailed diagrams from subcontractors and suppliers illustrating how specific components will be fabricated and installed. The construction manager and design team review and approve these drawings to ensure compliance with the project's specifications. Shop drawings are vital in maintaining quality control and ensuring the final product meets the design intent.

Managing Contingency Plans

Contingency planning is a critical aspect of construction management. Unforeseen weather delays, material shortages, or labor disputes can disrupt construction schedules and increase costs. Having a well-defined contingency plan allows construction managers to mitigate risks and minimize the impact of these challenges.

Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Construction managers conduct thorough risk assessments to identify potential issues affecting the project. These assessments help develop contingency plans that outline specific actions to be taken in the event of a problem. Regular risk reviews and updates to contingency plans ensure that the project remains resilient to unexpected challenges.

Allocating Contingency Funds

Contingency funds are a financial reserve to cover unexpected construction expenses. These funds provide a safety net for addressing unforeseen issues without jeopardizing the project budget. Construction managers must carefully allocate and manage these funds to ensure they are available when needed.

Market Data

The Dodge Data & Analytics 2023 Construction Outlook report indicates that multifamily housing construction spending is expected to increase 7% year-over-year, driven by strong demand and favorable financing conditions. However, construction managers continue to face challenges related to supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, which are expected to persist through 2024.

The Submittal Process

The submittal process is a critical component of construction projects, ensuring that materials and equipment meet the project's specifications and standards.

What is a Submittal?

A submittal is a document or sample submitted by contractors for approval before they are used in the project. Submittals can include shop drawings, product data, material samples, and other relevant documentation. They are reviewed by architects, engineers, and construction managers to ensure compliance with the design and specifications.

Types of Submittals

Various types of submittals in multifamily construction include product data, shop drawings, material samples, and mock-ups. Every kind of submittal serves a specific purpose and requires detailed review and approval before the associated work can proceed.

Submittal Review and Approval

The submittal review process involves multiple stakeholders, including architects, engineers, and construction managers. Each submittal is carefully examined to meet the project's specifications and standards. Any discrepancies or issues are addressed through a formal review and approval process, ensuring that only compliant materials and components are used in the project.

Importance of Submittals in Multifamily Construction

The submittal process is vital to maintaining quality and consistency in multifamily construction. It ensures that all materials and components used in the project meet the required standards and specifications. This process also helps identify potential issues early, allowing for corrections before construction proceeds.

Ensuring Compliance and Quality Control

The submittal process is a crucial quality control measure in construction. By reviewing and approving submittals, construction managers and design professionals can ensure that all materials and components meet the project's requirements. This helps prevent costly rework and ensures the high quality of the final product.

Streamlining the Submittal Process

Advancements in technology have streamlined the submittal process, like Jet.Build, making it more efficient and effective. Digital tools and platforms allow for electronic submission, review, and approval of submittals, reducing paperwork and speeding up the process. These tools also provide a centralized repository for all submittal documents, making tracking and managing submittals throughout the project easier.

Market Data

According to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), 62% of construction firms reported using digital tools to streamline the submittal process. These tools have significantly reduced approval times, with some firms reporting up to a 40% decrease in turnaround times for submittals.

The Role of the General Contractor

General contractors play a central role in multifamily construction, overseeing all aspects of the building process and ensuring that projects are completed successfully.

Responsibilities of a General Contractor

General contractors are responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors, procuring materials, and coordinating the construction schedule. They act as the primary point of contact between the project owner and the construction team, ensuring that the project runs smoothly.

Coordinating Subcontractors and Suppliers

General contractors oversee the work of subcontractors and suppliers, ensuring that all parties adhere to the project's schedule and quality standards. This involves coordinating the efforts of various trades, such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, to ensure that all work is completed promptly and efficiently.

Managing Project Schedules and Timelines

General contractors develop and manage the project's construction schedule, outlining the sequence of activities and setting deadlines for each phase. This requires careful planning and coordination to ensure all tasks are completed on time, and the project remains on track.

Ensuring Safety and Compliance

Safety is a top priority in construction, and general contractors are responsible for implementing and enforcing safety protocols on the job site. They also ensure the project complies with all local building codes, regulations, and industry standards.

Implementing Safety Protocols

General contractors develop and enforce safety protocols to protect workers and prevent accidents on the job site. This includes providing safety training, conducting regular inspections, and ensuring all workers have the necessary protective equipment. Maintaining a safe work environment prevents injuries and ensures the project's success.

Compliance with Building Codes and Regulations

General contractors must ensure the project complies with all relevant building codes and regulations. This involves obtaining the necessary permits, conducting inspections, and addressing any code violations that may arise during construction. Compliance with these regulations is crucial for ensuring the safety and legality of the project.

Market Data

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of construction managers, including general contractors, is projected to grow 8% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth reflects the ongoing demand for skilled professionals to oversee the increasing number of multifamily construction projects.

Adapting to Market Trends

The multifamily industry is influenced by various market trends, including demographic shifts, changing tenant preferences, and economic factors. Staying ahead of these trends is crucial for developers and property managers.

Demographic Shifts

Demographic changes are significantly shaping the multifamily market. Millennials and Generation Z are driving the trend toward urban living and flexible spaces, while aging Baby Boomers are increasingly seeking the convenience and community offered by multifamily properties. Adapting to the diverse needs of these demographic groups will be essential for developers and property managers.

Millennials and Generation Z

Millennials and Generation Z prioritize convenience, technology, and flexibility in their housing choices. They are more likely to rent than buy, seeking multifamily properties that offer modern amenities, smart home technology, and communal spaces. Developers must design and build properties that cater to these preferences to attract and retain younger tenants.

Aging Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are increasingly drawn to multifamily living for its convenience and community-oriented environment. Many Boomers are downsizing from single-family homes and seeking properties that offer maintenance-free living, accessibility features, and social amenities. Catering to this demographic requires designing units with universal design principles and providing amenities that promote social interaction and well-being.

Fostering Community and Well-Being

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of community and well-being. Multifamily properties prioritizing social spaces, wellness amenities, and community-building activities will appeal to tenants seeking a sense of belonging and connection. Creating environments that promote well-being will be a crucial differentiator in the market.

Social Spaces and Amenities

Multifamily properties offering social spaces and amenities, such as rooftop gardens, communal lounges, and fitness centers, create opportunities for residents to interact and build a community. These spaces enhance the living experience and contribute to tenant satisfaction and retention.

Wellness-Focused Design

Wellness-focused design principles, such as incorporating natural light, outdoor spaces, and air quality enhancements, contribute to residents' overall well-being. Multifamily properties prioritizing wellness will stand out in a competitive market and attract tenants who value a healthy living environment.

Market Data

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) forecasts that by 2025, approximately 60% of new multifamily developments will incorporate wellness-focused amenities. These include outdoor recreational spaces, wellness centers, and community gardens, expected to increase property values by 10-15%.

Construction Technology Supporting Multifamily Development

Technology is increasingly important in supporting multifamily development and construction. Advanced construction management software, such as Jet.Build, is transforming the way projects are planned, executed, and monitored.

Jet.Build: Revolutionizing Construction Management

Jet.Build is a modern development and construction project management software that supports builders to streamline construction and development processes. Jet provides a comprehensive platform for managing construction projects, offering features that enhance efficiency, transparency, and collaboration.

Key Features of Jet.Build

  • Project Management: Jet.Build offers robust project management tools that allow teams to track progress, manage schedules, and coordinate tasks seamlessly. These tools help ensure that projects stay on schedule and within budget. Some solutions include: Submittal and RFI management, Gantt-Scheduling, Incidents management, Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC), Daily Reports, Meeting Minutes, Punch Lists, and more.
  • Document Management: The software provides a centralized repository for all project-related documents, including permit management, insurance management, drawings, contracts, and submittals. This feature simplifies document sharing and ensures that all stakeholders have access to the latest information.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: Jet.Build facilitates real-time collaboration among team members, enabling instant communication and updates. This reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings and helps resolve issues quickly.
  • Budget Tracking: The platform includes powerful budgeting tools that allow users to monitor expenditures, track costs, and manage contingency funds effectively. This helps prevent cost overruns and ensures financial transparency. Solutions include, bidding management, budget management, change order management, invoice management, accounts payable, contract management, forecasting, and robust project reporting.

Benefits for Multifamily Projects

Using Jet.Build in multifamily projects offers several benefits, including improved efficiency, enhanced communication, and better risk management. The software's ability to streamline processes and provide real-time insights makes it an invaluable tool for construction managers and developers.

Market Data

A report by MarketsandMarkets states that the global construction management software market is expected to grow from $1.4 billion in 2020 to $2.5 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 12.3%. This growth reflects the increasing adoption of digital tools and technologies in the construction industry.


The multifamily industry is at an exciting and transformative stage. Driven by urbanization, technological advancements, and changing tenant preferences, the sector continues to evolve and innovate. Construction and construction management practices are becoming more sophisticated, focusing on sustainability, efficiency, and resilience. The role of general contractors, the importance of detailed drawings, and the submittal process are crucial elements in ensuring successful projects.

As the industry adapts to new challenges and opportunities, the future of multifamily housing looks promising. By embracing technology, prioritizing sustainability, and catering to the diverse needs of tenants, the multifamily sector will continue to thrive and play a vital role in shaping the urban landscape. Whether through smart home technology, co-living spaces, or enhanced health and safety measures, the multifamily industry is poised to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.

Market Data Overview

The multifamily housing market will continue its growth trajectory in the coming years. According to RealPage, the U.S. multifamily market saw a 15.3% increase in new leases year-over-year in 2022. Despite rising interest rates and inflation, demand for multifamily units remains strong, driven by demographic trends and the ongoing preference for rental housing.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that multifamily starts are expected to reach 560,000 units in 2023, a 5% increase from the previous year. This growth is fueled by investor confidence and favorable financing conditions. However, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages continue to pose challenges, impacting project timelines and costs.

Regarding rent growth, Yardi Matrix forecasts a 7% increase in average rents for multifamily units in 2023, with some markets experiencing double-digit growth. Cities such as Austin, Phoenix, and Tampa expect the highest rent increases, driven by solid demand and limited supply.

Investment Trends

Investment in the multifamily sector remains robust, with both domestic and international investors showing strong interest. According to CBRE, the U.S. multifamily investment volume reached $335 billion in 2022, a record high. Investors are attracted to the sector's resilience and the potential for stable, long-term returns.

Cap rates for multifamily properties have remained relatively stable, averaging around 4.5% in major markets. However, rising interest rates could pressure cap rates in the coming years. Despite this, the multifamily sector is expected to remain an attractive investment option due to strong fundamentals and favorable demand-supply dynamics.

Emerging Markets

While traditional markets like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco continue to attract investment, emerging markets are gaining traction. Cities such as Nashville, Charlotte, and Denver are experiencing rapid population growth and economic development, making them attractive destinations for multifamily investment. These markets offer lower entry costs and higher potential for rent growth compared to more established markets.


The multifamily industry is poised for continued growth and innovation. Focusing on sustainability, technology, and community, the sector is well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of tenants and investors alike. By staying ahead of market trends and embracing new opportunities, developers and property managers can ensure their multifamily projects' long-term success and resilience.

Effective construction management and strategic planning will be crucial as the industry navigates the challenges of supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and rising costs. By leveraging technology, prioritizing sustainability, and fostering a sense of community, the multifamily sector can continue to thrive and contribute to the vibrant urban landscape.

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