The bar for conveniences and services in luxury buildings has definitely been raised. Today’s owners compete not on bricks and mortar but on enhancements.
By Rand Ginsburg (MultiHousingNews.com Article) — Today’s multifamily industry is competitive. Across the board, apartment owners have stepped up their game to attract residents by offering them the best value for their money. This includes everything from swimming pools and fitness centers to renovated kitchens and bathrooms, and even dog parks.
Regardless of their age or budget, renters today place high value on speed, convenience, and a sense of community, and will pay more to have it all. Below are just a few amenities Class A apartment owners should consider providing to residents if they want to stand out:
One of the top amenities luxury apartments are offering to make renters’ lives easier is resident lockers for packages, food, and dry cleaning services. Package lockers are secure and eliminate the need to use leasing staff to retrieve packages, as residents are able to key in a code (sent via text) and claim their items 24/7. Refrigerated lockers essentially work the same way, except they store food items. These come in handy for food and grocery deliveries, allowing residents to pick up their meal at any time. Lockers for dry cleaning are also gaining in popularity. With this service, residents are able to drop off and pick up their dry cleaning without the hassle.
When it comes to managing trash, Class A apartments should provide valet trash service, which simply requires residents to place their trash outside of their door for removal. Apartment staff will make daily visits to empty cans, eliminating the burden for residents and giving landlords peace of mind, as valet trash is more controlled.
A focus on health and wellness
Fitness centers are a must for many renters, as society continues to value personal health and wellness. At luxury properties, renters can expect spacious fitness centers with high-end equipment as well as additional workout options like yoga and dance studios incorporated. State-of-the-art equipment, such as the Peloton bike are offered, allowing users to stream live classes and virtually bike through a location of their choice. Healthy vending machines are also offering better snack and drink options like pita chips and vitamin water, and even fresh salad bowls, to residents that want something healthy on the go.
Accommodations for remote workers
Studies show that at least 3.9 million Americans are working from home, so high-speed internet is a must-have amenity Class A apartment owners are supplying. Coworking spaces are also becoming popular, as residents prefer using conference rooms and business centers for meetings and calls over their apartments. These spaces create a nice change of scenery for these residents who work remotely.
Elevating the social experience
Renters who choose to live in luxury apartments will likely have access to elevated entertainment and social opportunities. Outside, residents can expect heated pools with tanning ledges, lots of green space, areas for their pets, community gardens for planting, grills, and rooftop decks with bars and cabanas. Indoors, everything from entertainment lounges with pool tables and HD TVs to spas and firepits are offered. Events are also tailored to the specific renter base, for example, offering “Wine Wednesdays” for a more sophisticated resident base.
An easier way to host guests
A completely unique offering that all apartment owners should pay attention to and consider implementing is hospitality suites. Simply turn vacant units into comfortable suites for residents who might be hosting out-of-town family members or friends. It costs little for the apartment owner to furnish the space and is a win-win for both the resident who wants to accommodate guests on the fly and the owner who can create quick ancillary income from vacant spaces.
ButterflyMX, a cloud-based smartphone video intercom system, is another great tool that allows residents to provide visitors with QR codes to access their building for a set timeframe when they are not home. This is ideal for baby or pet-sitting services or those out-of-town guests who need a way into your home if you’re not there. Smart home features like the ability to set thermostats and lighting from a device whether a resident is home or away is also a highly sought-after feature by renters today.
Though the competition may be stiff, Class A apartment owners have a leg up with their ability to provide renters with the latest and greatest amenities and services. As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Those apartment owners who can provide the best value to their residents will come out on top.
Rand Ginsburg is the senior vice president of Asset Services for GMH Capital Partners, L.P., a national investment, development, construction, and asset management firm.