Renter demographics are changing quickly, with more millennials delaying home purchases and more high-income earners becoming renters by choice. The kinds of amenities they want are changing too as prospective tenants look for properties that reflect the way they choose to live. In general, that means better control, access and experiences. For property managers and apartment developers, adapting to these changing tenant desires requires new technology, thoughtful design and a new approach to multi-family living. To help you attract tenants and maintain consistent revenue, here are the top six multi-family amenities for the future.
1. Increased control
Technology has allowed people to do just about anything, from hailing a ride to buying groceries, with a few taps of their finger. Now, tenants want that same control in their apartments and other rental properties. Thinking about control as an amenity can require a mental shift for many property management professionals, and actually executing it can take many forms. But the key is simply to meet renter expectations for modern living.
Consider adding smart home and apartment capabilities that allow tenants to control the temperature, appliances, lighting and even their bathroom fixtures from a remote system. Developers should also consider investing in a modern access management system that allows tenants and property managers to easily control access to units and common areas. Tenants want to be able to let in cleaning services, delivery drivers and other service personnel without having to call down or buzz from a wall-mounted unit. Not only that, but a recent survey found that 54% of renters are willing to pay more for a unit that features a connected security device. By using software to secure your unmanaged doors, you can turn control and access into an amenity that facilitates and compliments the way modern tenants live.
2. Co-working spaces
Since the technological revolution made it possible to stay connected 24/7, the line between work and home has blurred significantly. Not only are people checking email late at night, but they also want space where they can conduct business in a modern, professional setting that’s close to home. Enter co-working spaces. These trendy areas are flexible spaces that are attractive to both entrepreneurs and business professionals who may not want to go into the office every day. Because these spaces are often managed by third parties, the burden on property managers can be minimal while allowing you to charge higher rent for the added convenience. Or, you can choose to take on management yourself and turn that co-working space into another opportunity for strong recurring revenue.
3. Electric car charging stations
The electric car market has yet to take off the way proponents hoped it might. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a desire for more access to charging stations. Prospective tenants who own an electric car won’t even consider a property that doesn’t have a dedicated charging station. Meanwhile, 49% of people who would consider buying one are concerned about the low availability of charging stations. With the general public becoming more environmentally conscious and the price of electric cars expected to drop with the advent of better technology, including charging stations in parking facility designs could pay dividends. The important thing for property managers will be to choose hardware that is vehicle agnostic so that the technology you install doesn’t become obsolete if one car brand wins out over another.
4. Communal spaces
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, renters were practically demanding shared spaces within multi-family properties. Whether it was in-building bars and dining options, large pool decks, BBQ areas or other multi-purpose space, tenants were looking for ways to get together and enjoy experiences with their friends and closest neighbors. It remains to be seen how appetites for communal space will change in the post-pandemic world. But it should still be top of mind for developers and property management companies looking to design spaces that meet modern tenant needs.
5. Live events
For an increasingly large section of renters, it’s not enough to have space to get together, they also want new experiences curated for them. Many property management companies have turned to concierge services or have taken it upon themselves to host live events for tenants and guests. These events can include live music, speed dating, cooking classes, holiday celebrations or even puppy parties. But the point is to provide experiences that enhance the tenants’ sense of community. This is particularly true in buildings that cater to young professionals. Here again, COVID-19 has obviously caused significant disruption. But properties that can overcome those challenges and figure out a way to host these events virtually until people can get back to living life in-person will be poised to reap the financial rewards.
6. Enhanced fitness centers
The days of the basic apartment gym are long gone. Nowadays, renters expect enhanced fitness options that cater to new ways of working out. This can mean open multipurpose spaces for a variety of fitness classes, or gyms designed specifically for kickboxing and pilates. Hiring independent trainers and then charging for classes can be another revenue generator. Or you can offer the classes for free as yet another amenity that modern renters crave.
For developers and property managers, offering the most sought-after amenities is less about keeping up with trends and more about making the right investments in your property that will provide strong ROI and enhance the resident experience for your tenants. By listening to your residents and responding with thoughtful programming, technology and purpose-built spaces, you can do just that and position your properties for long-term financial success.