The amenity arms race has always been a driving factor in multifamily housing projects. While location and pricing remain the central focus in a potential resident’s list of requirements when searching for a new home, not far behind are the considerations over the potential amenities offered within the development. The latest trends in amenities focus on a sense of community in the development rather than what exact spaces provided for the residents. The old standbys of the fitness center, pool, or business center are slowly going by the wayside as technology and the gig economy grow more prevalent in our daily lives.
Fitness center’s used to require a great deal of extra square footage to accommodate equipment — treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, etc. In today’s market, fewer machines with more technology driven equipment such as fitness mirrors and work-out streaming will reduce the footprint and maintenance needed for the gym area. Collaboration with a local gym to provide free or discounted memberships for resident is another option for properties looking to upgrade the typical community gym.
The business center, while once a staple of any rental property is growing increasingly obsolete. These often dark, windowless rooms hidden away were once used by residents for printing however, with the proliferation of WiFi and personal computers, people are now avoiding these spaces altogether. Whether an informal sitting area or space outside, residents would be able to utilize the amenities without feeling stuck in an office. Instead, the option of offering free WiFi for residents within communal areas boasts benefits of low cost, minimal equipment, and best of all, no additional square footage.
Good architectural design provides comfortable and inviting spaces that extend both value and use for the development but without successful interaction and engagement with the residents, that’s all it is – extra space. Utilize community events to promote resident involvement. Providing mixers and happy hours are both excellent ways to allow residents to get to know each other in an informal setting. If the property allows pets, dog meet-and-greets are a great way to get people together. Celebrate the holidays with free and festive events for your residents.
In the end a successful development is about providing residents with the best bang for their buck. Providing amenities that help build community and a sense of belonging benefits not only the residents but the property itself. While these areas are not generating direct income in the strict sense, they still help drive occupancy up and help maintain longevity within residents.