By Mary Herrold
Resident wellness: If you get down to it, that’s one of the fundamental missions of an apartment operator.
More than merely providing a roof over their residents’ heads, multifamily companies must offer environments that allow their renters to thrive, in every sense of the word. When residents can engage in the exercise they want to, retreat and unwind from the stresses of modern life, and make meaningful social connections, that’s when an apartment truly feels like home. And that’s when residents want to become long-term residents.
So how can apartment operators boost their renters’ wellness? Consider the following steps.
Develop a fitness experience, not just a fitness center
Exercise is the wellspring of wellness, and today’s renters want to engage in a wide variety of physical activities: weight training, yoga and cardio work, to name just a few.
Onsite fitness centers need to be able to accommodate this range of tastes, which can sometimes be difficult to do without breaking your budget. By offering virtual fitness classes, however, an apartment community can give residents access to the activities they crave while keeping expenses in check.
At JVM, our community fitness centers offer the Wellbeats line of on-demand virtual exercise classes. The technology allows a resident to participate in activities that would otherwise require an expensive instructor – such as Zumba dancing or Pilates – and it allows them to do so whenever he or she wants, whether that’s in the afternoon or the middle of the night.
In addition to these classes, of course, community fitness centers should offer modern strength-training equipment and cardio machines.
Provide ample spaces for socializing
Humans are social animals, and central to our wellness is a sense of connection with others. Through its array of amenities and events, an apartment community can provide residents a chance to forge relationships with each other.
Swimming pools with expansive sundecks, playgrounds, grilling and picnic areas, and clubhouses equipped with games, fireplaces, TVs and WiFi empower residents to connect informally or at community events, as well as play host to friends and family.
Apartment operators also shouldn’t overlook the impact an onsite pet park can have on the emotional health of residents. Dogs are extremely dear to many of today’s renters. Having a convenient, clean and safe place to play and bond with their dogs can provide a significant boost to their well-being. Also, these parks provide pet-owning residents with another chance to meet and establish friendships.
As part of our Pet-Iquette program, JVM has pet parks at most of our communities. The parks feature environmentally friendly products and have log tunnels, balance beams and wood ramps for dogs to play on; other features include water stations, attractive landscaping and LED lighting.
Implement an associate wellness program
At first glance, this may not seem like the most direct route to increased resident well-being, but it’s one that can reap significant dividends in this area.
Wellness programs produce healthier, happier and more productive associates. When associates feel more energetic and engaged with their jobs, they’re more apt to provide outstanding customer service to residents, which will contribute to their happiness.
Simply put, it pays for multifamily operators to invest in resources that promote well-being. By doing so, they will build a base of satisfied and loyal residents, which is a win-win for all.