By Lecia Anderson, Vice President of Operations
A dedication to their pets. A commitment to environmental sustainability. A passion for wellness and a love of technology.
These are some of the characteristics of today’s renters. To attract and retain residents, apartment communities must have amenity packages that address these facets of the modern renter. Below are some of the features that do just that:
- Pet parks. There’s no denying the fact that we live in a pet-obsessed society. More than ever, renters consider their furry friends part of the family, and so it’s no longer enough for operators to simply allow dogs and cats. Residents want communities to provide their pets with a high quality of life.
Off-leash dog parks and dog-washing stations are amenities that more and more residents are demanding. At JVM, our pet parks typically feature water stations, attractive landscaping, energy-efficient LED lighting, double-gated entrances and exits, and curved enclosures (meaning no right angles) to help prevent “dog-clog” and injuries. An important benefit of these parks is they give pet-owning residents the chance to socialize and develop friendships, which can strengthen the bond they feel with a community and encourage renewals.
- Electric-car charging stations. With drivers becoming ever more conscious of their environmental footprint, this is an amenity that is beginning to take off in popularity. Operators have the option of asking residents to pay for their charging, or they can offer it for free.
- Enhanced fitness centers. Twenty-four-hour fitness centers have been en vogue for quite some time, but forward-thinking operators are taking them to another level by equipping them with on-demand fitness solutions. These programs can offer all kinds of classes – Pilates, yoga, weightlifting, you name it – for every age and fitness level. And the best thing is, residents can take these classes anytime they want, while apartment communities can save on the expense of bringing fitness instructors onsite.
- A robust technological infrastructure. Residents may live in your communities, but they also live online – and apartment operators must provide them with the tools to do that. Today’s renters want fast Internet service in their units to stream movies and listen to music, and operators should also have strong Wi-Fi available in common areas. And while this may seem like a small item, with today’s technology-focused residents, operators simply can’t overlook the importance of charging outlets with USB ports. At JVM, we have them in our apartment homes, clubhouses and pool areas. Looking ahead, smart apartment homes – which allow residents to control locks and appliances remotely via their phones – are bound to more fully enter the multifamily mainstream.
- Package delivery systems. Residents are purchasing more goods from Amazon and other online sites than ever before. Therefore, communities should consider installing a room/locker system that can give residents 24-hour access to their package deliveries. Gone are the days in which residents are OK with waiting until the leasing office is open to pick up their packages.
- Abundant socializing spaces. The modern resident also craves personal connections and the opportunity to socialize with friends and neighbors. To meet these needs, operators may consider clubhouses equipped with things like coffee or wine bars, co-working spaces and ample sitting areas that permit easy, comfortable conversation among friends. When feasible, rooftop patios have proven immensely popular as well.
And don’t forget the pool: this is still a very popular amenity among residents. An attractive and well-maintained pool area gives residents a great place to hang out and connect with others. While you’re at it, consider converting that old volleyball court into an outdoor social area complete with grills and fire pits. It’s been our recent experience that volleyball courts, for whatever reason, just aren’t as popular as they once were, but those kinds of social areas are a huge hit.
Pet-friendly, environmentally conscious, a place where people can connect with others: if an apartment community’s amenities package meets these descriptions, it will be well positioned to attract and retains today’s residents.