By: Shad Bookout
Every renter wants something unique and special in their new apartment home. Many times, it is directly related to the circumstances where they are coming from. Every story is special and it is important that you take the time to understand what your residents need, want, and especially, what they are going to judge you on. For families that are downsizing or upsizing their apartment, size may be the amenity they crave. For busy executives on the go, the key to a happy life may be extended hours to use community amenities or quick access in and out of the community. Everyone needs something.
Here is a look at some of the hottest amenity trends in the multi-family industry today. Some of these may even surprise you.
Apartments are the Same but Different
Even though lifestyle is a huge component in a resident’s final decision to move into an apartment community, the primary reasons a renter choose to move in are attached to the apartment itself. When the National Multi-Family Housing Council conducted their annual meeting in January, they highlighted some of the amenities impacting those decisions. The most common amenities that drew interest across generational boundaries were parking, soundproofing, and having a patio or balcony. Even though multiple apartment communities in a sub-market may contain those items, how they are communicated to potential renters will affect the ways they will perceive your apartment community.
An Apartment Like None Other
Once a renter has made the decision to move in, a countdown begins that will only move faster with time. As the days go on, the decision to stay or go will greatly be influenced by the lifestyle you assist them in leading. And the main thing it comes down to is friction. Residents will continue to stay until the pain of staying is greater than the pain of leaving. Amenities that improve their lives (rather than making things more of a hassle) will gradually become more and more of a priority. Are the community amenities available when the resident wants to use them (this includes odd hours)? Is rent payment easy? Is resident communication successful, both from and to the on-site team? All of these affect the way that residents perceive you apartment community when deciding to stay or go.
Does the Office Really Care?
Another element is the connection an apartment management team has with their residents. Residents need to have the observation that the apartment community team cares about them and their needs. This means a personal connection. Even when decisions are made that affect the entirety of residents, many will still see these as personal (either for them or against them). Personalizing resident experiences by remembering things like birthdays, anniversaries and other special events makes the level of personalization more authentic. However, many items can unknowingly detract away from the resident’s perception. Take package deliveries for example. The communities that are denying package delivery through the leasing office are sending a message that the safety of a resident’s delivery is not as important as saving their staff’s time. The competitor that does allow this becomes a more desirable option, especially for residents that receive a high volume of deliveries. Make sure that you are not sacrificing positive perceptions to save a few dollars or hours.
All of these factors greatly influence a prospect’s decision to move in or keep searching elsewhere. But, when you are providing the right mix of apartment offerings, conveniences and a caring perception, you too can win the Super Bowl of Apartments.