In the real estate development industry, it has always been important to differentiate. This goes for exterior and interior finishes, location, design, etc. As of late, this has extended to differentiation in terms of community amenities.
What a potential resident expects as a standard at their home has changed over the past few years. Things such as a pool and fitness center on-site, for example, may have been important five years ago. Now, things like smart home features (smart locks, thermostats, and package lockers) are considered status quo. Fitness centers have evolved into spaces containing interactive equipment (like a Peloton bike or a fitness Mirror), with accessibility throughout the property via smartphone app. When it comes to closing a lease, potential renters are far more selective in terms of what their future home can offer.
Another consideration is the size of a community clubhouse. In years past, these were constructed with large, open spaces, big community kitchens and lots of soft seating. Recently, renters have gone away from spending time in a community space, preferring to spend their free time in their own home. Because of this, the team has turned existing clubhouses into co-working centers for those who want the convenience of working from “home,” while being able to escape their space. Rather than an open community, we’ve explored unique vending options that include home-goods (like paper towels and cleaning equipment) to give residents the convenience of a store without having to leave their home.
Finally, we know that the majority of residents have pets in their homes. Dog runs and pet yards have become standard, and any missing pet accommodations have now become a deal breaker when choosing one community over another. Subsequently, in addition to standard outdoor spaces, we have implemented the concept of self-wash pet spas and dog-walking services available to all residents.
When choosing amenities for a new development (or a newly acquired property), the APS team has created a process that starts with space planning and determination of allocated resources. In addition, our designers choose updated fixtures, colors and products that make spaces look and feel luxurious, while also being affordable.
Our number one priority for amenities is innovation. When it comes to choosing amenities, we take (and recommend) the following steps:
- Constantly educate yourself
- Our team members subscribe to multiple publications and newsletters in order to learn about trends in amenities.
- Keep tabs on your competition
- When possible, APS will visit other properties, meet with other members of our industry, and keep an eye on social media materials that are posted by like-companies.
- Research the “hottest and coldest” markets
- We believe that you can learn as much from unsuccessful, stagnant markets as you can from busy, successful ones. Taking the time to look at both what is working and what isn’t can help save time in the long run.
Hear more about our thoughts on the importance of innovation in amenities on our podcast via the link: https://bit.ly/3t06CRG