Life amidst a pandemic has rightfully altered many renters’ non-negotiables when it comes to apartment amenities. With stay-at-home orders in place for what has seemed to be the long haul, many once valued pre-COVID features have fallen second to more functional conveniences that allow multifamily residents to live, work, and play safely in one building–and they’re willing to pay for them. From access to reimagined outdoor spaces to smart technology, co-working areas and more–renters have spoken, and they want functionality, convenience and safety, moving forward.
If you take heed to these new trends, you’ll be well on your way to more attractive leads and more satisfied renters, which means less turnover and greater rewards for your bottom line. Here are five of the top requested amenities that are shaping up to take priority this year and in the foreseeable future.
As businesses closed their doors to abide by federal shelter-in-place guidelines, more and more residents set up shop inside of their dwelling. With the new influx of work-from-home tenants, many communities found themselves scrambling to boost their internet services. To maintain connections with family, friends and coworkers while abiding with health guidelines, many took to social media and video chat platforms. To appease boredom indoors, others indulged in movie streaming services, which required even faster connections and stronger bandwidth.
Moving forward, renters will prioritize high-speed internet and Wi-Fi services above other previously preferred amenities. In fact, in a recent survey, approximately 34% of respondents ranked Wi-Fi access as the top apartment feature, followed by 25% who noted that high-speed internet was their first preference.
Last year, properties were also left to brainstorm new and safe ways to perform standard leasing procedures, like showings, onboarding paperwork and more. To continue operations, many properties adopted contactless leasing in the form of smart locks, virtual video tours and social media livestreams. Additionally, to accommodate residents’ desires to separate from their units, others leveraged online apps that allowed residents to schedule designated time in common areas and gyms.
If technology was important pre-pandemic, it’s certainly essential now. Those who continue to utilize technology to uncover new and creative ways to improve convenience for residents for everyday activities will experience greater receptibility among tenants.
3. Outdoor spaces
Apart from remaining indoors, the only other safe alternative last year was to escape the confines of their four walls physically distanced under the sun. As a result, residents took advantage of available outdoor spaces to get a much-needed retreat paired with a little old-fashioned Vitamin D. Whether it is a rooftop deck, outdoor grilling area, or propane heaters, homebound residents have made it clear that they will enjoy a favorable and safely distanced outdoor setting now and likely in the future.
4. Co-working spaces
Some companies have adapted to the concept of teleworking more than others–so much so that they’ve converted entire teams online permanently. With more residents working from home long-term, the need for co-working spaces–within multifamily units and the community–will rise substantively. Implementing COVID-friendly workspaces, even post-pandemic, will be received as an asset among working tenants. Those who can accommodate shared and functional workspaces with high-speed Wi-Fi will improve the overall living experience at their properties in the new year and beyond.
5. Online portals
When the pandemic first stuck, it became challenging to remain up-to-date with the latest warnings and guidelines. Then, pushing the information out to residents in a timely manner became yet another hurdle. This is where online portals really took off in 2020 and are expected to remain a non-negotiable among tenants in the future. Empowering residents to check their portal for the latest property updates and to complete standard tasks like rent payments, scheduling maintenance requests or posing questions to the leasing staff was key to keeping them safe, eased and informed. When choosing a resident portal for your property, you’ll want to ensure that it’s functional, simple to use and integrates seamlessly with your existing property management software.
Rentbot can help.
Before you implement those physical amenties, you’ll want to ensure that you have a responsive, modern website to promote them on. That’s where we come in. Rentbot is committed to building and supporting property management websites specifically for small and mid-sized properties. We offer mobile-friendly site designs, built-in SEO packages, a conversion optimized layout and real-time availability for each of our turnkey sites. We also have your online portal needs covered. Through our efficient web systems, we give residents the ability to schedule maintenance requests, payments and chat with you in one location online.
We can help you set that stage for future success with your multifamily property going into 2021. Give your renters what they want in the new year–a top-notch rental experience. Start your free website trial today.
About the Author
Jonsette Calloway joined the Rentbot team in 2015. With a background in public relations, advertising, and copywriting, she has helped a multitude of clients achieve their marketing and communications goals within various fields, but she particularly enjoys working with the apartment industry.