What do you think of when you hear the following list: spacious floor plans, luxurious swimming pools, and Wi-Fi? If you said ‘amenities,’ you are correct. If you said ‘what renters want,’ you are incorrect. Shocked? The truth is, while these amenities are desirable to tenants, the list of what tenants look for in a property has grown considerably over just the last couple of years.
As Millennials continue to add to the population of today’s renter profile, we see an evolution in property requirements that more closely aligns with the values, beliefs, and preferences of this generation. These youngsters value community over personal space, giving over taking, and the environment over personal effects—all of which are reflected in today’s rental amenity trends.
A recent Multifamily Executive article defines this trend, to include examples of the lengths to which certain properties are going to capitalize on these trends. This includes:
- Community gardens where residents can enjoy locally-sourced foods, working with their hands, making a contribution, and even giving to those who are less fortunate.
- Communal spaces where residents can come together to mix, mingle, cook, eat, and more.
- Learning opportunities, such as onsite cooking, art, and exercise classes.
- Roof-top living, to include space for swimming, meeting, relaxing, and even gardening.
- Pet-friendly focus, with spaces and activities designed for four-legged tenants.
- Environmentally-friendly and fit-focused transportation, such as custom bike racks.
And, why not? The article notes that “amenities have grown in popularity so much over the past decade that renters will opt for smaller units if they feel they can make up for the loss of personal space by spending time using well-designed community spaces.”
The key is to remember that you don’t need an astronomical budget to pull off some of these ideas. A creative look at your existing resources and space is all that’s needed. Have a common area in the front office? Consider offering onsite classes. Have a common outdoor area that’s safe and easily accessible? A community garden may be just what your property needs. Remember: creativity is key.