You know it’s the start of the festive season when your pants begin feeling a bit more snug and holiday decorations start cropping up around your neighborhood. But just because the holidays are upon us doesn’t mean it’s time for multifamily owners to relax entirely. In fact, winter is the ideal time to start thinking about how you can get your apartment ready for summer. It may seem too soon, but one of the trends I noticed this year was the rise in popularity of outdoor amenities, and expanding what you offer your residents can be a very wise investment.
Swimming pools have always been popular, but lately, owners have started exploring other ways to let their residents enjoy LA’s 250+ days of sunshine. Not only is rain in Los Angeles becoming even more rare than ever, shrinking apartment sizes are causing tenants to assign more importance to the communal and outdoor spaces available when looking to rent. The right outdoor facilities won’t just make your multifamily more attractive to prospective renters, they may boost retention rates, too. Outdoor amenities are an excellent way to encourage your tenants to interact with each other, which can help foster a stronger sense of community and make everyone feel at home. Here are some ways to make the most out of your multifamily’s outdoor spaces:
Cook Up a Storm With Outdoor Eating Areas
Whether it’s steaks or s’mores, if there’s one thing we love in LA, it’s al fresco dining. But for many renters, living in an apartment can make enjoying dinner outside difficult or darn near impossible. Not anymore, however. Outdoor kitchen and living spaces are quickly becoming some of hottest amenities today. Many multifamily owners are now going beyond outdoor seating by taking the entire kitchen outside, as well. And it’s not just the barbecue that has its place. So, too, do:
- Pizza ovens
When creating your dining area, make sure to choose durable materials that are easy to clean—stainless steel is always a good option. It’s sensible to install kitchen facilities under cover of some sort, should rain come unexpectedly when residents are cooking. And don’t forget about lighting, too. Sensored lighting may be a great burglary deterrent, but tenants hardly want to be standing up every five minutes to switch the lights back on when they’re trying to eat. Instead, consider installing lights on the ground or use dimmer switches to allow residents to create the right ambiance.
Put On A Show With an Outdoor Cinema
While this isn’t for everyone, an outdoor cinema is a great way to bring residents together and promote a sense of community. It doesn’t have to break the bank, either; it can actually be as simple or as high-tech as you want.
For a simple, budget movie theater that can be added to almost any multifamily, buy a projector and install a drop down projection screen on the outside of your apartment building. Or, if your multifamily is white already, forget about the projection screen entirely. Seating can come in the form of comfy bean bags or low lounge chairs—both cost-effective options.
For those wanting to kick it up a notch, the quality of the projector and where it is installed can make a significant difference. Ideally, it should be mounted high enough that people standing up don’t cover the projection, but low enough to be easily adjusted when needed. Hidden, surround sound speakers can also be added to your landscape garden to help create the perfect cinema experience. And of course, plush, weather-resistant seating will also help bring the big screen to the great outdoors.
Win Residents Over With Outdoor Games
Nothing says “family-friendly” like an apartment complex with a dedicated outdoor games area. This can be an enticing attraction for a family with young children who are looking to rent whilst they save up to buy a house. This area can be as traditional as a kid’s playground with swings and slides, or, you can bring a simple playground into the 21st century with activities that children and adults can both enjoy. Cornhole, anyone?
I recommend devoting a section of your multifamily’s outdoor space to these activities. It doesn’t have to anything fancy, just a grassy area, or an artificially-turfed area for those looking to save watering costs as well as the environment. There are loads of games you can purchase for relatively cheap that will keep residents entertained for hours. Try out the following:
- Life-sized Connect 4
- Giant Jenga
- Dingle Ball
- Lawn Twister
But it’s not just what to play that you have to bear in mind, it’s where you’re going to store these games, as well. This doesn’t have to be fancy—building a shed or installing an outdoor storage unit will work perfectly. Just be sure to use a keyless lock that will let tenants access the games at any time, without having to worry about where they put the key.
Make a Splash With a Swimming Pool
This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of swimming pools. The benefits of a swimming pool in LA are many, and upgrading your current pool area is a smart idea. If use of your pool area has dried up a bit, consider installing the following:
- Waterslides for kids (and—who are we kidding—adults too!)
- Waterfalls for a spa-like look
- A hot-tub for those who’d rather relax
- An in-pool bar to complement your new outdoor dining area
- Underwater speakers
Alternatively, spruce up your poolside area with new landscaping or introduce new seating and sun loungers that let residents soak up the LA sunshine in style. Making even just a few of these changes can revitalize your pool area and make it the most popular destination at your complex.
Summertime is Just Around the Corner
It may seem like the warmer months are still eons away, but this is precisely the reason to start thinking about how to upgrade your multifamily for it now. These renovations don’t happen overnight, and by starting early in the New Year, we can ensure the grounds of your apartment complex are ready to make the most of LA’s gorgeous summer weather in 2017. Kick things off by speaking to one of our experts over the phone today, or by filling out the form below.