There is a basic listing of what amenities renters want that are especially easy to add for apartment managers: Pools, gyms, playgrounds, and other active areas are all in high demand for California renters who lead healthy lifestyles.
Most multi-family complexes already offer some of these amenities. However, there are ways to take them to the next level and gain a competitive edge, as well as increase your tenant retention capabilities.
Some amenities in California are so common, they’re often expected by prospective renters. It’s no longer enough to simply have outdoor amenities like grill areas and swimming pools—you need to enhance them to gain renter attention quickly. In addition, there are a few amenities that are easy to add which allow managers to take advantage of current consumer demands.
Apartment managers with higher renovation budgets can reel in more discerning renters by elevating their complex with higher-end upgrades, while those who want to invest more conservatively can make small changes that yield impressive results.
What Amenities Do Renters Want? High, Moderate and Low Investments to Consider
About 31% of California’s population resides in multi-family apartments, so many developers target the area. As more apartments are developed to fill housing needs, competition will increase.
Eye-catching amenities can make or break occupancy rates. Landlords can make high-end investments that create a luxury feel and justify higher rent, or they can make a few small changes to enhance the atmosphere and improve renter retention.
Enhance Pools with Accessories
Pools can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 to install in California, so they may not be the most cost-effective upgrade for multi-family properties that lack one. However, with an estimated 1.8 million swimming pools in the state, the apartments that come without them are few and far between. As a result, pools may not stand out as much as other amenities unless there is something particularly special about them. There are several ways that apartment managers can enhance their community pools, and some of them are quite inexpensive to implement.
|Pool Amenities and Enhancements by Expense|
|Adding pool accessories like floats, pool noodles, water games, and sun loungers costs very little, but makes the pool space far more appealing. Buying these items is a quick option for improving the enjoyment of a community pool.||Water slides and diving boards are relatively easy to add for most inground pools, and the updates are often complete in only a few hours. This makes it easy to heighten the fun factor at the pool without major disruptions.||Landlords can establish a luxury feel to their pool areas by adding things like hot tubs, pool bars, and underwater speakers. These high-end additions help apartment communities stand out from the rest and draw in the very best, long-term tenants.|
Provide Total Wellness with an Onsite Gym
Gyms are a great way to add value to an apartment complex, as they are among the top amenities renters look for when weighing their options. They’re also low cost, as the most basic gym is simply a $2500 investment when adding a few machines with some weights. Apartment managers can improve these offerings even more with some basic additions.
|Fitness Amenities and Enhancements by Expense|
|Yoga mats and exercise balls are particularly attractive additions these days, as about 20 million Americans report doing yoga. These inexpensive tools immediately elevate the gym for those users. (Don’t forget the cleaning spray!)||About 45% of renters report they’d be willing to pay higher rent if fitness classes were offered at their complex. Apartment managers can consider hiring someone part-time to lead these classes, or collaborate with a teacher in the area.||Running trails and tracks are great options for managers who want to appeal to fitness buffs and enhance their landscaping. While these options aren’t extremely expensive, they require a lot of spare space, which puts them in the higher-end range.|
Offer Pet-Focused Additions
U.S. pet industry spending will reach about $75 billion in 2019, so it’s reasonable to assume pet amenities will continue to be in high demand. Having a pet-friendly community is the first step to catering to this demand, but managers can capitalize on it even more by providing resources that help owners pamper their pets.
|Pet-Friendly Amenities and Enhancements by Expense|
|Dog parks and pet runs can be easily established in an apartment community with minimal disruption. These are especially appealing in metro areas where tenants may not have a nearby place to walk their pets.||Doggie pools are growing in popularity for pet owners who want to offer their dogs some relief on hot days. Installing one inside a dog park allows apartment managers to offer an additional amenity to pet owners and create an even more pet-friendly atmosphere.||Pet grooming parlors and spas allow owners to take care of their pets’ hygiene needs without messing up their bathroom or getting pet hair all over their apartments. Providing areas with pet baths, grooming tables, and other tools is a major benefit to renters as it allows them to save money on high-cost grooming services.|
Gauging How Much to Invest in Amenities and Upgrades
Deciding between low, mid-range, and high-level upgrades is a matter of gauging the competition. Apartment managers should see what other multi-family dwellings in the area provide and try to stay ahead. Keep in mind that higher-end amenities are also ideal for managers who’d like to justify rental increases and draw in more affluent renters.
Another option to determine what amenities renters want is to discuss potential upgrades with a contractor that specializes in multi-family dwellings. These individuals will understand the needs of the market and be best prepared to suggest the features which offer the highest ROI. By meeting with someone with specialized knowledge, apartment managers can elevate their complex and gain a competitive edge in the housing market.
REIG Construction can help guide you to the best amenity upgrades to maximize your ROI and enhance your tenant’s living space. To gain a greater understanding of what amenities renters want, contact us.