The renters of today and tomorrow are expecting more from their home spaces. They are drawn to rentals that offer trendy urban amenities right in their immediate neighborhoods. Instead of settling into suburbs, these renters prefer to live right in the center of the nightlife—or even to entertain at home. Apartment managers who want to cater to these crowds need to focus on optimizing their spots to provide the convenience renters expect.
There are a lot of different reasons that renters prefer to stay close to home. They may be interested in the cost savings of having much of what they need within walking distance and of entertaining at home. They may be prioritizing an active, healthy urban lifestyle. They may even be looking for ways to cut their environmental impact by driving less. That’s why many multifamily renovation trends lean toward bringing the city to renters right there they live.
Understanding What Renters Want
When it comes to multifamily renovation trends, understanding what savvy renters look for is key. Consumers want all the convenience of living in an urban environment with none of the drawbacks. This all breaks down to one key aspect: walkability.
Renters want grocery stores, coffee shops, theaters, and more, all within a reasonable walk. Also, more than half of Americans don’t want to go out for entertainment. They may be looking to avoid parking hassles or finding a designated driver, or they may just be interested in building community around home. So, they’re looking for more attractive at-home options.
Of course, if the apartment complex isn’t conveniently located, it’s not possible to just pick it up and move it. Instead, managers need to find ways to revamp the area in and around their apartment complex to provide more of a community feel.
Renters may be looking to avoid parking hassles or finding a designated driver, or they may just be interested in building community around home.
From Complex to Community: Multifamily Renovation Trends
Establishing the amenities that renters demand in a community is crucial, but it’s not always easy. Essentially, there are three ways that apartment managers and owners can offer their tenants the walkability and convenience they seek:
#1: Elevate the Community to Appeal to Outside Investors
Apartment managers need to ensure that their communities are attractive enough so they can draw in other businesses. For example, getting a Whole Foods or Starbucks in an area tends to have a domino effect. Other companies see these locations and want to target the same area and its consumer base.
That means having an attractive and well-maintained exterior. Exterior paint choices are the first consideration. While it may be tempting to go with gray paint for the exterior due to its affordability and endurance, apartment managers should keep in mind that this often has a drab, utilitarian effect that makes an apartment complex look cheap and generic. Consider applying several colors to create a higher-end, on-trend look. Pairing a brighter red or blue with gray can immediately elevate a building and make it look more affluent with an urban feel.
Trendy renovations can signal investors that the community is thriving and worthy of further development.
Well-maintained landscaping is crucial as well. Adding shrubs, trees, and flower beds gives an area a manicured look that heightens its appeal. Managers should consider adding some of these features to outdoor seating areas and courtyards to create a polished exterior. These kinds of trendy renovations can signal investors that the community is thriving and worthy of further development.
#2: Add New Community Amenities
If it’s not possible to attract outside businesses to a community, managers should instead consider what amenities they can add on-site to improve the tenant experiences. One of the most obvious is a dog park. Adding a small dog park or pet run is a lower-cost way to improve a property and cater to urban pet owners.
Gyms are another feature that many tenants want easy access to. Having a place they can go to exercise without the need to drive is a major draw and can be extremely fast to roll out. Simply identifying a space and adding some machinery and weights will provide the community opportunity for fitness right on site.
Finally, it’s important to have a community gathering area where tenants can hold events. Many of today’s renters are interested in entertaining right at home and may be looking for those options when searching for an apartment in the first place. Offering a clubhouse with an available bar space and free music creates a place to congregate and socialize without the need to drive. Something simple like an empty wet bar that tenants can fill for an event and BOSE speakers with Bluetooth—which usually costs under $1000—can create a nightclub experience right in the tenant’s community.
By converting a complex into a community, managers can increase the appeal and the value of their property.
#3: Build Space for Community Partnerships
Finally, apartment managers and owners who want to bring amenities to their communities can seek out partnerships—by building space for shops, entertainment venues, and other commercial spaces and by seeking renters. This is a far more complex option than adding specific amenities, and it’s wise to get buy-in from potential partners prior to the endeavor. However, this can be extremely lucrative if executed correctly.
Essentially, it’s a way of turning an apartment building into a self-contained community that has all the things a tenant might need or want. It’s wise to start small, like with a simple coffee shop or convenience store, to test out demand before moving onto larger projects like movie theaters and bowling alleys. Managers will also need to research zoning requirements to ensure they’re allowed to build certain properties.
Today’s multifamily renovation trends are about being able to deliver convenience to tenants in their immediate neighborhood. By converting a complex into a community, managers can increase the appeal and the value of their property. The right upgrades, completed by an experienced California contractor, can help deliver the urban lifestyle today’s tenants want, regardless of their location.