I’ve been saying it for years: if someone could figure out a way to bottle and sell San Diego’s weather, they’d be billionaires.
San Diego has an average of 263 sunny days. I know people who bike every day, others who host outdoor movie nights, and even a few who eat dinner on their back patios exclusively. But apartments make up for 29% of all housing in San Diego, and unfortunately, most apartment-dwellers don’t have yards. This leaves tenants bummed out by their lack of time outdoors, which can lead to dissatisfaction with their buildings.
The most successful multifamily property owners will respond by creating communal outdoor spaces that have been proven to offer great returns in the form of more new tenants and stronger tenant retention. But to stand out in the rental market, you have to get creative. Here are some ideas to get you started.
An Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area
An outdoor cooking area, complete with barbeque grill, counter space, dual sinks, and flat top griddle, makes an amazing addition to a multifamily property. It gives renters an alternative to their own kitchens, and it’s a perfect opportunity to use high-end finishes and products to add a sense of luxury and style.
Select low-maintenance materials and equipment that can stand the rigors of the elements. Stainless steel cleans easily and provides a sanitary surface that’s corrosion-resistant, while porous materials like limestone should be avoided. If you want a natural stone, granite is a great choice. Even though it requires sealing on a regular basis, there are lots of colors and finishes out there to choose from.
It’s also a smart idea to incorporate some shade trees, pergolas, or awnings in both the cooking and dining areas, and come wintertime, a few patio heaters will be a nice touch.
Lastly, keep the utilities in mind. When you’re planning the layout, you have to consider practical placements for the necessary gas, water, and electrical supplies.
If you don’t have space for an outdoor dining area on the ground floor, consider a rooftop deck. Rooftop decks are quickly becoming one of the most coveted amenities hitting the multifamily market today. In a place like San Diego, they make the perfect spot to enjoy an al fresco meal, watch summer sunsets, or host movie nights.
Now, it’s one thing to add railings to your rooftop and call it a deck. But it’s a whole other thing to include additions like a built-in bar, a gazebo, TVs for watching sporting events, fire pits or grilling areas, and even hot tubs and pools. Sure, the expense can be considerable, but residents will often pay significantly more to live in a building with this type of feature, which offers a sense of luxury and more living space. In fact, one expert says that increasing rent by 20 cents per square foot should lead to a one-year return on investment. So it’s good for renters and owners alike.
On-Site Dog Parks
Outdoor space isn’t just for humans. Don’t neglect your renters’ furry little friends, because one report claims that more than 70% of apartment renters own pets. So it’s no surprise then that dog-friendly amenities are the most requested feature nationwide from renters. Pet-friendly offerings like an on-site park will make your tenants scramble to sign the lease.
But you’ll want more than an open patch of grass. Really emphasize the dog park with tunnels and a wading pool, tables for pet owners to sit at and socialize, and free treats in canisters. You can even kick it up a notch by including a pet grooming facility and pet concierge services (yes, it’s a real thing).
REIG Can Help You Upgrade Your Property
These are important renovations so you need to choose a company that has the expertise to help you from start to finish. At REIG Construction, we have over 120 years of trusted experience. With all our years in the business, we’ve helped property owners like you create wonderful outdoor living spaces here in San Diego and beyond. We know what to do and how to do it so your current tenants aren’t displaced or disrupted. Give us a call today and let REIG Construction turn your renovation dreams into a reality.