Updated: Jan 9
No matter where your multifamily property is located, whether it’s Texas, California, Florida or smack dab in the middle of Iowa, you have to differentiate your property in order to give it a unique identity. There are many ways to do set your property apart that would give prospective tenants a sense that your property is special.
Why is this necessary? If you’re in a market that has competing properties, you have the answer. Every property offers the same key draw: a place to live. The property may be a little newer, or the apartments are a little larger, or one has a pool while another one doesn’t - but no matter what the unique feature is, the property has to offer something that’s different.
I’ve put together what I feel are unique amenities that you could offer to help set your property apart. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, you just have to be creative and implement them properly.
Amenity #1: Adding a Co-Working Space
Since more and more Millennials are renting apartments instead of buying single-family homes, it stands to reason that offering an amenity that appeals to that target market would make sense. Many Millennials are tech-oriented or they’re professionals that have the opportunity to work from home or telecommute several days each week.
Instead of working out of their apartment, many find a co-working space a lot more enjoyable. Co-working spaces are simply areas set aside where there are desks, chairs, couches, conference tables and usually an espresso machine, where individuals come together to work, yet they generally have nothing professionally connected to one another.
It doesn’t take much to set up a co-working space at a multifamily property. Many owners are taking a portion of the clubhouse and putting in the required desks, chairs and tables. Some provide a fax machine, copier and printer, but the cost has dropped so low it’s now less than $100 for an all-in-one machine. The only other addition is Wi-Fi. Tenants bring in their own computers and go to work.
At some properties, the co-working space is free to tenants, while others charge tenants for using the space. Still other property owners open the space to non-tenants and charge a small fee to use it. There are apps available to schedule space/time in the co-working space, and users are encouraged to reserve a spot so that nobody is disappointed when they get there. Properties that allow outsiders or charge their tenants have a new ancillary revenue stream that was initially unexpected.
Amenity #2: Smart Home Technology
Millennials and other renters who are environmentally conscious are looking more and more to “green” apartment communities as well as technologically advanced spaces. They want all the smart home technology that’s available and are willing to pay for having it.
What is smart technology? Simply stated, it’s using available technology to make the living space more safe, more secure and often more economical. For environmentally conscious tenants, it also provides an opportunity to use less energy.
The place to start is usually on the wall, with a smart thermostat. The biggest selling one is from Nest, called the Nest Learning Thermostat, and it has been around since 2011. Using it controls the temperature in the living areas using an integrated app, as well as Amazon Echo or Google Home devices.