In today’s competitive market, having apartment amenities that are relevant and in high demand are becoming increasingly important. As renters are looking for more convenience and comfort, many building owners are often challenged to keep up with the latest trends and which amenities may bring best returns on their investment. Afterall, in the past, having a swimming pool and a gym would satisfy most of the renters perpetually. These days, however, with the rise of technology and home-based activities, the landscape of the renters’ needs and expectations seems to be shifting and expanding ever so rapidly. While some of the more traditional amenities that used to dominate the market diminish in value, others make their way to the top of today’s renters’ lists. In this article we cover top three apartment amenities that are gaining popularity and relevance in 2023.
“Smart” Home Technology
Smart home technology is becoming increasingly important in people's lives, as it allows them to control their homes more conveniently and efficiently. Smart home technology can be used to control lighting, air conditioning, kitchen appliances, security systems, home entertainment and more. As the apartment communities compete, most property owners are discovering that much of this technology is becoming a necessity their prospective renters. It is now more common to see a Nest thermostat or a Yale smart lock in an apartment during a leasing tour. Moreover, many renters expect larger communities to have smart package lockers or on-demand services like ride sharing and dog walking. Developers are also quickly realizing that to provide smart apartment homes, they must deliver an infrastructure to support connectivity. Smart HVAC systems and IoT devices are often built into the properties to provide efficiency and seamless resident experience.
Community Live-Work Areas
When renting an apartment, more renters are now looking for community engagement based around indoor and outdoor activities and entertainment. This trend is closely related to the growing population of renters working from home. Many of the developers now focus on the community amenities with various functionalities and ample seating areas. Amenities such as game rooms, rooftop decks, and outdoor gyms have been increasingly popular. With the popularity of co-working, more apartment communities now offer shared work spaces in the forms of resident lounges, conference rooms and business centers. Additionally, these types communal community amenities provide the renters invaluable opportunities to build new friendships and expand business networks.
The number of renters with pets in the US has been rapidly growing. According to a 2023 survey from American Pet Products Association (1), 66% of US households own a pet. Millennials made up the largest percentage of current pet owners at 33%, followed by Gen X at 25%. Yet, many property owners dismiss this growing market, often seeing pets as potential risk for property damage and lawsuits. More landlords, however, capitalizing on this growing market while instituting reasonable pet fees and deposits, and implementing pet policies that are easily enforced and followed. To attract responsible pet owners, many communities offer conveniently located dog runs and relief areas well-stocked pet waste bag stations. Some of the larger communities offer pet playgrounds and spas to make for even a more comfortable experience. Many operators partner up with local pet grooming and dog walking services; some even offer pet concierge services to maintain a competitive edge.
With the popularity of streaming media, smart home devices and mobile services, over 90% of renters value fast and reliable internet connectivity as a top amenity and a must to any apartment community.
Green spaces, such as rooftop gardens and outdoor courtyards, are becoming increasingly popular and can provide tenants with an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
While on-site laundry facilities are becoming smarter and more convenient, many renters are shifting towards in-unit washers and dryers, and are willing to pay more for it.
While on-site parking remains to be important in most markets, a growing number of renters prefer to use ride-sharing services.
In a recent study by Les Mills (2), Gen Z and Millennials made up 80% of all gym goers. 85% of all gym members also now do workouts at home. As result, increasing number of renters demand robust on-site fitness amenities to support their active lifestyles.
- Reference: American Pet Products Association (2023-2024) https://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp
- Reference: Les Mills study https://www.lesmills.com/us/clubs-and-facilities/research-insights/audience-insights/generation-active-the-80-your-club-cant-ignore/