This blog is Part II in our series on amenities that promise ROI. To read Part I of this series click here!
Package Delivery and Mail Services
One of the most noticeable and rapidly growing consequences of digitally-connected residents is package delivery and mail services. Companies such as Amazon have revolutionized the online shopping industry, giving consumers virtually unlimited access to everything they need and more. The sheer volume of daily package deliveries has led some apartment complexes to opt out of accepting packages altogether. Other apartments realize the value that residents place on being able to have packages delivered and are tackling the problem by working with vendors who have developed innovative solutions.
Luxer One is one of the most notable companies currently providing a comprehensive package delivery solution. The system consists of digitally-interactive lockers that automatically notify residents when they receive a package. Using a custom code, residents have 24/7 access to their lockers for convenient pick-up.
The goal is to allow carriers to oversee the package delivery process from start to finish and remove all responsibility from property managers (although they will still have access). This alone serves as a return on investment by allowing management to focus on the core competencies of property management. When it comes to long-term ROI, developers are left to balance the on-going benefit with the sacrifice of space and upfront costs.
A key component of investing in larger-scale amenities is the hope of creating community in apartment buildings. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is through larger, more interactive spaces—rooftop terraces to be specific. To some degree, resident amenities like pools, gardens, and tanning areas have come to be expected.
In our Student Housing Spotlight Amenity Blog, we focus on the University of Oregon’s Hub on Campus, which boasts a heated pool, sand volleyball court, fire pit, indoor & outdoor lounge areas, gaming cabana, and stargazing telescope. This is a perfect example of successfully expanding rooftop amenities to create a communal space, allowing residents to go beyond the confines of their rooms and meet one another.
Mark Humphreys, CEO of Dallas-based Humphreys & Partners Architects, has witnessed first-hand the benefits of investing in these spaces. He is confident that “if you don’t have a rooftop amenity, then you just lost revenue.” The most significant return from these developments comes in the form of higher retention rates, but property managers are also realizing returns in price per square foot. Residents are willing to spend more when they know that they will have access to all of these amenities, conveniently positioned beneath scenic skyline views.
Bike Storage and Maintenance
Bike amenities are surfacing in a variety of forms, from hourly rental stations to custom-installation bikewalls in an individual residence. For some residents, bike amenities are an integral part of the urban life rather than an add-on, especially in bike-friendly cities such as Seattle. This shift in transportation needs has presented an opportunity to use bike amenities as a way to attract residents and an ancillary source of revenue.
Simple additions to properties such as bike storage facilities are an easy way to support residents who rely on bikes to get around. At 300 Ivy in San Francisco, a property by David Baker, large wooden barn doors conceal a spacious bike storage facility on the ground level. In addition to storage, 300 Ivy offers necessary space and tools for residents to work on bike repairs and maintenance. Similar to other amenities, the return on investment is realized in higher retention rates, and maintaining a competitive advantage.
In other cases, residents are less invested in biking culture, but still want to be able to enjoy the benefits. This solution has come in the form of on-demand bike rentals. Bruce Percelay, chairman of The Mount Vernon Company in Boston, says that the bike sharing stations located at his buildings are some of the most used in the city. These rental services provide the bike friendly experience that resident are seeking and provide an additional opportunity to become more integrated with the surrounding community.
Staying up-to-date with trends in amenities is a demanding job. As trends continue to change, a flexible and innovative approach is the best way to create a return on investment and value-add for residents.
More on Multifamily Trends:
- Micro Units: Are They Viable?
- How Milennial Trends Are Driving Multifamily Development
- A Property Manager's Spring To-Do List