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How to Choose the Best Amenities for an Apartment Community

Best Apartment Amenities

Digested from “Amenity Envy: How Much is Too Much?” in Property Management Insider (9/8/16) by Lyman, Guy

While not every apartment community is going to offer its residents on-demand Botox, the cost-benefit analysis for which amenities to offer is important.

Stacey McLoughlin, an interior designer who has worked on more than 450 corporate and commercial properties on the West Coast, says the top five amenities in today’s apartment communities are outdoor living spaces, 24-hour gyms, outdoor theaters, rooftop decks and golf simulators.

The top four seem like no-brainers, but what about the golf simulator? How many residents at an apartment community will see that as a benefit? It will depend on the community population. For each amenity, apartment communities must amortize the cost over the amenity’s lifespan to determine the per-unit cost. Will residents pay that amount as a premium in rent to receive that amenity?

Things to consider when estimating the costs of amenities include upkeep (high for pools, hot tubs and saunas) and whether additional insurance will be needed (likely with a dog park or a spa).

Some amenities, such as package locker systems and pet-washing stations, can be offered at an additional charge, becoming a revenue stream for the property and allowing residents to opt out of paying for things they won’t use.

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