With the evolution of technology and the demand for the latest features from residents, the apartment industry is forced to examine its offerings and step up its game.
The future of resident amenities is a hot topic in rental housing today. Traditionally, community amenities have been placed in silos in two areas, community-wide amenities and unit-specific features. Operators must start adding a third area of amenities, in the form of services, according to the panelists in The Future of Resident Amenities session at NAA’s Apartmentalize.
Victor Aguilar, Director of Operations at Carbon Thompson Multifamily Management, says keeping up with technology is vital to success.
“Amenities need to evolve with technology. More and more properties are doing it, and if you don’t, you will fall behind. We have tried to stay ahead of that curve, with keyless locks and Nest thermostats.”
A study conducted by Valet Living resulted in a variety of key findings that rental housing providers can pull from when implementing new technologies and service-based amenities.
- Pet care has the biggest usage potential from a resident’s perspective.
- Home cleaning can work well as an anchor service.
- The level of comfort each resident has granting access to their home varies depending on the type of service and age groups of the resident.
- Offering a range of services on a single app is valuable to the resident.
- The age of the resident has minimal impact on the type of service preferred and the usage amount.
- The users who are willing to pay a premium also showed a higher level of comfort when granting access to their homes.
According to Tasha Krawiec, Vice President of Property Operations at BH Management Services, these data are in line with what they have been noticing at their communities as well. “Over the last few years, people have been willing to pay for comfort and convenience,” she says. “But we have to make sure we are doing things that set us apart, and we have to stay relevant and future-proof through demographic shifts.”
Staying relevant is the key to success for rental housing operators. Dr. Angelina Lee from AHL Consulting and a market research expert had some advice for this industry in how to evaluate certain tech trends in service-based amenities.
“From a researcher perspective, technology is the application of scientific knowledge to practical everyday tasks,” she says. “It drives people’s acceptance of technology when it makes life easy,” she says.
Dr. Angelina Lee also says there are four Cs that need to be considered:
- Control – we can order a meal or a walk for my pet at any time?
- Convenience – I don’t have to leave my home, I can just push a button.
- Choice – I have all these choices.
- Community – we are building a community with these apps.