5 New (and Inexpensive!) Ideas to Appeal to Renters Who Work From Home

Need inspiration to attract residents who WFH? Here are some ideas.

Editor-in-Chief Jessica Fiur

COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency. And that means the pandemic is officially over.

But of course, some things have been forever changed. Teleconferences—and even telehealth appointments—are now the norm. Many restaurants have given up paper menus and have moved fully to QR codes. And, I don’t know about all of you, but I will now always keep an emergency supply of toilet paper, just in case.

One big thing that has changed is that more people are working from home, either full time or on a hybrid schedule. For multifamily operators, this means changes in both communal amenity spaces and in apartments.

There are many things that property managers are doing to appeal to renters who need to work from home. In fact, the MHN Executive Council members had some suggestions. Mary Cook, president of Mary Cook Associates is adding “private pocket spaces” to communities to help boost people’s productivity. And Daniel Ford, director of asset & property management of The Clear Blue Company, and Christine Gustafson, vice president of marketing & public relations at The Breeden Co., both stressed the importance adding more USB ports.

Want more ways to appeal to renters who work from home? Here are five ideas. And, bonus, they’re all easy (and mostly inexpensive) to implement.

Have strong Wi-Fi. This is crucial for people to do work. Actually, it’s crucial for everyone to just exist now, and I’m only sort of joking there. Having it will entice potential renters. Not having it will scare away most people. Choose your path wisely.

Offer printers. While people don’t print as much as they used to because of tech advances, and while printers aren’t the most flashy amenity, printers are still necessary for a lot of jobs. A printer in the business center could be a big draw for residents who work from home (plus, for some reason, home printers always seem to run out of magenta ink and then won’t print, even though no one even uses magenta in anything!).

Make residents comfortable—but not too comfortable. In your common areas where you think people might want to work to get away from their apartments, make sure you have some comfortable desk chairs. That means adding some seating beyond super soft couches or armchairs, so that people will be able to be productive (and not take a nap).

Clearly communicate about construction. In the before times, I remember working in the office one day when all of a sudden, I saw a head outside my window. This was surprising because I usually didn’t see anyone outside my window, mostly because we were on the 21st floor. Turns out it was a window washer, and not Superman, like I had hoped. But it was very distracting! And that was quiet. When there was actual construction going on in the building, no one in the office could make calls or focus on their work. If you are going to have work done at the apartment community during business hours (or any time, really) let residents know so they can make plans to work in a coffee shop or go into their offices.

Cookies

Try to do your work without these. You can’t! It’s literally impossible. Photo credit: Lisa Fotios via Pexels.com

Have snacks. This is probably the most important suggestion. It is impossible to get work down without snacks. This is a fact, and I will not be taking further questions about this at this time. Put out individually wrapped snacks in your business center or other common areas. Residents who are working there will appreciate it, and those who are working from their apartments will be tempted out of their bedrooms to the common areas to interact. Bonus points if you put out different snacks every day.

How are you appealing to renters who work from home? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Send a tweet to @MHNOnline or @jfiur, or send me a message on LinkedIn.

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