If you had told me in January that just a couple of months later I’d be constantly refreshing my Amazon account to see if there were any kettlebells available, I would have said, “What’s a kettlebell?” But also, “Why? You have a gym membership!”
(By the way, past Jessica, kettlebells are weights to do exercises, and don’t bother refreshing your Amazon, because they are still sold out.)
We’ve all had to adapt to changes caused by COVID-19 fears and stay-at-home orders. And some things might not go back to the way they were for a very long time, if ever.
In apartment communities, while traditional amenities such as pools or fitness centers are still popular, property managers have had to figure out ways to make sure they’re constantly sanitized and that residents are adhering to proper social distance procedures. Of course it’s good to market those amenities to prospects, but now might be the time to focus on new and different features at your community.
Here are some suggestions for amenities or perks renters are looking for during these crazy COVID times.
Contactless Entry/Smart Access: Apartments were already making the move to contactless entry and smart technologies. But now, instead of just being a cool feature, the ability to let people into their apartments via app or other technology is a huge selling point.
Discounts for DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc.: Going out to eat is a little stressful now. Do you put your mask on when you’re not eating? Was the table sanitized properly? Sometimes it’s easier to just stay home. But cooking can also be a pain, especially now in the summer when it’s so hot out. According to an Axios survey in May, the number of people ordering delivery has “steadily increased” during quarantine. So why not work with some of these services to work out a discount for renters who use them?
Parking Spaces: Does the apartment come with its own space, so the resident doesn’t have to drive around looking for parking and then make the masked hike back to their apartment? A guaranteed space for people in urban apartments would mean they don’t have to take a crowded bus or subway, or ride in an Uber where who knows when they last cleaned it? Who even likes doing that during normal circumstances? Driving and being able to park near their unit would sound very appealing now.
Outdoor Fitness Opportunities: Public gyms across different areas of the country have been closed for a while. Even in New York, where new cases of the virus have declined, gyms won’t open until the end of the month. In apartments, some communities have reopened their fitness centers. But, still, do people want to risk it? Outdoors just seems…safer. Plus, does your workout even count if other people don’t see it? If your community has an area where people can do exercise outside, if you’re offering outdoor yoga classes, or if you have walking paths near your building, now’s the time to highlight them.
Excellent Wi-Fi/Free Streaming Packages: Over the past five months and counting that I’ve been quarantining, I’ve watched, in no particular order: Tiger King, Hamilton, Palm Springs, Below Deck, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Unsolved Mysteries, The Floor is Lava, multiple Disney movies, Fargo the series, What We Do in the Shadows, Below Deck: Mediterranean…I really need to get my life in order. But anyway, consider offering a discount to a streaming service for your residents, they’ll definitely appreciate and make use of it. (And always offer excellent Wi-Fi, because it’s 2020, and this is crucial, especially as more people are working from home.)
Coworking Spaces: No matter how nice an apartment is, if you’re working from home and staying at home, and your roommate/spouse/partner/kids/extended family/pet is also there all the time, it won’t be long before you get cabin fever. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. If the community offers a coworking space, where people can get out of their apartments for a little bit, they’ll be more productive and not, you know, go crazy. Of course make sure you’re cleaning them frequently and that people are properly socially distanced. But the option to go out somewhere, anywhere, will be really appealing to renters.
What other amenities or renter perks should people be promoting? And, does anyone have any other Netflix suggestions for me? Post your comments on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @MHNOnline or @jfiur.