By Philip Shea, Associate Editor
This month, MHN once again teamed up with research and consulting services firm Kingsley Associates to pinpoint the most appreciated aspects of a popular amenity: in-house fitness facilities. While providing and maintaining a gym at your apartment communities may prove expensive in the short-term, the competitive edge cannot be overstated. Residents very often opt to pay more in rent if this amenity is provided, which should not be surprising considering the savings from not having to purchase an off-property gym membership. But, in order to keep residents happy, your fitness facilities must be properly cleaned and maintained, as well as accessible. Make sure the location and operating hours are convenient for residents wishing to use them.
“My biggest problems are with parking—and the gym. With the gym, it’s never open on the weekends, and it’s supposed to be.” —Little Rock, Ark.
“It would be nice to have internet coverage in the fitness center. There is hardly any mobile coverage, so it’s important to at least have strong internet WiFi.” —San Mateo, Calif.
“The gym is way too small in comparison to the number of apartments on this property. Two to three people max is all that it really can accommodate at one time. Also, most of the time, one of the few machines that are available is broken and it seems to take a long time for the machines to get fixed.” —Long Beach, Calif.
“Overall [my community] has been a terrific place to live. I find the 24-hour fitness center an invaluable resource, and the staff are always a pleasure.” —Denver
“I needed to restart my exercise program, but I had to stop because of how hot it was kept in the equipment room. It’s not healthy to have an exercise room in the 70’s-degree area.” —Lauderhill, Fla.
“Gym should be open to renters 24/7. People who work late hours or early mornings can’t use it because it’s closed.” —Lawrenceville, Ga.
“The fitness center may as well not be here. Items are broken for months on end, and there is very limited equipment. I would be willing to pay more in rent and get rid of my gym membership if it were worth it.” —Hermitage, Tenn.
“I don’t think you should have to pay extra to use the fitness room. That should be part of the rent payments. And I think there should be more than one fitness room.” —Houston
“I would love to see the fitness area upgraded. I have used it a few times, but the lack of useful equipment has kept me from going back. A free weight bench, squat rack and dumbells would definitely make the fitness area a better and more practical option for the residents.” —Warner Robbins, Ga.
“The gym NEEDS a bathroom.” —Seattle
Resident feedback from Kingsley Associates.