3 Amenities Nobody Wants Anymore

With most of the incoming supply catering to high-income renters, property owners and managers should focus on amenities renters truly appreciate. This will set properties apart and ensure long-term leases.

A recent Yardi Matrix study based broadly on population growth and homeownership trends found that multifamily deliveries may outpace demand in some of the top 30 U.S. metros over the next two years. In 2016 and 2017, more than 600,000 units were delivered, and a similar amount is expected to come online this year and in 2019. Are developers overbuilding? That is yet to be seen. However, one thing is for sure: The great majority of the stock being added is geared toward the high-end market, which is causing a lot of competition for residents.

When deciding where to rent or buy, amenities are one of the main aspects that residents take into account. They are also one of the most expensive investments for developers and property owners. With construction costs only going up, it is vital to know which amenities are worth investing in. Do they really attract or retain residents? Have they become overrated? Are they genuinely useful?

According to last year’s National Multifamily Housing Council/Kingsley Associates report on renter preferences, these are among the top amenities: reliable cell reception, secure parking and amenity access, a swimming pool and a fitness center. This means some of the most common indoor and outdoor amenities—which aren’t cheap to build, buy or maintain—are just unnecessary expenses for property owners or developers. You might want to rethink investing in the following three amenities.

The expendables

  1. In a recent wnycstudios.com article, food industry analyst Eddie Yoon concluded that 90 percent of Americans either hate cooking or are unenthusiastic about it. So unless you are renting your apartment to the world’s most decorated Michelin Star chefs, double ovens are redundant. Even if they do cook, Americans prefer fast food or something that can be served in less than 10 minutes.
  2. Another amenity that residents rarely use in the technology era is the business center. Fax machines are long gone, and who needs printers when everything happens online? With more residents working from home, there is an increased desire for flexibility in community and coworking spaces, so that space would make a great area that caters to connectivity, with seating lounges and coffee kiosks. The same space could become an attractive media room, with smartphone-ready entertainment systems.
  3. In 2018, renters prefer anything that makes life easier through technology. Installing surveillance and security cameras fosters a secure living environment and deters strangers from trespassing. Therefore, having a 24/7 doorman is no longer something that entices renters to the property.