Common Areas

What features and services appeal to residents and prospects?

This month, MHN teamed up with research and consulting services firm Kingsley Associates for resident feedback on common areas such as lobbies, hallways and parking garages. The importance of common areas to resident retention cannot be overstated. The old adage that first impressions leave an indelible mark may apply even more to prospective residents than to residents, as these individuals are scoping out a future home. The degree of organization and cleanliness, the furniture and decor and services like package acceptance and concierge can make a tremendous difference in terms of making a prospect feel comfortable and more likely to decide to explore the community.

Resident feedback from Kingsley Associates.

“The community lacks visitor parking. It is inconvenient to have to go all the way down to the garage to open the garage door to every incoming visitor.” —Bellevue, Wash.

“Package acceptance is a huge concern for me. If the front office isn’t currently equipped to handle this, then a renovation needs to occur.” —Houston

“I find the trash/general level of uncleanliness in the hallways [and] parking lot unappealing. The management may want to consider installing garbage cans near the elevators to alleviate the amount of junk people leave around.” —Austin, Texas

“I’m surprised to see that there aren’t any smoking restrictions or designated smoking areas. No one wants to inhale second hand smoke.” —Suwanee, Ga.

“The lobby needs to be renovated. Furniture is unusable to sit on and there is no secure place to leave items for pick up or delivery.” —New York

“I think there should be hotel carts in the lobby so that tenants can use them to bring things up to their unit.” —Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“As soon as people enter the building, they are impressed by the fantastic lobby. But many people have passed by our main entryway because they assumed it was only a side entrance to the building.” —New York

“I’d like to see recycling bins in the mail room; junk mail still goes to trash even though the community offers a recycling program.” —Omaha, Neb.

“Hallways and stairwells need attention. This is the entry to the front door of our home. It needs to be as nice as the rest of this wonderful community that we live in!” —Alpharetta, Ga.

“I am grateful that they adjusted the office hours on the weekends. It’s not always possible for me to get to the office during the week.” —Austin, Texas