Family-Oriented Amenities That Retain Residents

Creating an environment that families with children want to live in isn’t about cookies in the leasing office. It’s about building a safe space that offers them as many entertaining options as possible for their little ones.

By Laura Calugar

According to a RENTCafe analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, there are 14.3 million families with minor children that rent in our country, representing more than a third of all renter households. The U.S. also has 22.1 million families with minor children that own a home, accounting for 29 percent of all owner households. So, having family-friendly amenities in the community you own or manage, could make a difference when trying to retain residents in the long term.

Designing or upgrading a community around families with children is not an easy job because it means more expenses and responsibilities. Probably the most pressing problem of working parents is finding a suitable child care near their home, so having an onsite daycare is definitely something you should consider if you are seeking to attract long-term residents. An underused space of your community could be converted into this highly appreciated amenity. Or if your property includes commercial space, you could partner with a local daycare and thus obtain not only a much-needed amenity, but also a valuable tenant.      

Having playrooms and playgrounds are two classic ways of attracting and retaining families with children. A playroom should incorporate comfortable seats and tables, special areas for learning, but also puzzles, crafts, board games, or even video games. Other entertainment options to look out for are collections of books, DVDs, or movies. Playgrounds are also pretty common, but they can be tricky in urban communities due to the lack of space. Property managers or owners sometimes compensate this absence by adding slides, jungle gyms, monkey bars and other toys and games in an indoor space. The important thing is for parents to know their children are safe while having fun, regardless of the size of the playground.

Diverse entertainment solutions

Apart from contests, barbecues and other community events, think about organizing treasure hunts, children shows or ice-cream truck events. Having regular kid-oriented events is just one extra amenity parents appreciate.

Indoor or outdoor pools never get overrated as they help families spend time together in a fun way. Also, walking and biking trails, tennis courts or wellness centers are equally appealing to families. Of course this is mainly possible in master planned communities, where there’s enough available space to build. The variety of amenities being developed for children is remarkable, especially in luxury properties. Music and dance classes, foreign language lessons or swimming lessons in the community’s pool are just a few of the most attractive activities that could be organized in order to entice families with children.

Another important aspect for households with children is if a community allows furry or feathered family members. About 85 million families own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, so having several pet-friendly amenities can also determine residents to rent one of the units in your community. Well-marked dog walking paths or small parks, pet spas, pet concierge services or even pet welcome gifts are just some perks residents with pets enjoy.