Product Roundup: 5 Unique Selections from the NAA Exposition
- Jun 27, 2016
By Mallory Bulman, Associate Editor
On Wednesday, June 15, the exposition hall at the Moscone Center in San Francisco was spotless and unusually quiet, but by the time the National Apartment Association’s annual exposition opened on June 16, the area was abuzz with vendors and Education Conference attendees alike. Arguably one of the biggest annual real estate gatherings in the nation, the NAA Education Conference and Exposition brings together professionals of all levels of the industry, from leasing agents to CEOs.
It’s no wonder that vendors of multifamily products are eager to display their wares at the NAA Exposition, and this year was no exception, with the Exposition engulfing two large exhibit halls within the Moscone Center. MHN was on the scene, and we picked out the most unique and interesting product offerings on the exposition floor this year.
It’s exactly what it sounds like: a bathtub made exclusively for bikes and especially designed for multifamily properties. With an increasing number of apartment residents opting to cycle rather than commute, bike storage and maintenance is becoming more of a problem at apartment communities. If a property has bike storage, the storage area can quickly become messy from the inevitable mud, dirt and pebbles that a bike tracks inside. If there is no storage area, cyclists usually take their bike up to their apartment to keep them safe, leaving a trail of dirt and mud behind them. Introducing a Bathtub for Bicycles can not only prevent hallway and corridor messes, but can also provide a place for avid cyclists who fix their own bikes to work without fear of leaving a mess or losing parts.
Anyone who has moved knows the frustration of changing your information for mail subscriptions, internet and utilities, not to mention the dreaded DMV visit. Updater is a tool that facilitates the drudgery of moving, including updating business accounts, forwarding mail, finding a mover and even updating your address on your driver’s license. According to the company, 71 percent of residents wish their apartment community offered moving services. By offering a streamlined process for moving into a new apartment community, residents have a more positive impression of their new building during the gap between lease-signing and move-in. With Updater, property managers can offer the moving services their residents want without actually doing any of the work.
As of 2015, Americans spend an average of 2.8 hours a day on their phone. All that screen time depletes the average smartphone’s battery rather quickly, especially if users are streaming video or downloading apps. SnapPower offers a easy way to cater to the digitally-focused lives of today’s renters by adapting existing outlet faceplates to include a USB connection. This simple yet effective solution frees up outlet space so phones and devices can charge without impeding power supply to necessary electronics. Installation involves no re-wiring or batteries, making it as effortless as switching out faceplates.
Many communities offer fitness amenities in the form of a gym or the occasional bike trail, but they don’t address the growing number of people who like the environment of a group class. According to WELLBEATS, a virtual exercise solution, group exercise classes are the third most requested amenity amongst renters, but finding a class schedule that works for everyone is almost impossible. However, with WELLBEATS, properties can provide a variety of classes with varying difficulty levels at any time. WELLBEATS is a digital exercise concierge that allows residents to choose any type of class any time they want, and participate along with virtually-presented instructors. The company offers a few different options to suit different communities, like the User Stream option, which allows residents to access WELLBEATS content at will on their mobile device or computer; the Standard Kiosk, which is designed for a dedicated gym space and includes a TV or projection system and a tablet controller; or the Portable Kiosk, which can be wheeled from room to room for a mobile fitness experience.
About two-thirds of renters are have pets, and once they find a community they like, they’re less likely to move out. While pet owners are a valuable sector of the renting population, many communities have banned pets as a way to avoid the maintenance and damage associated with them. However, being a pet-friendly community has many advantages, and businesses like Valet Waste are making it easier to provide a clean, safe and also pet-friendly environment. Valet Waste provides standalone pet stations with biodegradable waste bags and disposal services, making cleaning up after dogs less of a hassle for both pet owners and maintenance staff. The low-maintenance solution makes it convenient for owners of four-legged residents to pick up after their dog, and gives them a designated place to dispose of waste. Additionally, Valet Waste services the stations, freeing up maintenance professionals to focus on work orders and service calls, not pet messes.