What Do You Consider a “Luxury” Apartment?

When you think of a luxury apartment building, what do you picture? Is it a building with a doorman and elevator? Or one chock full of amenities? Or, I don’t know, full of Donald Trump-inspired opulence, like solid-gold toilets or something? (And if it there were solid-gold toilets, and it happened to be super cold in the apartment, could there ever be an incident similar to when that kid got triple dog dared to lick the pole in A Christmas Story and ended up getting stuck? Because, if so, I know what I’m going to get my younger brother for his birthday.)

It’s oddly telling that I was able to find a gold toilet stock photo.

Anyway, back to luxury apartments. How do you determine if you should market your building as “luxury”? It’s not like a LEED rating, where it has to be earned and approved—you can’t just call a building green if it’s not (unless, I supposed, it’s literally painted green, or, I guess if it’s a building that’s safe for Kermit to live). Luxury seems more subjective.

There was recently a discussion on Multifamily Insiders about whether putting a “luxury” sign on Class B and C apartments helps or hurts getting it leased. I think it helps. Definitely. Who wouldn’t want to live in luxury? It probably attracts more people the community and garners a lot more interest. Personally, I would rather live in a luxury building than a non-luxury building, but that’s just because I’m fancy. But does it demonstrate business ethics to call one of these buildings luxury? I don’t know. I really don’t think so—although honestly I can’t really give a straight answer, because whenever I hear the term “business ethics” I can only think of that scene in Billy Madison where Brad Whitford flips out at Adam Sandler when he hears it, and then I burst into giggles. It tarnishes my credibility. Just slightly, though.

So, again, how do you qualify a luxury apartment? I’ve definitely seen signs for “luxury apartments” on buildings that are next to major highways (like eight lanes across). I’ve seen “luxury apartments” for rent right next to stadiums (though maybe some people like that?). I wouldn’t necessarily consider these as luxurious because of the locations. However, maybe on the inside there’s a private gym and a yoga studio and a pet grooming station and a concierge and all that fun stuff. Though I doubt it.

What would you consider a “luxury” building? Do you think having one attracts more renters? And would you ever put up a sign on your property saying that it’s luxury when, for all intents and purposes, it’s totally not?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: diez artwork