What Renters Want with Jessica Fiur: Package Management is the New Black (But What Will be in Style Next?)

Package management is hot right now. But what will be the next big trend in multifamily amenities?

jfiur thumbnailBy Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor

In previous years, pet amenities were the thing. Dog runs, pet grooming areas, doggie spas… But now these amenities are sort of standard, and no longer making waves. This year, it’s all about package management. (Check out MHN’s coverage, including an interview with Camden on their new package police and a byline from NMHC.)

But, the year is quickly coming to a close (I know it’s only November, but after Thanksgiving, it’s only a hop, skip and a Ryan Seacrest before it’s New Years Eve), and I want to talk about the Next. Big. Thing. in apartment amenities. Do I know what it is? Of course not. If I knew I’d be investing in it and moving to a tropical island and living on a diet consisting solely of margaritas and tortilla chips, which is actually not too far off from what I actually live off of now. It’s just less sad when you’re rich, or so I imagine.


While I might not know what the next big thing in apartments is, I’m going to venture some guesses.

Photocredit: flickr.com

Photocredit: flickr.com

Security. This one is kind of a bummer, so I’m going to get it out of the way. It could be dangerous and scary out there, and renters should certainly feel safe in their homes, so perhaps apartment communities will beef up their security. Maybe they will add more cameras around the community, or have security guards patrol the parking lots constantly. If there’s no doorman, I bet communities will upgrade their technology at the buzzers, maybe using videos so the residents can see who’s at the door, and even connect that to their smart phones, so even if the resident isn’t there they can be sure they’re buzzing in service people who need to be there.

A focus on health. My boss was just talking about how standing desks are becoming even more popular, and that some hotels are going to start focusing on fitness and health. Could this trend move to multifamily? I, for one, hope not, because I am a lazy, lazy woman and would like to watch TV and eat cookies in peace (though I do own a treadmill and eat vegetables occasionally, mom). But it’s definitely important to stay healthy. Leasing agents could start offering Fitbits or free gym membership as incentives to sign the lease. Gyms at apartment communities are already a hot amenity, so maybe these will expand as well.

Going green. We already know the importance of going green and sustainability. Though many communities claim they are, renters don’t necessarily choose to live somewhere because it’s green. Still, there are some green aspects that can make an apartment more attractive. Maybe they’ll start offering shuttle rides to farmers markets on the weekend. Or start a community recycling program. Maybe they’ll buy a lot of frogs because they’re literal and think that’s hilarious. (It is.)

Live/work/eat. A lot of people telecommute, or end up taking work home with them. That’s pretty sad, but it happens. Wi-Fi and business centers are already features of many apartments. But why stop there—a gal’s gotta eat, right? To make an apartment building somewhere where you’d literally never have to leave, a new amenity that would pick up steam could be a community restaurant or little grocery store. Or they could give everyone magnets with the Dominos number on it and call it a day.

Laundry pick up. Doing laundry is the worst. Maybe apartment communities could add a laundry service (a great way to make some ancillary income as well). They can even arrange for laundry to be picked up from apartments, and then dropped off. That would be amazing. I have no joke there. Just please do my laundry for me.

Waste removal. I was wrong. Doing laundry isn’t the worst. Taking out the garbage is the wort. If there is a way to pick up garbage daily directly from apartments, people would sign that lease on the spot. Especially if the renter has a baby. Because, ultimately, it’s about the children. Won’t someone please think of the children (and get rid of these disgusting diapers)?

Water slides. We have a winner!

What do you think will be the next hot amenity? Or will nothing knock package management off of its throne?

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