The right property amenities will keep renters engaged and more likely to renew their lease with you. Let’s look some of the amenities that are not only profitable but desired by residents.
1. High-speed internet & cable bundle
According to the 2022 NMHC Renter Preferences Survey, a whopping 89% of renters are interested in included high-speed internet. The only property amenities ranked higher in the survey (by a margin of 3% or less) are in-unit washers and dryers, air conditioning and soundproof walls.
A growing number of multifamily apartments, HOAs and condo communities have implemented bulk packages for internet and cable to meet the demand for this amenity.
Here’s how it works: Through a revenue sharing agreement with the internet/cable provider, the property management office takes a cut of each sale. Likewise, residents get to pay less than the market rate for high-speed internet and television services. However, new FCC rules prohibit broadband providers from entering certain revenue sharing agreements, so make sure to educate yourself before pursuing a bulk package scenario. The section below offers a quick summary.
RECENT UPDATES TO FEDERAL LAW
In 2022, the FCC decided that it’s unfair for property managers to allow only one internet/cable provider in their building. That means multifamily operators are no longer able to restrict residents to their preferred provider. Some people don’t want TV or feel the high speeds offered by the bundle are not necessary. They might simply want to choose a different provider. In short, it’s illegal to restrict the resident’s options if other providers are available.
2. Smart amenities
Wondering which smart amenities renters really want? The NMHC Renter Preference Survey provides some guidance. Here’s the list, starting with the most-desired property amenities.
This popular property amenity is profitable for you because more renters want it than any other piece of smart technology. Outfit your properties with them and you’ll be able to command higher rates. Renters will love the ability to set and change the temperature from anywhere, helping them save on energy bills.
Leaks are expensive. When you and your residents can detect them early on, you reduce the risk of water damage, save money and keep everyone happier overall. Yardi Breeze Premier users have access to Yardi Utility Billing, a comprehensive program that automatically recovers expenses, monitors consumption, identifies leaks and more.
SMART SECURITY ALARM SYSTEM
Safety always comes first. Residents will sleep better at night — and when they’re away from home — knowing a smart, Wi-Fi accessible alarm system has their backs.
Like the previous amenity, a video doorbell is a great safety feature. Is that the pizza delivery or someone trying to sneak into the building? With a video doorbell and intercom system, residents will always know who’s at the front door.
The cost of electricity has risen in recent months, much like the cost of everything else. Simple but effective tech, like lights that automatically shut off when no one is in the room, helps residents and your building save energy and money.
DYNAMIC GLASS WINDOWS
Not all glass is made equal. Dynamic windows filter out harmful UV rays and provide better insulation in all seasons. Many have a tinting feature that lets in sunlight even when fully activated in bright light. It simply makes incoming light more comfortable and reduces glare. They’re a simple, green, money-saving property amenity your entire community can enjoy.
KEYLESS SMART LOCKS
Many property managers charge a fee to replace a lost key or door lock. It’s extra work for you or your maintenance team, and residents are likewise disgruntled when they have to pay those fees. Why not eliminate the risk and improve building safety with keyless entry? They require a little bit of upkeep, so use your property management software to create a regular maintenance schedule to change the batteries and inspect them as necessary.
VOICE ASSISTANT INTEGRATION
Some people love their Google Home and Alexa devices. For those that use them, the integration works seamlessly with a lot of the smart tech on this list (e.g., thermostat, lights).
3. Renters insurance
At this point, insurance is almost a requirement for multifamily operators who want to run a sound, solvent business. There’s no easier way to protect yourself and your residents than by offering affordable renters insurance. The best time to offer it is when an applicant has been approved and is going through the online leasing process. Some prospects will have their own insurance, but anyone who isn’t insured will be able to sign up for your policy in just a few quick steps.
4. EV charging station access
With a federal ban on gas-powered vehicle production by 2035, not to mention a California law to the same effect, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) are the future. Some multifamily buildings provide charging stations as an optional property amenity for residents. There are many services that will install EV charging stations in parking spots that residents can pay to use.
5. Additional storage
Need a profitable property amenity that appeals to almost every renter? Onsite storage is an easy way to increase profits at little cost to property owners. Some residents use the extra room to store their bikes and other bulky items that would otherwise clutter the apartment. As renters accumulate more things, they may start looking for a bigger living space. You stand a good chance of keeping them around longer if they have extra storage space.
6. Extra parking
Dedicated parking isn’t a given in the multifamily world. If you offer extra parking, you might have a profitable property amenity on your hands. You might choose to include the cost of a parking space in the rent, but you might also make it optional. Residents without vehicles will appreciate not having to pay for a space they don’t need, leaving you with ever more opportunities to provide affordable parking for those who need it. Renters with valuable, vintage or multiple vehicles will be especially appreciative.
7. Pay-per-use pet washing station
If there was ever an easy opportunity for a profitable property amenity that saves pet owners time and money, this is it. Let pet parents wash and dry their furry friends for a small fee at an all-in-one pet wash station. You can either charge for access to a dedicated room in your building or provide a wash station that accepts credit cards. Offering this amenity will satisfy residents with pets and emotional support animals by allowing them to avoid the mess and hassle of washing and drying their pets in the bathroom.
8. Recreational activities
Even if you provide free-to-access property amenities like basketball, tennis and pickleball courts, there are ways to make them profitable for your community. Use the courts for resident engagement and community building. Host tournaments with a small buy-in for each team. Once you know what your residents like to do recreationally, capitalize on it by improving their renter experience and generating a little extra income for the property.
As always, survey your community before adding new property amenities. Find out what your residents are willing to pay for, then set out to make those amenities worth the cost.