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Seeking the Amenities Advantage in a Competitive Real Estate Market

In an increasingly competitive market, owners, developers and builders are having to “keep up with the Joneses” — especially if the Joneses have a car-sharing service, a personal shopper and pet grooming.

Because the vast majority of multifamily units that have been recently constructed in the United States are rental apartments, investors are flocking to this sector seeking healthy returns. And with more and more people turning to apartment living, demand is high — and property owners and managers are competing with each other by offering amenities that are usually found in the most luxurious of residences.

So what are these amenities being offered?

“Urban Living” lifestyles. Many renters want to be close to everything — work, home, shopping, restaurants, etc. — whether they’re in a major city or the suburbs. Many new apartment and condominium communities are designed to be walkable, while providing amenities and technology to enable this “live-work-play” lifestyle.

Luxury and high-end features. Previously limited to luxury developments, many more affordable communities are offering infinity pools, upgraded design options, and other attractive features to bring in renters.

Energy savings. From more efficient HVAC systems, central solar hot water systems, LED lighting, rainwater collection, and wind or natural gas turbines, there are numerous ways to provide renters with more affordable and environmentally-friendly living.

More useful common areas. While apartment sizes are generally shrinking, common areas are growing — and providing renters with features they crave. USB ports, WiFi, and other Web-access features are everywhere, as well as more durable furniture and carpeting — enabling both social and work functions. Some of these common areas are on rooftop decks and terraces, and even include big-screen TVs, kitchens with BBQ grilles and pizza ovens, and even cabanas.

Fitness centers with more muscle. While the fitness center has become a place where tenants gather, socialize AND work out, the options available have expanded greatly. With classes for yoga and Pilates, aerobics, spin classes and more, renters have more exercise choices than ever.

The latest technology. With more people “cutting the cord” from cable TV and leaving satellite TV, builders need to ensure that their projects are friendly for these tenants — installing cloud-connected devices and enabling the fastest Internet access available. In addition, more buildings are giving their renters more control over their environments thanks to technology — from their entry doors to lighting and HVAC systems.

There are many other amenities, features and options being made available to today’s renters. Here are some of the more popular ones that haven’t been mentioned above:

  • Bike storage and repair
  • Car-sharing service
  • Child-care service
  • Concierge
  • Cooking classes
  • Dry cleaning/laundry service
  • iCafe
  • Package delivery management
  • Personal shopper
  • Pet grooming
  • Rock-climbing wall
  • Spa/massage center
  • Tech/business center
  • Wine cellar

So whether you’re a renter or home buyer, a real estate professional or a building owner, it’s good to know the amenities that are now available — and which of them you might be looking for!

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