There is a simple, irrefutable fact when it comes to de-converting or renovating a multi-family property: No two tenants are alike, and each has a differing view of what important, must-have amenities are. For some, it’s imperative to have an on-site gym; for others, having ample outdoor space will make the difference between looking elsewhere and signing on the dotted line.
It’s a tightrope every design and development firm must traverse, and our team at ML Group is finely attuned to what tenants are actually looking for versus what other property teams assume they’re seeking. Keeping priorities aligned to meet these demands is paramount in the evolving multi-family landscape, and below we’ll dive into just a few of the areas that are part and parcel of creating and ideal tenant experience.
Smart building technology and integrated software applications are revolutionizing multi-family real estate, and we’re not just talking smart thermostats. Beyond today’s seemingly requisite quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances, everyone from young professionals to full-fledged families are looking to live in smart, automated homes.
Keyless entry systems aren’t new, but they’re miles ahead of where they were when they debuted several years ago. These smartphone enabled locks are now a blessing for the absentminded that never can seem to recall where they put their keys, and a brilliant reinterpretation of a millennia-old technology.
Similarly, package lockers like Luxer continue to be important with multi-family properties. Busy lifestyles predicate a package delivery system wherein access is 24/7, and with 30% of Americans experiencing package theft, the need for security of online purchases is higher than ever.
Hyper-fast, Wireless Connections
With so many devices now connected to the internet, tenants are seeking faster-than-ever connectivity to fully take advantage of today’s technology. And with more and more people ditching cable television for online streaming services, the need for great infrastructure and network flexibility has never been greater. Having a Wi-Fi network capable of handling numerous devices and ample streaming bandwidth allows for tenants to always be connected and allows each piece of connected tech to work seamlessly together.
Building and Living Space Appearance
Where you live is a reflection of who you are, and in this social media age, tenants are more image conscious then ever. It goes beyond the typical standard of simply designing an aesthetically pleasing place to live: multi-family properties today must be crafted to have design and lifestyle identities that resonate with potential tenants. In de-conversions and renovations, this involves making what was once old new again, and making the finished product feel deliberate.
Likewise, open space layouts continue to dominate, and tenants are consistently seeking out properties with an abundance of airiness for more communal activities. People’s penchant for working remotely has been steadily on the rise as well, and hiring managers expect up to 38% of their full-time staff will be working remotely in the next decade. Couching it up to tackle work from time to time has its perks, as does sidling up to a stranger at Starbucks, but only for a while. Tenants aren’t just expecting open, community-focused spaces within their buildings, they’re demanding them.
Reputation of the Management Company
Lastly, tenants want to know that their management company has a business acumen and reputation that’s beyond reproach. In a society where everyone from dog walkers to algebra tutors are reviewed and rated online, tenants want to see that their management company goes the extra mile to provide for their needs.
Paralleling that is to have building representation from a company with a strong market standing. A strong market standing often means lower operating costs and a healthier bottom line, which often translates to a company with the incentive, means and wherewithal to keep focused on both current and prospective tenants while perpetuating an aesthetic that makes for an enjoyable living experience.
It goes without saying that these are but a few of the factors that go into crafting the ideal tenant experience. Tenant services, cost considerations and the aforementioned amenities balance will always be core tenets of what people will seek in the buildings they choose to live in, but gaining a better understanding of what truly matters to tenants will go a long way in ensuring they’ll call the same place home for years to come.