What’s Impacting Apartment Amenities In 2020?
More than ever before, the intersection of technology, the economy and renter demographics are impacting apartment amenities. This is because all three are changing at a rapid pace. These rapid changes have combined to radically change the top apartment amenities in just a few years. This is because they go hand in hand. For property managers exploring new apartment amenities, this article explores each factor, how they are driving trends, and how they work together.
Technology: Mobile Devices and On-Demand Services
To understand how technology is impacting apartment amenities in 2020, it requires going back to 2011. Going back 9 years, only 35% of Americans owned smartphones. Today, according to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own smartphones and 51% own tablets. Widespread adoption of smartphones has lead to the rise of mobile apps.
Mobile apps have changed everything. First and foremost, they now exist for everything. This extends all the way down to Clothesline Mobile, an app for apartment residents to control their laundry room experience from their mobile device. This example matters because it highlights the proliferation of mobile apps.
44% of renters won’t lease at a property with poor cell phone reception. 44% of renters won’t lease at a property with poor cell phone reception. 91.7% of say high speed internet is important or very important in their leasing decision.
Finally, mobile apps like Uber, DoorDash, and Shipt combined with services like Amazon Prime have created an on-demand culture. Consequently, residents are looking to use mobile apps for everything and expect on-demand services like a mobile app for service requests or laundry room notifications.
Combined, these technological trends are radically impacting apartment amenities in 2020. More than ever before, renters are considering mobile signal strength, high speed internet and community wi-fi in renting decisions. In fact, 44% of renters won’t lease at a property with poor cell phone reception. 91.7% of say high speed internet is important or very important in their leasing decision. Streaming services like Netflix are now the most commonly used form of media entertainment by apartment residents.
Apartment amenities must now cater to the widespread use of mobile devices. This means strong mobile reception, high speed internet and free Wi-Fi in common areas of the property such as the fitness center, co-working spaces, pool, community room or lobby.
Economy: Income and Remote Workers
Economic factors are constant drivers of apartment amenities. While this trend is unchanged, it is important to know how the economy is changing apartment amenities. First and foremost, incomes are increasing. According to a Harvard study, the number of renters, adjusted for inflation, earning over $75,000 annually has increased for 8 consecutive years. The number of renters earning over $100,000 annually has also increased based on a report from CBRE. As incomes increase, renters want more luxury and concierge style amenities. This can include in-unit cleaning, grocery delivery, valet trash or concierge laundry service.
The second part of the economy impacting apartment amenities in 2020 is the rise of remote workers. Working from home is a growing trend and apartment residents are no exception. As a result, multifamily properties must cater to these types of workers. This means co-working spaces or even dedicated offices and conference rooms that can be reserved by residents.
Demographics: Millennials and Generation Z
Millennials and Generation Z are now the majority of apartment residents in the United States. As a result, their lifestyle preferences are a major factor impacting apartment amenities in 2020. This is because they expect more from their apartment community than just a place to live. More than ever before, they are looking for apartment communities that offer lifestyle and experiential amenities.
For example, a fitness center is no longer a top amenity to this demographic. It has been replaced by a fitness center with live yoga and workout classes. A community room is great, but a community room offering weekly cooking classes is better. Co-working spaces will appeal to the many Millennials who free lance or work second jobs online. Millennials and Generation Z are looking for the physical amenity and an accompanying experience.
Millennials and Generation Z prefer renting versus owning. This is extremely important because this demographic is not going away. Property managers need to recognize the value of investing in amenities that appeal to this audience. Adding these amenities can be expensive, but they will have short term and long term appeal to residents.
Technology, Economics and Demographics
Finally, property managers need to understand it is the intersection of these trends driving apartment amenities in 2020. While each factor is important on its own, how they are intertwined is what’s most important.
A 28 year old renter has a full time job and freelances as a writer. Due to a busy lifestyle, top amenities for this renter might include an on-site fitness class, a co-working space with free Wi-Fi, and a cleaning service. The amenities are a hybrid of technology, economics and demographics.
It is very easy to come up with numerous similar examples because the integration of technology, lifestyle and work are the the key factors impacting apartment amenities in 2020.
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