In today's competitive rental market, landlords are looking to implement features that will help their properties stand out, and renters are looking for amenities that cater to their technologically advanced, on-demand lifestyle. The modern renter is able to order a ride, dinner delivery, dry cleaning and much more with the click of a button, and the real estate market needs to keep up with changing taste and demand.
Not every renter is concerned with luxury amenities, but many tenants are willing to pay above market price for property features on their wish list or high-end amenities that can't be found elsewhere. This trend is becoming increasingly apparent as the nationwide renter population continues to increase in age and we see more high-income and rent-by-choice tenants.
1. Community space
Features that inspire a sense of community are important to renters — especially when considering millennials and Gen Z. Tenants in multi-family complexes may be sacrificing square footage, so, for them, a communal outdoor area or indoor community space is worth the extra spend for a change of scenery.
Rooftops, barbecue facilities, fire pits and outdoor seating, lounge rooms or game rooms, and areas with televisions have all proven to be popular amenities for renters looking for space to gather with friends or meet new people in the building. As people become increasingly isolated, with distancing and stay-at-home mandates dragging on, these kinds of spaces can provide welcome relief and will be utilized even more as normalcy returns.
2. Alternative transportation
For tenants in cities who typically don't need a car for everyday transportation, car-sharing services have become a trend in some luxury apartment complexes. Tenants may just need a car occasionally for weekend trips, group gatherings or special occasions.
Properties located in areas where most tenants do own cars are finding more and more renters searching for electric vehicle charging stations as sustainability becomes increasingly important to this generation. At the very least, apartments in the luxury space need to provide storage for bicycles and even repair facilities to fix flat tires or broken gears.
3. Property-wide Wi-Fi and cell service
With more Americans than ever working remotely, high-speed internet and reliable cell phone service are non-negotiable, especially for tenants who are paying a higher monthly rent. It's not enough anymore for each unit to manage its own Wi-Fi and internet connection. Instead, renters are looking to be connected throughout the entire building — common areas, fitness centers, outdoor space, etc. Property managers should also consider including connectivity packages as an additional technology draw.
4. Smart home features and energy-efficient appliances
Today's environmentally-friendly renters are seeking to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. Energy-efficient appliances, such as dishwashers and refrigerators, are a given in this scenario, as they're better for the environment as a whole and also save renters money on utilities in the long term.
This adds up if they're paying extra for other luxury amenities. Smart home features are taking off in popularity across the real estate industry, and rental properties are no exception. Tenants are looking for the ability to control and program features like lighting, heating and cooling, and even lock access, from anywhere in the world.
5. Fitness amenities
Health, fitness and wellness are another need for today's modern renter. As gyms around the country have shut doors, or opened with highly modified schedules and protocols, fitness studios, exercise classes, recreational sports facilities and pools are all high on the wish list of luxury renters.
If tenants are paying extra for their living space, they want it to offer facilities that they can't find elsewhere, or don't have to pay even more to find elsewhere.
6. Pet-friendly facilities
Nearly 70 percent of U.S. households have pets as part of their family. The bottom line is that tenants want a place that allows them to live in the property with their pets. Above and beyond that basic need, luxury renters are looking for services catered exclusively to their furry friends. Areas where dogs can socialize off-leash, indoor pet relief areas, pet washing stations and even on-site grooming services are increasing in popularity in the luxury apartment industry.
7. Valet trash and recycling
Luxury renters want convenience and nothing beats taking a few household chores off of the list. For example, valet trash and recycling services allow renters to simply leave their waste outside their front door and someone will pick it up and dispose of it properly.
The sky's the limit for luxury amenities
Additional luxury amenities that are popular in multifamily housing construction include childcare services, onsite laundry services, package delivery management and concierge options. Many renters are willing to pay above market price for added comfort, convenience and socialization features in their rental property.
The price tag that comes along with luxury features isn't for every tenant, but it will appeal to renters who are looking for the most value for their dollar. Needs and desires will vary from tenant to tenant, but the amenities outlined here have seen the biggest uptick in popularity in the luxury space as of late.