The Apartment Amenities Race Continues

Over the last decade, apartment owners have focused on providing impressive amenity packages to apartment residents. In what has been called the amenities race, new class-A developers have included everything from dog parks and bicycle garages to fitness centers and rooftop pools.

It appears, the race is far from over.

A new report from Apartment Guide has found that 36% of apartment residents are unhappy with the amenities in their current apartment building. The complaints, however, are not what you think. Rather than swimming pool and yoga studios, apartment residents noted a need for more storage space (31%); a dishwasher (16%); better Wifi (16%); parking (15%); central heating and air conditioning (11%); and in-unit laundry (11%).

Apartment renters are willing to pay more for these amenities. Four in 10 or 38% of survey respondents said they would pay $100 or more for a new living amenity, even through a turbulent economic environment, like the one we have seen in the last year. Isolating for gender, men were even more likely to pay an additional fee for amenities, saying they would pay $200 per month for an amenity. Residents in large cities would pay even more, valuing an amenity at $202 per month.

Some specific amenities were more valued than others. In-unit laundry was valued at $62 per month, while a dishwasher and storage space were the most dispensable amenities with 90% of respondents saying those amenities were the least important.

The pandemic has also driven new demands in apartment amenities. A survey of 2,000 apartment residents from Package Concierge found that half of renters have revised their outlook on amenities due to the pandemic. Package management systems, smart home devices—including temperature control and digital locks—gym and recreation sport facilities, outdoor kitchen and dining areas and pet services were the most in-demand amenities listed in that survey. In addition, 91% of respondents said that these amenities played a role in their apartment search.

In addition, residents in that survey also noted dissatisfaction with current amenities. According to the survey, one in five residents were not happy with the way their property handles package management. The top reasons include disorganization (23%), lost packages (19%), delay in retrieval of packages (18%), lack of social distancing and safety measures (16%) and lag time in delivery notifications (15%).

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