Since it seems as though the pandemic will foster long-term health and safety concerns, it’s clear that apartment property managers must look at marketing apartments differently, namely by stressing features that balance safety and comfort. Luring potential residents today means implementing innovative marketing efforts that tout amenities, flexible workspaces, and outdoor areas.
Market Apartments to Remote Workers
With almost 70% of employees working from home, new residents are seeking apartments that offer a variety of usable spaces to accommodate their new lives1. Whether in the apartment or as an on-site amenity, creating dedicated workspaces is often a competitive advantage. The business centers of old are being transformed into new co-working spaces that also meet social distancing guidelines. Some communities are even creating modular workspaces that can be adjusted to meet different co-working requirements as needed. Charging centers and extra outlets that help residents stay charged and connected also appeal to prospective tenants.
Marketing to remote workers and potential renters is a proven, successful strategy. When Bristol Development Group started marketing its one-bedroom-plus-den units at Meridian at the Port (Mobile, Alabama) as live/work units, page views on its apartment website increased by 32%, and the average time spent on each page improved by 76%!
At Broadway Chapter, a 242-unit apartment community under construction in Fort Worth, Texas, developer CRG has even redesigned some amenities for remote workers2. Instead of game rooms or social lounges, the modern apartment complex now includes private study offices, small group rooms, and hospitality suites for hosting small business gatherings. Further, CRG’s new development strategy includes apartment solutions specifically designed for the work-from-home tenant, with pocket offices and what Managing Partner J.J. Smith refers to as “Zoom-worthy common spaces.”
As Geoffrey Woodrum, vice president of design at StreetLights states, “Coworking spaces, private meeting rooms, and flexible areas will be among the most used and sought-after areas in an apartment.”
Highlight High-Speed Internet
Since home is now where we work, school, entertain, and exercise, residents are looking for high-speed internet and reliable cell service. In fact, apartment residents are even willing to pay higher rent for high-speed internet access—about $35 more per month, according to the 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report. Tricap Residential Group has updated units at their Haven Hoffman Estates community so that residents have access to a WiFi-ready solution when they move in. The community, located in a northwest suburb of Chicago, is able to remove a major move-in hassle for new residents who often need to be up and running online immediately.
Tout Outdoor Space
Balconies and outdoor space are also a hotly requested amenity for apartment communities. For instance, CGI Strategies, a California-based real estate investment and development company, previously stated that approximately 70% of their apartments included balconies. They are now aiming for at least 90% in new projects4.
Markwood, a California-based real estate investment company, has employed a particularly savvy marketing strategy. It is marketing an “outdoor living room” — a covered terrace or space with balcony walls on three sides that protects residents from sun and rain, but still allows children to play and residents to work or entertain outside.
Research shows that investing in a rooftop deck not only has a positive return on investment but also attracts potential residents and improves your resident retention rate too5. Lush landscaping also boosts the aesthetic appeal and acts as natural insulation, lowering heat and air conditioning costs. Some rental property managers in New York, for example, are creating flexibility in their outdoor spaces, repurposing cabanas as outdoor schools, and installing movable furniture6.
Spotlight Lockers and Refrigerated Lockers
No apartment marketing strategy would be complete without featuring smart lockers. Whereas this amenity might have once been considered nice to have, it is now a necessity for remaining competitive in the multifamily apartment industry. With packages bombarding the mailroom and/or lobby due to the exponential growth in online shopping, renters now expect to have their packages securely stowed. Most importantly, installing package lockers can lift lease renewals by a jaw-dropping 40%!
Demand for refrigerated lockers is rising, too, thanks to same-day delivery. Researchers in November 2020 estimated that 38.7 million shoppers placed at least one online grocery order for delivery or pickup order during the preceding 30 days, up 3.6% from 37.5 million in August7.
Smart parcel delivery lockers offer both utility and safety – two things of great importance to current residents and prospective tenants. Renters are automatically notified by email, text, or mobile app alert that a delivery has arrived. They are then given a barcode to scan for contact-free access to their delivery. Residents can also use Bluetooth in the mobile app to access their packages with the touch of a button on their phones.
Focus on Antimicrobial Materials
A prospective resident is no longer just looking for granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Instead, renters are seeking materials that look good and resist the spread of infection, especially in communal areas. Bronze, copper, and brass are rapidly becoming a finish of choice due to their antimicrobial properties. Noted designer Doris Pearlman explains that “Quartz is the hardest non-precious stone on earth, making it the most sanitary countertop surface to use—as well as the most scratch- and stain-resistant”8.
Serve the Needs of Your Apartment Community
With this work-from-home phenomenon set to continue for a little while longer, it’s easy to forget that isolation from working alone is a struggle for many people. There’s a growing need for apartment managers to still create resident events and foster community…even at a distance. As Doreen Jankowski of TRG sums it up: “People really are craving human interaction.”
Her community, Icon Central (St. Petersburg, Florida), offers a robust COVID-19-friendly event schedule, including poolside yoga classes, virtual cooking classes, jazz patio parties, and social media contests.
Another solid digital marketing idea is to promote virtual resident events via social media. For instance, Bozzuto, a leader in apartment communities and apartment marketing created BozzutoAtHome virtual events, which include lectures, classes, and other events shared live on Facebook and Instagram.
As managers look for creative apartment marketing ideas, it’s essential to remember that home is now where renters work, school, and play. Appealing to each of these elements results in a successful marketing playbook.
Adding amenities such as smart lockers can contribute to your rental property’s long-term success. Talk to a representative today about Parcel Pending’s multifamily locker solutions, pricing options, and locker configurations that can meet your property’s unique needs.
- Parker, Kim, et al. Pew Research Center. How the Coronavirus Outbreak Has – and Hasn’t – Changed the Way Americans Work. (2020, December 9). https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/12/09/how-the-coronavirus-outbreak-has-and-hasnt-changed-the-way-americans-work/.
- Friedman, Robyn. Multi-Housing News. How to Attract Remote Workers to Your Apartment Community. (2021, January 28). https://www.multihousingnews.com/post/how-to-attract-remote-workers-to-your-apartment-community/.
- Min-Seo, Jung. Fintech Zoom. Luxury Apartments – 2021 Prospects for Luxury Multifamily. (2021, February 3). https://fintechzoom.com/fintech_news_uncategorized/luxury-apartments-2021-prospects-for-luxury-multifamily/.
- Kalinoski, Gail. Multi-Housing News. How Will the Pandemic Impact Future Apartments?. (2020, August 5). https://www.multihousingnews.com/post/how-will-the-pandemic-impact-future-apartments/.
- Lambert Investments, Inc. The Growing Popularity of Rooftop Amenities. (n.d.) http://lambertinc.com/growing-popularity-rooftop-amenities/.
- Hughes, C.J. The New York Times. How the Pandemic Has Changed Apartment Building Amenities. (2020, September 11). https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/realestate/pandemic-apartment-amenities.html.
- Digital Commerce 360. Retailers hold onto stores in hopes of surge of shoppers. (2021, February 16). https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/coronavirus-impact-online-retail/.
- Mosher, Diana. Multi-Housing News. From Luxury to ‘Hygge’: Top Multifamily Interior Design Trends for 2021. (2021, February 3). https://www.multihousingnews.com/post/from-luxury-to-hygge-top-multifamily-interior-design-trends-for-2021/.