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9 Savvy Strategies for Improving Your Apartment Lobby to Attract Prospective Residents

COVID has become the catalyst for rapid change in virtually every industry, including the multifamily market. In order to attract prospective residents, here are nine strategies for making your apartment lobby design more appealing.

The Apartment Complex Lobby as the Master of First Impressions

Your apartment lobby acts as the brand ambassador for your building, creating the magical first impression and working as the front door to every tenant’s unit. It’s also one of the common areas where visitors wait to meet current residents (some of whom may become potential tenants). Get it right, and you can boost lease agreements and renewals; get it wrong, and your occupancy rates plummet. 

In addition to a welcoming lobby design, consider implementing these  five must-have lobby amenities for your multifamily complex.

#1 Focus on Security

Recent smash and grab robberies and package theft, often in daylight, have skyrocketed from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York City. As a result, now is the time to install security features that aid in providing a sense of calm and safety in your apartment building lobby. Adding lighting to a parking garage, elevator, or outdoor space is relatively inexpensive. Security cameras work well too.

#2 Invest in Tech

The statistics are compelling: 86% of millennials and 65% of baby boomers are willing to pay more for automated controls. Going hand-in-hand with the need for security, is the demand for electronic locks and magnetic key card entry systems to your building. These types of security-focused smart apartment solutions allow you to instantaneously lock unpermitted visitors out of your apartment building

Like hotels, multifamily buildings are moving towards contactless services, self-service amenities, and QR codes. As Branigan Mulcahy, cofounder of Virdee explains1: “Smartphone-based check-in with mobile keys and modern versions of check-in kiosks will enable a different approach.” 

Of course, at the top of the list for all amenities is high-speed Internet. Apartment residents are willing to pay higher rent for high-speed internet access — about $35 more per month according to the 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report2. Smart thermostat requests have migrated from a “nice to have” amenity to an essential luxury. Virtual tours are also a necessity. Statistics demonstrate that 67% of people want more businesses to offer virtual tours3. And customers aged 18 to 34 are 130% more likely to book a place if there is a virtual tour.

#3 Remove the Clutter

There is a clear relationship between clutter and decision-making4. In short, a cluttered space leads to a befuddled mind, which causes a delay in making a decision. If you’re looking to convert apartment visitors into permanent residents, then a clean, clear, and uncluttered interior design aesthetic for your building entrance and/or common area is critical. Decluttering also helps give the impression that the lobby space is bigger than it really is.

#4 Install Smart Lockers for Packages

Stackedup parcels and packages in the lobby contribute to residents’ feeling of insecurity. A smart locker system clears the clutter while also reassuring residents that their packages are safe from building bandits. With a booming eCommerce economy, the average consumer receives 45 packages per year (~3.75 packages per month); that number jumps to 51 per year (~4.25 packages per month) if they’re an Amazon Prime customer5. Further, it’s estimated that Parcel Pending’s lockers lower labor hours by as much as 24 hours weekly.

Before installing lockers, residents at Parcels at Concourse in Memphis were receiving almost 100 packages per day! Residents were inconvenienced by having to wait for landlords, building managers, or other building staff members to help with packages, and they spent over 18 hours per week sorting and distributing packages. Now the property has smart lockers from Parcel Pending with a custom wrap reflecting the history of the building and the surrounding neighborhood (the community is built inside a former Sears distribution center). 

By installing smart lockers, a resident automatically receives an email or text alerting them that they have a package. Package retrieval is self-service, and the resident can retrieve their packages 24/7/365 simply by using a unique barcode. Whereas packages used to go “stale,, as residents might not pick up their packages within the desired 72-hour window, today most packages are retrieved within a mere 24 hours – ultimately taking less than 10 seconds and requiring zero face-to-face interaction with building managers or property staff.

#5 Add a Co-Working Element

Hybrid work is the future of work in America. Recent statistics show that 75% of employees want to continue to work flexibly and 40% of Americans surveyed who were working at home said they would look for another job if their employer forced them to return to the office full time6,7. It therefore makes sense to cordon off sections of your lobby or common amenity spaces for a co-working space. Residents are seeking an additional area to work in their residential building, besides their own apartment unit. Lobby Wi-Fi, charging centers, extra outlets, desks, and task lighting all make a property more appealing to prospective residents. A shared space also allows them to meet with other tenants and possibly make professional connections with them.

#6 Create a Welcoming Ambiance with Interior Design

Warm lighting and yellow tones can set a welcoming mood in your building lobby. Embrace neutral tones that allow you to easily add accents of color with pillows, throws, and accents while adding a touch of luxury.

#7 Bring the Outside In

Plants and flowers in the lobby create a connection to nature while also improving air quality. Research also shows that plants increase the happiness factor8.

#8 Choose Quality Furniture

Whether it’s waiting for an Uber or expecting a friend, residents want a comfortable space to sit and wait in the lobby. Quality commercial furniture is essential for maintaining the right image – a balance of luxury and practicality.

#9 Pick Practical Flooring

If your building is located where rain, sleet, and snow are pervasive, non-slip floor materials are essential. Marble, for example, might look marvelous, but makes for unstable footing and requires constant polishing. Instead, explore laminate and/or vinyl floor options. 

The role of the apartment lobby in your building has changed over the years. Thanks to COVID, prospective residents are looking for safe, practical, and aesthetic qualities that match their new lives.

Smart lockers can help prevent clutter, boost your staff productivity, and improve your tenant experience. To discover more about how lockers can work for you, contact a Parcel Pending by Quadient representative today. 


  1. Sayej, Nadja. Architectural Digest. Are We Approaching the Death of the Hotel Lobby?. (2021, July 28). https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/are-we-approaching-the-death-of-hotel-lobby.
  2. 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/.
  3. Digital in the Round. 13 Mind-Blowing Virtual Tour Statistics [Updated for 2021]. (2021, July 11). https://digitalintheround.com/virtual-tour-statistics/.
  4. Sander, Libby. Harvard Business Review. The Case for Finally Cleaning Your Desk. (2019, March 25). https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-case-for-finally-cleaning-your-desk.
  5. C+R Research. (2020). 2019 Package Theft Statistics Report [Report]. Retrieved from: https://www.crresearch.com/blog/2019-package-theft-statistics-report
  6. Fleming, Sean. World Economic Forum. Working flexibly is now the new normal for employees: Poll. (2020, July 8). https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/working-flexibly-new-normal-poll/.
  7. Cutter, Chip. The Wall Street Journal. The Boss Wants You Back in the Office. Like, Now. (2021, July 24). https://www.wsj.com/articles/return-to-work-the-boss-wants-you-back-in-the-office-11627079616.
  8. Happify. Nature & Our Mood: Why Spending Time Outdoors Makes Us Happier [Infographic]. (n.d.). https://www.happify.com/hd/nature-makes-us-happier-infographic/.