It isn’t all about amenities. Apartment developers and investors need to cultivate and activate a community atmosphere.
The concept of creating an experience is penetrating every asset class. Office and retail have been the most impacted, but multifamily owners will also need to cultivate and activate a community experience. Simply, people today expect a thoughtful, service-driven experience in the workplace, while shopping and at home. In 2019, creating a community experience is going to be a major trend.
“Anyone can build a nice project but the next trend will be thoughtfully activating the community. Creating a cultural ambassador role—somebody that can really cultivate the branded culture and curate one of a kind experiences rather than just a happy hour or game night,” Carlee Carpio, senior development manager at LaTerra Management, tells GlobeSt.com. “Highlighting the amenities by creating opportunities for residents and prospective residents to educate themselves through events, panels, lecture series, classes, pop up art & boutique shows. Setting the VIBE with curated music throughout the property and showcasing on brand DJ’s.”
Part of this experience is accessibility. Carpio says, at a minimum, apartment owners need to accommodate ride sharing services and food and package delivery services. “If an app can deliver something with the click of a button then the apartment building needs to ensure the same easy process to get the delivery to the resident,” says Carpio. “Hello Alfred takes this idea to the next step and I plan on seeing more companies offering trusted help & personal concierge services in the future. Especially in L.A. where running simple errands can turn into a day long, traffic fighting adventure.”
Owners also need to accommodate technology needs inside the building as well. That, generally, comes down to providing access to quality high-speed Internet that can support Internet use. “High speed internet will only become more necessary,” she adds. “Streaming TV consumption more than doubled in the last year so it’s crucial the correct infrastructure is in place to accommodate. Residents also want choices so it’s imperative to provide as many choices as possible to stay relevant.” This includes smart technology as well, like keyless entry and other smart technologies.
Caprio, however, says that it isn’t only amenities. Owners should also create a cohesive branded experience through the design of the property. “Going away from the completely bland interior color schemes and installing interesting designer touches,” she says. “Something that makes it feel “homey” from the day a new resident moves in.” Art curation is another option for apartment owners, and art can be integrated into parking garaged, public spaces and hallways.
By: Kelsi Maree Borland (GlobeSt)
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