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A New Era of Multifamily Living

General

While the American dream was once defined by single-family home ownership and white picket fences, our picture of success is now more focused on accomplishing a balanced lifestyle supported by convenience, flexibility and wellness. This shift in values has paved the way for multifamily housing to pose a marketable alternative to the traditional American dream. In fact, multifamily housing now accounts for nearly one-fifth of American housing and grew nearly 32% between 2010 and 2020. What are the most successful multifamily developers doing to attract the right demographic? In a word, they’re providing amenities. Here are four key themes in today’s multifamily amenities that are attracting prospective residents.

Borrowing Inspiration from Hospitality

Like hotels, multifamily properties are developing unique brand identities that set them apart from other offerings in the market. Driven largely by the residence’s distinctive aesthetic, property designers are taking their inspirational cues from hotels, resorts, restaurants and other experiential environments. Each public space is thoughtfully curated to draw people in and help build community. Much like a hotel, these can include outdoor firepits, luxurious lobbies, mood-setting music, as well as added conveniences like concierge services or mini convenience stores for last-minute necessities.

Balancing Work & Wellness

Flexible and hybrid work schedules have reframed how we think about the space in our homes, and how it can be reallocated to accommodate work needs. Public co-working spaces are being added to multifamily properties as residents prefer to leave the confines of their apartment or condo, without traveling far from home. In addition to the physical needs of desking, wi-fi and printing equipment, these spaces fill a social need as well, an important aspect that was missing during the fully remote workday.

Delivering Convenience & Community

In light of recent world events, “community is the new amenity,” according to Angela Harris of TRIO. Residents want to feel at home and connected to the entire property, not just their individual dwellings. A variety of communal spaces helps them connect with each other and entertain friends and loved ones. And when socialization and convenience mix, it’s a win-win. Top-of-the-line fitness centers, children’s play areas, and dog runs bring people together while making their daily lives easier. We’ll continue to see amenities become more and more unique as properties elevate them as part of their brands. Pickleball courts, meditation spaces, maker studios, and homework libraries for teens are some examples of this. The key is understanding your target demographic and designing amenities to their lifestyle needs. As Zachery Mundt of EverBridge advised, “Think of these communities as neighborhoods, not buildings” and plan them accordingly.

Focusing on Outdoor Living

A common thread through our multifamily themes is the importance of making the outdoors more accessible and inviting, whether residents are entertaining, building community, or simply need a change of scenery during the workday. Beyond the traditional pool and chaise lounges (which are always welcome), the key to today’s outdoor amenities is layering a variety of activities that meet everyone’s needs. Different zones can offer an outdoor kitchen, private work areas, fitness spaces, dog runs, fire pits, hammocks, and children’s play areas. Upscale finishes should be thoughtfully chosen as well, including deep-seated lounges, privacy screens and, of course, plenty of shade options. Outdoor communal spaces can make or break a property for prospective residents, especially if private access to the outdoors is limited. As we collectively place more value on health and wellness, the ability to spend more time with nature is toward the top of most must-have lists.

The cultural and economic climate is inspiring significant changes in what we value about our homes. To attract residents, developers, designers and specifiers should have a deep understanding of their target demographic and create amenity spaces that will integrate seamlessly into their customers’ daily lives—and likely provide a level of convenience they’ve never experienced. If you’re planning a multifamily project, we’d love to discuss more of the latest trends and help you build your property’s brand identity through luxurious outdoor spaces.

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