What Sort of Facilities and Amenities do Renters of Multifamily and BTR-SFR Properties want?

Dear valued investors and future investors,

Another week has gone by and it’s time for CPI Capital’s weekly news digest offering a mixture of updates, commentary and informative articles about the lucrative world of passive real estate investment.

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The design of and facilities available in multifamily apartments and BTR-SFR properties is in constant evolution, as requirements and expectations from tenants change. Trends come and go as demographics of the user change (millennials vs seniors) or depending on factors such as the climate (ie less demand for outdoor pools in the colder north east of the country!).

Yet two of the twin drivers of major changes in the types of amenities which need to be provided in multifamily and/or BTR-SFR properties to meet tenant demand are, not surprisingly, the effects of the recent pandemic and technological advancements.

In order to have a competitive edge when attracting tenants or endeavouring to retain long-term renters there are certain key amenities which are almost obligatory requirements , especially for better quality projects, and these include:

24-hour security

security is a primary concern for many and, as security technology advances, residents are demanding and expecting smart security to be part of their environment.

It is estimated that controlled access to a community, property amenities and parking is a necessity for almost 30% of renters. Smart card access offers flexible, streamlined entry to a property whilst still maintaining high levels of security.

Some options include two-step authentication for property access such as mobile unlock or biometric evidence. Video intercom and remote unlock allow residents to visually verify and grant visitors access from anywhere; other features include scheduled PIN or one-time guest access to provide effective visitor management.

Property-wide internet access and smart technology systems

Are both already almost mandatory requirements

Even before the pandemic, there was growth in many people working from home, both in multifamily apartments and BTR-SFR properties. The pandemic just pushed this several steps further and so 24/7 connectivity to a fast reliable system is paramount.

Tenants want to be able to connect to wi-fi wherever they are in the property in order to, for example, pay bills by mobile apps, order Grab food or taxis, stream movies and/or TV in community rooms, use Zoom or Teams in meeting and conference rooms, or listen to music in fitness centres and so on.

If they can use smart technology to turn lights on and off to save electricity or manage the time when hot water is available or booking meeting rooms or saunas, then this also has major appeal, especially to the younger renter.

Fitness Centres

whilst not everyone uses them, the majority of tenants want them! In fact, on-site fitness centres are almost a necessity and these may include swimming pools, hot tubs and saunas typically as part of or at least near these fitness centres.

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The size of the gym and quality of the equipment may vary according to the demographics of the tenants, as well as the location of the property. For example, multifamily city dwellers may want interactive indoor-cycling machines but a BTR-SFR community resident may only want the weights or aerobics section of the gym as cycling around the community is possible.

Community space

Quality outdoor space, whether this be a quiet garden area or a roof top in the case of multifamily properties is becoming a necessary amenity for renters. Such space allows renters the freedom to enjoy the privacy and security of their environment yet still enjoy the outdoors.

Multi-purpose meeting rooms which can be used for social events or zoom business meetings are also in demand.

Concierge or quasi-concierge services

Having someone on the front reception desk who can receive package deliveries from on-line shopping providers or help with utilities bill payment or other tenant-friendly services are also very desirable to many renters.

Pet friendly facilities or amenities

The work from home/remote/hybrid work movement caused a ripple effect, putting much more emphasis on pet-friendly buildings and amenities.

Typically such amenities are dog-focused amenities, namely dog runs, spas and dog washing stations and so on, but there are other requirements from tenants such as simply being allowed to keep pets (ie cats) or having a pet-sitting service available.

Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) or recycling strategies or programmes

Have become popular initiatives with many residents as more awareness is created about global warming, pollution and the ability to re-use and recycle many of the products used in everyday life.

Charging stations for electric vehicles

May be one for the future but, with the ongoing growth in electric vehicles, these may become a mandatory provision to attract tenants to both multifamily and BTR-SFR properties.

CPI Capital carefully analyses the demographics of the likely tenants for all of its syndicated multifamily and BTR-SFR projects. We always aim to ensure that our properties have the most appropriate facilities and amenities to meet resident’s needs and requirements, partly to attract tenants in the first place, but also to retain tenants for the long term.

Clearly, some of the above requirements such as security and connectivity are becoming, if not already, mandatory and, no doubt, there will be further evolution of some of the “desirable” but not “essential” amenities over time.

CPI Capital aims to maximise investment returns to our passive investors and by knowing what their ancillary accommodation demands are will keep us ahead of the competition!

Yours sincerely,
August Biniaz
COO, Co-Founder CPI Capital