4 Ways To Create a Community Residents Love
Back to Blog

4 Innovative Ways To Create a Community Residents Love

Posted on February 20, 2024 by Grace Hill

Cheerful African American Woman Opening Door And Gesturing Welcoming You To Come In Smiling To Camera Standing At Home. Hospitality, Real Estate Ownership And Purchase Concept
Cheerful African Woman Opening Door Welcoming You Standing At Home
welcome, hospitality, woman, african american, open, door, inviting, real estate, home, female, background, greeting, meet, lifestyle, apartment, service, house, property, flat, people, indoor, ownership, buying, rent, lady, joy, happy, gesture, interior, slow motion, young, millennial, adult, smile, housing, moving, black, leisure, purchase, relocation, mortgage, domestic, concept, hospitable, friendly, rental, invite, come in, look camera

Creating a community residents love is crucial to the ongoing success and profitability of rental housing. Every property manager wants satisfied residents, which involves more than just collecting rent. 

Many renters today are looking for a property that can offer a comfortable and healthy environment, along with modern amenities. As competition tightens, multifamily property managers have a prime opportunity to attract and retain residents by creating a living experience that feels like home. 

In this blog, we’ll look at how property owners and operators can upgrade their properties with the amenities and “must haves” renters actually search for and desire. As we explore the latest trends and research around amenities and services modern renters value most, you’ll be better positioned to create spaces residents love to call home.

Amenities That Matter: What Renters Really Want

  1. Future Focused
  2. Quick Connectivity
  3. Putting Your Best “Virtual” Foot Forward
  4. Healthy Living

Future Focused

Today’s renters are looking for more than just a roof over their heads. They want the latest and greatest amenities available in modern apartment complexes. These amenity features run the gamut from high-tech fitness centers with on-demand virtual training programs and interactive workout equipment to onsite package lockers that enable secure delivery pickup anytime or home automation options where residents control lighting, temperature, security, and more from their smartphones. 

While the needs of residents and prospects often vary by property and location — highlighting the importance of drilling down on preferences by market — a few amenities have grown in demand across the board over the last few years. 

For example, as the popularity of fully electric and hybrid vehicles has risen, having access to sufficient parking options has increasingly become a priority for renters. And the numbers bear that out.

According to the 2024 Renter Preferences Survey Report by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and Grace Hill, which captures renter feedback from over 172,000 participants living in 4,222 communities across 77 U.S. markets, 42% of renters are considering or expecting to lease or purchase fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles within the next two years. 

In addition to parking options, safety and security remain important considerations for renters. A recent trend watch article at Apartmentology.com shared, “Technological solutions are growing in popularity, from keyless smart locks, biometric-based security systems, and smart security alarm systems.” In fact, in the NMHC and Grace Hill survey report, having smart security alarm systems received 67% interest among renters

And let’s not forget our four-legged furry friends! With an increased demand for pet-friendly properties, the desire for pet-friendly amenities has also grown. Residents not only want pet-friendly properties but also onsite options that cater to their dogs, such as onsite pet washing stations and dog parks.  

Today’s renters are looking for more than just the basics when it comes to apartment amenities. And for younger demographics, in particular, innovative and “smart” features are a major draw. These futuristic amenities create a sense of luxury living and provide the services and environment that today’s renters demand. 

Staying attuned to the latest trends enables property owners to create an exceptional living experience and community residents love. An easy and effective way to maintain a pulse on what residents value is to use a comprehensive and well-timed survey tool like KingsleySurveys, which provides critical feedback and actionable insights to help increase resident satisfaction and guide decision-making.

Quick Connectivity

Internet access used to be a perk, but now it is an essential. Post-pandemic, the U.S., in particular, has seen demand for reliable, fast, and quick internet connectivity soar to meet the needs of consumers in the following areas:

  • Work
  • School
  • Streaming entertainment

The pandemic accelerated the remote work trend, with 52% of renters now saying they work remotely, and of those, 70% do so on a weekly or daily basis. 

As remote work has increased, so, too, has the desire to have rental spaces that accommodate “work from home” productivity. As a result, many prospective residents are looking for coworking areas with high-speed internet access, as well as print stations, video conferencing rooms, coffee bars or cafes, and more

According to Dr. Katherine Blake and Tristian Brown in their article, “19 Luxury Apartment Amenities to Look for in 2024,” coworking spaces aren’t “just a perk for remote workers; it’s a community hub fostering collaboration and innovation, all within the comfort of your building.” 

But it’s not just about work. Schools have significantly increased their use and reliance on technology, often requiring students to access online platforms and portals for submitting homework, taking exams, and completing assignments. 

And we all understand how streaming services and online gaming have ramped up their presence in everyday life! After all, who can live without Netflix?

Regardless of opinion, many daily activities rely on a strong internet connection, and residents now expect their community to offer the best possible setup — without a wait. 

When renters are ready to move in, many anticipate the immediate availability of internet service, whether by offering quick plug-and-play modem setups or pre-installed WiFi. 

It was a message also heard loud and clear in the NMHC and Grace Hill survey results, revealing that “87% of renters say having internet service immediately available at move-in is either very important or absolutely essential.

To be competitive in today’s markets, properties must provide fast fiber networks that satisfy residents’ needs and leave room for more data-intensive uses in the future. With multiple devices connected in each household, it’s no longer a “nice to have” option.

Taking an active role in ensuring robust internet connectivity shows renters you understand their needs and helps build loyalty. In the ever-evolving rental market, it’s an opportunity to attract residents and increase satisfaction; resulting in a community residents love.

Putting Your Best “Virtual” Foot Forward

Ratings, reviews, and the ease of virtual options can either make or break a property. Today’s renters are digital-savvy, and most will research an apartment community online before stepping foot on a property. In fact, 71% of renters referenced ratings and reviews when searching for their next apartment home; this is especially true for Millennials and Gen Z.

While the pandemic likely accelerated the need for virtual leasing and tour options, it’s a feature that is here to stay — and expected. With busy schedules and hectic lives, many appreciate the ability to view floorplans, photos, videos, and 3D virtual tours of units and amenities entirely online. 

Recent surveys show that roughly 1 in 5 renters have rented a home without visiting the property first. From viewing listings and touring a property to submitting rental applications, e-signing a lease agreement, and submitting payments, streamlining the online experience caters to tech-savvy prospective residents, providing flexibility and convenience for today’s on-the-go renters. 

How you “look” online matters significantly in today’s housing market. First impressions begin before a prospective resident ever walks through the office door. Renters want flexibility in how they search, tour, apply, and lease their next apartment home, and for your property to be a contender, you need to pay attention to what others have to say.

Healthy Living

With health and wellness a top priority for many renters today, pursuing healthy building certifications can give your community a competitive edge. Major certifications like LEED IAQ, WELL, Fitwel, RESET, and others indicate your property has met stringent standards for indoor air quality, lighting, accessibility, and overall well-being. 

According to the EPA, strong evidence shows a link between indoor air quality and human health, productivity, and performance. Achieving a certification demonstrates to current and potential residents that your community is designed with their health in mind and provides an opportunity for differentiation in a crowded market.

“By pursuing these healthy building certifications and other wellness improvements, building owners and operators can grow the momentum of the healthy building movement and demonstrate that their buildings are safer and more comfortable than non-certified buildings” (Veregy.com).

Among residents surveyed, 62% said that a healthy building certification would positively influence their leasing decision, so property owners who prioritize adding one or more of those distinctions to their properties provide a distinct advantage over the competition.

While these healthy building certifications take effort, being able to market the achievement can pay dividends when attracting new residents. Creating a healthier, safer, and more comfortable community shows you care about the well-being of everyone who lives and works onsite.

Don’t Make Decisions in the Dark

Creating a community residents love requires focusing on amenities and features that meet the needs and preferences of modern renters and prospects. In doing so, your property stands to gain better resident satisfaction and retention rates, a favorable online reputation, and an ability to attract new renters.

These two industry-respected resources will help you make data-driven decisions using comprehensive and trusted insight:

  • Grace Hill and NMHC’s Renter Preferences Survey Report provides an overall industry perspective, along with options to uncover what renters in YOUR market prefer. There are three ways to buy: Purchase Now!
  • KingsleySurveys resident surveys help you discover satisfaction and renewal intent among current residents. On average, KingsleySurveys clients see an increase of 4% renewal intention year over year.

If you are ready to create a community residents will love, talk to a Grace Hill expert today about survey solutions that make a difference. 

Note: All statistical references taken from the 2024 NMHC and Grace Hill Renter Preferences Survey Report

Grace Hill’s marketing content team aims to create informative resources that help multifamily and commercial industry professionals elevate their performance. From blog posts and ebooks to infographics, checklists and webinars, the Grace Hill team has a singular focus: creating meaningful and engaging content that resonates with real estate professionals across the industry.  However, what makes Grace Hill so unique is the range of collective experience and collaborative spirit of its marketing content team. A group of talented writers with expertise in the real estate industry, overall management effectiveness, marketing strategy, and operational efficiency, the team provides new ideas to take performance to the next level. As a thought leader, Grace Hill's content team constantly pushes the envelope, experimenting with new resources and tools to keep industry professionals ahead of the curve.  Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out in the real estate industry, the content team at Grace Hill is creating resources to help you succeed. Learn more about Grace Hill on LinkedIn.

Learn More About The Author

Scroll to Top