Traditionally, renting is the gateway to home ownership. But that appears to no longer be the case.
Recent studies show that now more than ever Americans are choosing to rent. This trend partially reflects lifestyle choices of Baby Boomers and Millennials.
More specifically, Baby Boomers are selling their suburban homes and moving to the city. On the other end of the age spectrum, Millennials are waiting to purchase a home.
Because of the rental market demand from these demographic groups, rental communities continue to enhance the number and types of amenities to retain these renters.
Technology, energy efficiency, health and wellness, work style and ridesharing are playing a significant role as to how rental communities are designed and built.
Rental communities are featuring smart home technology such as smart thermometers that enable renters to set heat and cooling temperatures remotely, LED lighting, Wi-Fi and Internet TV, keyless entry systems and electric-car charging stations.
Older buildings are being renovated with additional insulation and energy-efficient HVAC and mechanical systems along with other energy and money-saving options.
Baby Boomers value health and wellness amenities within their communities. Fully equipped fitness centers and a pool are desirable. Some communities even have a room dedicated for virtual yoga or spin classes.
As the number of professionals working remotely continues to increase, co-working spaces in rental living communities are on the rise, too.
On-site enclosed workstations for tenants to use supports this demand in addition to space for computer use. Some communities go as far as to provide printers, Internet connections, scanners and other office technology tools, too.
Other top lifestyle amenities include in-unit laundry units, online rent payments and secure access to the building. Storage security is important, especially for expensive items such as bikes.
Tenants also appreciate a package room to accommodate their online purchases. A package room is a secure location where their purchase can be stored until they are able to pick it up. These secure locations are perfect for packages delivered during regular business hours when they likely are to be away from home. In buildings where there is no space for a package room some rental communities deliver the packages to the apartment.
Another sign of the times is the development of pick-up and drop-off areas for rideshare services. But the need for signage and striping for designated areas goes beyond Uber and Lyft. Online shopping quickly has replaced shopping at the store, and apartment communities will need to carve out space for their tenant’s groceries, meals and purchases to be delivered.
Even though technology seems to be driving force behind how communities are being developed, tenants want their residential properties to offer planned social events and community gatherings. This concept has moved to the outdoors where park benches, well-lit walking trails and eating spaces (grills, tables, shelters) are being incorporated.
This article originally appeared in The La Jolla Light