Name: Dean Holmes
Title: Chief Operating Officer
1. Resort-Style Pools. Class A and B communities can be highly commoditized so outdoor spaces are a true opportunity for differentiation. In the pool and club house areas we work hard to include a variety of relaxing and quiet spaces, as well as more social/communal spaces. Vegas-esque cabanas, fire pits, bars, top-chef grills, TVs and outdoor movie screens are becoming more the norm in our renovation efforts.
2. Resident “E” Lounges. These are becoming more sophisticated, with communal seating and furniture incorporating charging stations for phones, laptops and tablets. These play rooms also have golf simulators and electronic games so that residents never have to leave (LEAVE WHERE?) and can enjoy the company of their neighbors.
3. Package Priorities. With the explosion of e-commerce and the increase in work-from-home residents, managing the flow of packages is becoming increasingly challenging. We’re using a Package Concierge locker system and expect to greatly expand the use of this technology moving forward. It’s convenient for our residents and a huge time saver for our office teams. Beyond the latest Amazon delivery, the system has tremendous potential as a 24/7 storage and delivery conduit for a multitude of things from grocery deliveries to lease documents.
4. Business of Bikes. This means bike and gear storage, onsite bike repair shops or self-service repair areas. In the more urban locations, we’re looking at public and city bike rental locations onsite or advertised within close proximity.
5. Athletic Club Experience. The equipment is very sleek, self-service and connects with your personal fitness devices—as well as those of other residents. Often when we acquire an existing community we have little control over the size of the fitness space, but we have the ultimate control over the quality of the finishes and the equipment. When we have expansion capability we will often look to add a yoga or Pilates studio and then offer classes. We will continue to look closely at emerging products like fitness simulators for kick boxing and other cardio exercises for “self-serve” fitness classes.
6. Pet Friendly, 2.0. Rigorous pet restrictions are rapidly disappearing and giving way to amenities such as close proximity to city parks, private dog parks, groomed dog runs, self-service dog wash stations, fully manned pet spas and on-site doggie day care facilities.
7. Hotel Services. While we are primarily a suburban, garden-style operator, offering 24-hour concierge services (where practical) is becoming the norm.
8. Leasing Technology. We want our residents to enjoy our full range of services unconstrained by our standard leasing office hours. This means the ability to conduct every administrative leasing-related transaction electronically.
9. Interior Finishes. More sustainable, hardwood-type flooring; moveable/modular countertops of different shapes and heights; moveable/modular walls and rooms to make the most of a space; USB outlets as common place as electrical plugs; built-in speaker systems for iPod, iPhone and Droid use; and smart devices such Nest thermostats and roller shade control.
10. ROI. With many amenities, calculating true ROI can be tricky, if not impossible. For a package storage system, we can reliably calculate the amount of time and space we devote to this everyday transaction and the investment simply makes sense. It’s more tricky when value engineering a pool area or an over-the top fitness center. We hope our residents and prospects vote with their loyalty, rental rates and renewal decision.