Attract More Tenants with a Clubhouse and Leasing Office That Wows
Whether you’re planning new multifamily housing construction or looking to refurbish your existing complex, your clubhouse and leasing office deserve a high priority in your renovation plans. Why?
Because urban living continues to attract tenants of all ages, and they want their living spaces – especially their clubhouses and amenities – to have it all. To attract a continuous flow of economically robust tenants to your Class A or Class B multifamily housing, you need to appeal to what draws them the most.
In short, they’re looking for high service, high amenity multifamily housing. As Building Design + Construction puts it, these sorts of tenants will trade square footage in their units for the location, but they expect to make up for it, and then some, with near-luxurious common areas and amenities. They want a “low maintenance, urban – or at least walkable – experience, enhanced by amenities and technology.”
The two common areas with the most first-impression power are your clubhouse and your lobby/leasing area.
Other than the actual living spaces, your potential tenants will focus most strongly on these two areas as places they can imagine themselves comfortably and happily living.
“Could I spend a few hours here and enjoy myself?”
“Would I invite my friends or family over to this?”
“Does this place excite me about living here?”
As your prospective tenants observe your clubhouse and leasing office, these sorts of questions run through their mind much more than whatever your manager might be saying to them.
It’s about the visuals first. Very closely following that, it’s about the usefulness. Appearance and flexibility. Form and function. Curb appeal and pleasure. That’s the combination your tenants are looking for.
To maintain or upgrade to a Class A or Class B status, here are seven ideas for refurbishing your clubhouse and leasing office/lobby.
7 Class A and B Multifamily Housing Refurbishment Ideas
1. Add a High-End Coffee Bar
Depending on how your complex is set up, you could place a ritzy coffee bar in your lobby, leasing office, or clubhouse. Just remember to keep it stocked!
Tenants of Class A and Class B multifamily housing are looking for ways to enhance their living experience. They want amenities that make life easier, more fun, and less stressed.
Anyone can put out a pot of coffee, some paper cups and packets of sugar. Tenants will take notice of that, but it won’t impress them. A high end coffee bar provides an instant opportunity to get their attention. It will catch them off guard. And it will make them think twice about your complex.
Get a really nice cabinet with a granite countertop where you can display your coffee equipment and easily keep it clean. Array it with an espresso machine, a grinder, and a thermal so they can choose between drip, iced coffee, lattes, espressos, and the many other varieties of coffee beverages. Fill the cabinet with all the supplies they’ll need. Include various coffee bean options, and don’t forget your tea-drinkers either.
Will this be challenging to manage and keep clean?
You have to remember who your tenants are. Class A especially, but also Class B tenants will generally be motivated to keep this area clean, because they will appreciate it so much. But if maintenance does become a problem, you can always offer one tenant a small discount on their rent to maintain it.
The curb appeal of the coffee bar and the new tenants it will attract will more than make up for a single stipend.
2. Clubhouse Rules: Go Big, Go Flexible, Go Comfortable
Your clubhouse needs to immediately feel like a place your tenants can call ‘home’. It is their home. If they can see themselves spending time here, comfortably, then you’ve won them over.
How do you accomplish that?
First, make the room big enough. 500 square feet won’t cut it. You want more like 5000. Room for more than one group to use it at the same time, in different parts of the room.
Then, make it comfortable. That means big furniture, oversized, the kind you lay around on for hours reading a book, playing games, or watching TV. Make sure there’s a kitchen with a fridge to make it easier to host parties.
Finally, make it flexible. Furniture should not weigh 800 pounds. Couches, seats, and tables should be easy to rearrange. You can install bi-fold doors connecting two rooms together, or in certain climates, the inside clubhouse with the outside area, greatly expanding the perceived size of your clubhouse.
To maintain your investment in this upscale clubhouse, use durable materials for your floors, cabinets, and counters that can be easily cleaned and won’t wear out in a year. Some of the newer tile designs such as herring bone and brick-looking tiles have led to a tile comeback, and this durable material should be one you consider in your clubhouse renovation plans.
3. Kick Out the Movie Theater
In the 90s, this was a really smart idea. But today, with Netflix and all the streaming options, fewer people congregate in settings like these to watch movies.
And theaters violate the flexibility standard you just read about. The seats don’t move. It’s too rigid, and not multi-purpose.
Consider converting your theater room into a classroom for yoga, meditation, or Pilates group exercise classes. Done right, you could also use it for other classes and intra-community events. If your theater is large enough, you might also be able to convert it into two rooms, or even better – one room with a retractable wall in the middle.
Again – flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.
4. Integrate Technology
Especially in your clubhouse, tenants will be on the lookout for multifamily housing that offers many ways to enjoy themselves in their new home.
That means easy game console hookups, Wi-Fi, streaming TV options, USB hookups, and plentiful charging stations.
In your lobby and leasing office, use a TV screen to post announcements and updates rather than a table of brochures. Use tablets instead of paper for signing leases and showing room options.
If you have the space, adding an automated package management center will be a major draw. These greatly enhance the sense of security around package deliveries and will be an immediate draw. Packages get placed in individual cabinets that only get opened with a keycode that gets emailed to the person who the package is for.
For Class A and Class B multifamily housing improvement ideas, this is one of your best technological improvements, because package delivery will only continue to increase, and along with it the risk of theft. Some complexes have seen 50% more package deliveries in just the last few years.
5. Add Clubhouse Games
Pool tables, shuffleboard, classic arcade games, ping pong, and even climbing walls will fill out a clubhouse (or fitness room) and provide even more ways a tenant can see themselves spending a lot of time there.
You can get very creative here, especially if your complex is in an area with very particular demographics. For instance, if you have a high concentration of urban, upscale empty-nesters, think about the sorts of games and recreational activities you can provide for them. Those may look very different from a complex filled with tech-industry single 20-somethings.
6. Incorporate Green Technology
Your clubhouse and leasing office offer an immediate opportunity to demonstrate your concern for environmental sustainability.
Big windows, open concepts and lots of natural light don’t just make the room a more pleasant place to be. They also reduce the energy required to power your building. Glass doors have the same effect over solid wood doors.
7. Add Boutique Amenities to Appeal to Your Target Tenants
Your leasing office probably closes in early evening, but your tenants might enjoy spending time in the lobby if it doubles as a lounge. You can also offer concierge service, child care, pet grooming and pet play areas, and many other services you can operate out of your leasing office or in a nearby room.
Planning a Clubhouse, Leasing Office, or other Common Area Refurbishment?
Especially for maintaining or upgrading to a Class A or Class B multifamily housing status, renovating your clubhouse and your leasing area will provide a strong return on investment.
These two spaces, more than any other common area, win over prospective tenants by combining aesthetic creativity, bold design, durability, service, and functionality.
If you’re in need of a contractor who specializes in multifamily housing construction and renovation, reach out to us for a preliminary consultation.