Building Wellness Communities

By building wellness communities, multifamily properties can attract health-minded renters

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For the multifamily industry, building wellness communities could help them tap into a $52 billion market. Americans are hungry for wellness services and products, and multifamily properties can help their residents access wellness right at home.

According to Bisnow:

“In North America, the wellness community market is worth an estimated $52.5B, with an annual growth rate of 6.4%. Globally, it is valued at $134B and is expected to reach $180B by 2022, according to Fast Company. The purpose of these communities is to facilitate a stronger connection to nature and people, as well as encourage more physical activity, Fast Company reports.”

What is a Wellness Community?

A wellness community can include anything that helps renters access a better quality of life through nutrition, physical movement, nature, meditation and mindfulness, massage and other alternative health care – even opportunities for social interaction.

An mbgplanet article reports:

“In the age of smartphones, there is more need for personal connections than ever before, and our built environments can help spark them. Take BedZED—a housing development in the United Kingdom that seeks to create zero carbon emissions while promoting a strong sense of community. By making shared outdoor spaces like green roofs, gardens, and playing fields cornerstones of the community's design, BedZED crafted a place where residents know an average of 20 neighbors by name, compared to the regional average of eight.”

Other communities place an emphasis on outdoor space and access to nature, which can also support stress relief and encourage physical activity.

“These are more than just quaint touches to put on a brochure. Time and time again, research finds that living near green spaces improves mental health and decreases stress. Plus, access to a park has been shown to make us more physically active.” (mbgplanet)

Wellness and Multifamily

One real estate firm asserts that providing multifamily wellness amenities should be part of an apartment community’s mission:

“More than merely providing a roof over their residents' heads, multifamily companies must offer environments that allow their renters to thrive, in every sense of the word. When residents can engage in the exercise they want to, retreat and unwind from the stresses of modern life, and make meaningful social connections, that's when an apartment truly feels like home. And that's when residents want to become long-term residents.”

That’s a pretty compelling idea: Wellness helps create a feeling of “home” and encourages renters to stay for the long-term.

So, how can a multifamily property incorporate wellness into its apartment communities? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Offer a variety of fitness options (not just a fitness center); use virtual classes as one affordable option

  • Add green walls, green roofs and other living elements that enhance the community’s design, but also contribute to a sense of well-being for residents

  • Give residents access to shared gardens and other spaces that help them connect to nature

  • Host on-site wellness events, from health seminars to Tai Chi classes

  • Encourage residents to socialize by creating inviting community spaces and/or offering community social events (on-site or off-site)

Do you offer a unique wellness program or amenity at your property? We’d love to hear from you, if so.

To learn more about how we help multifamily properties create 21st century brands, contact us. We specialize in branding, marketing and design for the multifamily industry.