The Indoor/Outdoor Apartment Resident

How to attract an apartment resident with indoor/outdoor living

In the era of remote work, people spend more time at home than ever. Providing indoor and outdoor lifestyle amenities will help meet changing apartment resident needs. 

Lifestyle questions

How do your residents relate to space in your community? Do many of them work from home at least part time, and does that work happen in their unit or somewhere else on-site?

What about when they clock out for the day? Do they have spaces where they can retreat, unwind, socialize and connect with what matters most to them? 

As Harvard Business Review noted in this article about the impact of physical surroundings on a person’s work: 

“Places shape us — and we in turn shape them — because they can satisfy various identity motives, such as our fundamental needs for a ‘home,’ to feel belonging and acceptance, to learn and grow, and to have a sense of continuity over time and coherence about who we are.”

While that article focuses on work, it applies across a person’s entire identity and lifestyle. As multifamily property managers, considering the whole person can help you attract and retain residents by meeting some of these deeper needs. 

Key outdoor amenities to attract multifamily residents

Importantly, life doesn’t just happen within interior spaces. Every human has a fundamental need for connection with the outdoors. From a window that overlooks a tree-lined street to rooftop gardens, natural elements fuel a sense of belonging and well-being. 

Scientific reports like this one have shown that: 

“…nature can promote positive emotion, life satisfaction, subjective vitality and so on. These effects have been demonstrated with real nature such as parks, forests, and indoor plants, digital nature such as images and videos, and in-nature activities.”

So, nature experiences don’t have to happen in the wilderness to have a positive impact. While even digital images and immersive nature-themed videos can promote positive feelings, we’re willing to bet your residents would rather have a park bench among some flowers than a fancy VR studio. 

So, what are some outdoor amenities that resonate with apartment residents? They include: 

  • Outdoor pools
  • Games and sports, such as corn hole, pingpong, badminton and pickleball courts
  • Space to grill and eat
  • Rooftop or courtyard gardens and greenhouses
  • Lounge space outside with comfortable furniture
  • Views of nearby natural features, such as a park or lake
  • Living walls, aka green walls, featuring live plants
  • Water features like fountains, ponds or small streams

Multihousing News calls outdoor amenities a “must” for today’s renters

“Ample outdoor space is a must for multifamily renters, especially in urban markets where green spaces are often limited. Rooftop gardens, courtyards and terraces provide a retreat are only a few amenities you can add to attract renters. These outdoor spaces offer opportunities for socializing, relaxation and even activities like yoga classes or community events.”

In addition, one multifamily developer and designer highlighted the benefit of multi-use outdoor amenities for this NAAHQ piece, saying:

“Multi-use outdoor spaces are key. An outdoor lawn that is thoughtfully designed to  accommodate yoga, outdoor fitness, lounging and games will have a much higher ROI than a single-use attraction. Outdoor co-working spaces are also highly sought after, as people continue to take their work home. We are also exploring a branded, property-specific bike-share or e-scooter fleet to provide to residents who want to get around easily and sustainably.”

Thinking in terms of what will work best for the most people will help you realize a better return on investment.

Meeting outdoor lifestyle needs without a remodel 

What about apartment communities completely tapped out on space? Here are a few ideas about adding doses of nature and outdoor experiences for your residents: 

  • Use the space you have. Add plants to your lobby or introduce seating along your landscaped outdoor pathways. Hang bird feeders to attract more wildlife.
  • Take it on the road. Have a park or trail nearby? Host a nature walk or outdoor event for residents. 
  • Bring the pets and kids. Start a dog-walking or stroller-walking club for residents. 
  • Maximize views. Even if your view is a city skyline, you can highlight it. Think nighttime stargazing or happy hour events on the upper balcony.
  • Activate all the senses. Add nature-themed, large-scale art to your lobby or install wall-mounted water features to create a more natural ambience. 
  • Offer memberships. Located near a botanic garden or zoo with beautiful landscaping? Offer an annual membership as a resident perk.
  • Upgrade individual unit balconies. Existing balconies can be empty and lackluster. Adding comfortable patio furniture, planters and plants can elevate that space for potential renters. 

In addition, you can help residents connect with nearby amenities by creating a resident newsletter (print, email or using an online resident hub). Highlight the best outdoor dining, upcoming concerts in the park, local nature centers and more. 

Final Thoughts

Consider partnering with local businesses, such as bike rental companies or sightseeing agencies, who can supplement offerings for your residents. In turn, these neighboring businesses can become important referral partners for you.

Think creatively about how you can add more lifestyle moments for each of your residents. They will thank you in the form of lease renewals and referrals. 

Ready to share your indoor/outdoor lifestyle amenities with new potential residents? We can help. We specialize in multifamily branding, design and marketing, and we would love to help you connect with renters who want more from their apartment homes. Reach out for a complimentary discovery call.

Posted By

Sara Bess