Translations Blog

Josh Kaplan

August 15, 2018

The arms race for small apartment property owners to compete for tenants in the Los Angeles metro has intensified in the past decade. New high-rise developments have certainly increased over the past 20 years, but most of the existing apartment buildings were built with less than 50 units in the heyday of the mid-century development boom from 1940 to 1979. Consequently, the majority of the renter pool lives in these smaller, older buildings and are expecting something unique in exchange for paying top-market rent. To that end, landlords have steadily added amenities where possible to differentiate their buildings from the competition.

Here are some of the best bang-for-the-buck amenities for small to mid-sized older buildings:

  • Storage Units – These are extremely valuable in Los Angeles with the lack of space for renters. Providing legitimate, secure storage attracts tenants who need extra storage for big and bulky items.
  • In-Unit Laundry – Most tenants would rather not fight over the common washers and dryers in boutique buildings and will pay a significant rent premium for an in-unit washer/dryer combo.
  • Independent Package Lockers – With the popularity of Amazon and other delivery services, many smaller buildings that don’t have a secure lobby are overwhelmed with packages every day, creating a hassle for tenants picking up packages and cluttered front office. With delivery lockers, tenants no longer need to adjust their schedules around delivery times or office hours.
  • Fitness Equipment – While most small buildings don’t have the room for a full-service gym, an exercise bike, stair climber, rowing machine and TV are enough to draw in tenants who don’t have the time or money to commit to formal gym membership.
  • Smart Technology – Because of their age, most of the boutique apartments in Los Angeles are not equipped with smart technology in the units, presenting an opportunity for landlords to create a competitive advantage.
  • Outdoor Space – Many older boutique buildings have unused outdoor space that can be upgraded with soft seating, grills, or fire pits for residents to use on the weekends as a gathering space.

 – By Josh Kaplan, SVP, Los Angeles, California.