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.