The Hottest New Amenity for Multifamily Communities: Car-Charging Stations

The Hottest New Amenity for Multifamily Communities: Car-Charging Stations

Industry studies show that the number of electric vehicles on the road has doubled each year for the past three years. While a car sales statistic wouldn’t normally be at the top of a multifamily owner or investor’s list, today, it should be. The question is, why?

Multifamily owners and investors are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to add value to their communities. As a result of the continued growth in electric vehicle sales, owners and investors can now add value to their communities by implementing car-charging stations throughout their communities. Like all other value add amenities, adding car charging stations can assist owners in providing better customer satisfaction, while also creating an opportunity for increased revenue.

A new amenity, car-charging stations add value for owners and investors in a variety of ways. First, the charging stations provide the opportunity to increase prospective resident interest in a community, by adding an element to the community that many residents are currently demanding. Secondly, the installation of the charging stations creates an additional revenue stream that will continue to grow with the popularity of electric vehicles, which are expected to reach over one million electric vehicles on the road globally by 2016.

With this in mind, owners and investors have started to install car-charging stations throughout multifamily developments. This new community amenity is most typically installed in the community parking lots where each main station can host up to five or six different charging stations. These communal stations create an added convenience for residents who own electric vehicles and additional revenue for owners and investors with each use.

The average rate for a charging service is anywhere between $5 to $12 per charge, and depending on the type of vehicle can take anywhere from three to five hours per charge. These stations include features that allow communities to charge residents, or the guests of residents, by credit card for using the service.

The second opportunity for revenue is by implementing garages that are equipped with charging stations. Rather than having to wait for the common charging units to become available, residents will have the opportunity to use these stations at their leisure. Residents will not have to worry about sharing the charging units with any other residents and can plug in each time they return their car to their garage.

This provides an excellent opportunity for owners and investors because they are then able to charge an upgrade cost or premium for the apartment units that come equipped with garages featuring this new amenity. Western National Property Management is currently implementing these stations at one of our Southern California properties. This community will be equipped with 16 garages that will feature car-charging capabilities, as well as several common charging station areas in the community’s parking lots. These stations provide the opportunity to maximize income through these additional revenue streams and will ultimately impact the bottom line of a community as more and more electric vehicles hit the road.

The increased demand for electric cars has created and will continue to create an increased demand for car-charging stations in multifamily communities. Within the next five to ten years, the implementation of car-charging stations is anticipated to become commonplace for most new multifamily developments. This is due to both increased demand by tenants, as well as apartment owners’ drive to stay competitive in their local market.

The key for many multifamily owners and investors is to remain ahead of the curve and to be consciously seeking the newest and latest amenities that will attract renters and increase revenue. By evaluating these market trends, owners and investors can transform trends such as electric vehicle usage, into opportunities for revenue growth.

Laura Khouri is President at Western National Property Management.  She can be contacted at (949) 862-6200.

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