Gone are the days when the biggest attraction for apartment hunters was cheap rent. With the economic outlook improving and many young adults looking to get out from under their parents’ roofs, new preferences—and higher expectations—are coming to light.
For young professionals, it is all about efficiency and customization. As technology continues to evolve, so too do the notions of personal service, flexibility and convenience. Mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, cater to younger generations, giving them the accessibility they crave anytime, anywhere.
The new cultural transformation will continue to impact retail and residential property management development moving forward. Today’s tenants are accustomed to on-demand services. They want their music and movies accessible to them, when they want them. They want to be personally notified the instant something happens. They want to track the progress of shipments, and they want to pick up their packages on their terms versus leaving them in the hands of a concierge or sitting in a lobby.
As this personalized convenience trend has gained interest, it has grown to include services such as drycleaning and laundry.
Our company, bizzie, has introduced a revolutionary service concept that combines home/office pick-up and delivery of drycleaning and laundry, with personal lockers in office buildings, residential communities and multifamily residences, which function as “garment mailboxes.” Customers can drop off dirty garments in a secure locker, and then be alerted via text message or email the moment their freshly laundered garment has been placed back into the locker.
Similarly, Amazon has installed lockers for easy and secured package delivery as a result of its customers’ change in expectations.
Going forward, more multi-family housing communities and real estate developers will offer these luxury service amenities to gain a competitive edge in attracting and retaining residents and tenants. Understanding, appreciating and staying up-to-date on these emerging services will be an integral part of conducting business for landlords, property managers and building owners alike.
Well-known companies embracing the convenience of locker-based systems into their own operations drive home this fact. Much like bizzie and Amazon, ShopRunner, an Amazon competitor, unveiled “PickUpPoints,” which provides its members with free locker delivery from a list of more than 60 retailers. Similarly, Google has acquired “Buffer Box,” a Canadian parcel delivery startup that has a PIN-protected P.O. box for packages sent by eRetailers.
While all offer slightly different concepts, the formula for each is the same: convenience and smartphone technology. Their appeal to both residents and businesses cannot be overstated. Residents like the functionality of entering a PIN or code to retrieve their package, while businesses are impressed with the endless opportunities locker-based systems offer as a service differentiator in today’s competitive real estate marketplace.
Particularly for offices and residences, this service model creates what amounts to a luxury-level benefit for virtually no capital investment—at a time when premium services are becoming a standard expectation for today’s discerning individuals.
The takeaway lesson for multi-family community owners and managers is the need to be proactive and willing to jump on board with these new services. With the rate at which a rare perk is becoming a must-have amenity, these concepts and conveniences should remain top-of-mind.