Outdoor amenities are here to stay. If anything, the effects of the pandemic have increased the demand for rooftop and outdoor living experiences.
Now developers are asking themselves, “What will outdoor apartment amenities look like after coronavirus? How will they change? What will differentiate a property?” The key to answering these questions is understanding the short and long-term effects of the virus on the design and management of outdoor amenity spaces.
As your properties begin to grant access to common areas once more, cleanliness is of the utmost importance to users. In order for many people to feel confident in the space, management staff need to demonstrate that high-touch areas are periodically disinfected. Fortunately, the CDC has said that the virus doesn’t spread through properly treated pool water and is transmitted less through touching surfaces than previously thought. Still, it will remain important to inform tenants of the measures being used to keep each amenity space clean and safe.
In order to manage the spread of the virus within your community, shared spaces may need stricter occupancy limits. Perhaps some places should be open by reservation only – such as hot tubs, cabanas, or barbecue areas.
The pandemic may increase the general distrust of strangers among your tenants. That, and a lingering stay-at-home mentality, may lead people to limit their time in common areas. But, the community-building aspects and health benefits of outdoor apartment amenities are ever more important. Opportunities for human interaction and time in nature are sorely missed.
To get the most of your outdoor amenities in the short-term, you’ll need to get creative. Consider holding organized community events outside where you can more easily maintain safe interactions between people. Don’t make the mistake of totally limiting access to outdoor amenity spaces. Do the logistical work to keep these spaces open, clean, and safe. Providing your tenants with access to the outdoors, along with safe and fun activities, will pay big dividends. Use this time to build a stronger community where your tenants will want to stay longer.
People will likely prefer gathering in smaller groups in the future. Even once there is treatment readily available for the virus, many people could continue to feel uncomfortable in larger groups.
Outdoor spaces will need to be organized in such a way that they can accommodate many people, but in smaller groups. The use of plants, walls, and other vertical elements can be a great strategy when space to spread out is limited.
Work from Home
Now that many companies have sorted out the logistics of working from home and the technology is in place, the trend towards working from home will continue. Even before the pandemic, the demand for co-working space was quickly growing. Moving forward, co-working space will continue to be a hot amenity for hotels and apartments.
A great strategy for meeting both the needs of working from home and having a more safe working environment is to provide working space outside. Outdoor working spaces could include private work pods, meeting areas, and the like.
Whatever your current strategy, it’s important to stay flexible. By designing spaces that are adaptable, you can continue to pivot with the changing circumstances. Multi-purpose and multi-use spaces will provide you with the biggest bang for your buck.
Plan spaces that can be combined or sub-divided depending on the level of risk at your community. Because the pandemic is constantly changing, you’ll get the most out of your outdoor amenities if you can allow them to remain in flux.
The Bottom Line
As you adapt your projects and strategize for the future, each of your projects will improve. By keeping tabs on changing trends and current events, you’ll find you have a competitive edge. The Coronavirus has presented many challenges across nearly every industry. But, there will continue to be opportunities for those who are willing to learn and innovate.
Continue leveraging outdoor amenities and they will bolster your bottom line.
Check out the following articles for more valuable insight on outdoor amenities:
- 5 Reasons to Prioritize Amenity Spaces During the Recession
- Why “Community” is the Next Great Amenity for Renters
- The High Cost of Going Cheap: Managing Your Investment Property
- It’s the Quality of Outdoor Space that Matters
- Flipping the Script: How to Bring the Outdoors Inside
- Your Future Tenants Want Beautiful Outdoor Spaces
- There’s a Better Way to Create Immersive Rooftop Experiences