The effects of the pandemic, including rapidly rising rents, have driven apartment renters from downtown neighborhoods to the inner suburbs. But, unlike previous migrations, these individuals don’t want to leave their urban lifestyle behind. They continue to value public amenities like walkability and access to transit – things that most inner suburbs noticeably lack.
This mismatch between consumer preferences and the options available to them presents a major opportunity for multifamily developers. If you can compensate for what the suburbs lack, while paving the way for future walkability you’ll attract the attention of these potential residents and build a stronger community.
Emphasize Your Multifamily Property’s Unique Value
As you implement the strategies we’ll dive into below, make sure you have clarity on what sets your property apart from other options. Nobody wants to feel like they are getting the short end of the stick. So help your residents feel like they are coming to you by choice, rather than necessity. When marketing apartments in these locations, it’s important to highlight these unique benefits that residents can enjoy, such as affordability, growth potential, access to nature, convenience, community development, and a more relaxed living environment.
Apartments on the edge of town or in up-and-coming neighborhoods often offer more affordable rental rates or purchase prices compared to properties in highly sought-after urban areas. This can be especially appealing for individuals or families looking for more budget-friendly housing options. But this shouldn’t be the only reason they are attracted to your property.
Living in the inner suburbs often means more space and access to nature. Apartments in these areas may offer larger floor plans, more green spaces, parks, or proximity to natural landscapes like forests or lakes. This can provide a peaceful and tranquil environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city, appealing to those seeking a quieter and more serene living experience. This is particularly true post-pandemic since more consumers are aware of the important health benefits they get from time spent in nature.
Up-and-coming neighborhoods often attract young professionals, artists, and entrepreneurs who are drawn to the potential for growth and the opportunity to contribute to community development. This can foster a vibrant and creative atmosphere, with the emergence of new businesses, cultural events, and community initiatives. Residents have the chance to actively participate in shaping the neighborhood’s character and identity.
Positioning a Multifamily Apartment in the Inner Suburbs
When positioning a multifamily apartment in a neighborhood without walkability or few public amenities, it’s important to focus on the unique features and advantages your property can offer.
While the lack of existing amenities may pose a challenge, there are several strategies you can employ to enhance the appeal of your apartment building:
1. Create an All-Inclusive Community
By providing residents with convenient access to must-have facilities, you can compensate for the absence of nearby amenities.
Develop your apartment building as a self-contained community, offering a wide range of amenities within the property itself. This could include a gym, swimming pool, communal spaces, outdoor recreational areas, or even on-site retail and dining options.
2. Emphasize Convenience
Highlight the convenience factor of your multifamily apartment. If the neighborhood lacks walkability, focus on providing ample parking spaces for residents and their guests. Promote easy access to major roads, highways, or public transportation options, enabling residents to reach amenities in nearby areas without much hassle.
3. Cultivate a Sense of Community
Because suburban developments tend to be more isolated than their downtown counterparts, it’s important they foster a sense of community among residents. To compensate for the suburbs’ lack of gathering spots, organize regular community events, such as resident mixers, barbecues, or game nights, to foster a sense of belonging among your residents. Encourage social interaction and provide spaces for residents to connect with one another, creating a vibrant community within the complex.
4. Enhance the Living Experience
Because open space is a major benefit of suburban living, make sure you invest in attractive landscaping, well-maintained outdoor areas, and modern, comfortable communal spaces. Offer amenities that are desirable to your target demographic, such as sport courts, pools, outdoor kitchens, and dog parks. By providing an exceptional living experience, you can differentiate your multifamily apartment from the surrounding neighborhood.
5. Collaborate with Local Businesses
Although the neighborhood may lack amenities, there might still be local businesses or services nearby. Establish partnerships with nearby businesses, such as fitness centers, restaurants, or entertainment venues, to offer exclusive discounts or perks to your residents. This can help bridge the gap between the apartment complex and external amenities.
6. Communicate the Potential
Highlight any future development plans or initiatives that may improve the neighborhood’s walkability or amenities. For example, if there are plans for new shopping centers, parks, or community facilities in the area, share this information with prospective residents to demonstrate the neighborhood’s potential for growth and improvement.
Consider the Value of Rooftop Amenities
Apartments in the inner suburbs will likely end up somewhere between garden style and urban high-rise. They need to be dense enough to promote walkability, but not so much that they don’t fit into the neighborhood context. We’re seeing a rise in rooftop amenities at these types of properties. It’s a great call back to the urban lifestyle while emphasizing the value of open space.
Rooftop amenities at inner suburban apartments boast panoramic views of the not-too-distant city skyline, plus the surrounding natural landscape. They offer a middle ground between a resident’s private living space and the often harsh, unwelcoming, and car-oriented suburban public realm. As such they are a key component to your positioning and value proposition.
Want to learn more about rooftop amenities? Visit our Insights page for the latest trends, ideas, and inspiration you’ll need for a successful rooftop amenity at your next project.