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Renters in America

The Post-Pandemic Amenities Race

Just as seasons and tastes change, so does the demand for the types of amenities offered in apartment communities.


Bob Pinnegar

CAE, President and CEO, National Apartment Association

As housing providers continue to emerge from the lingering effects of COVID-19, questions churn about what amenities are here to stay, and what will make communities stand out from the competition. The amenities race has begun, and housing providers are looking to entice both current residents and prospective renters with a robust selection of community-wide and in-unit offerings complemented by customizable resident-focused services.

Community amenities alone, like pools and fitness centers, are becoming less satisfying for residents absent other offerings. Though these community staples aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, they now represent a baseline for amenity expectations. Residents’ tastes are shifting, and while community-wide amenities outside apartment homes will always have their place, unit-specific and individual resident-focused services are increasingly important.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen increased adoption of cutting-edge amenities and innovative technology to complement renters’ new lifestyles. Simple in-unit amenities, like larger kitchens and flex spaces that can be used for work or school in the home, gained traction and desirability over the past two years. Similarly, designated community coworking spaces allow for the networking and social connections of a traditional office space, but just footsteps away from a resident’s unit. As workplaces and schools continue to adopt hybrid and telework policies, these in-unit and community-wide perks could remain desirable for years to come.

The latest technology

Naturally, technology continues to play a role in these types of offerings and remains a top influence in the amenities race. And while online resident portals and digital leasing options have helped modernize apartment living, touchless tech that prevents contact with high-touch surfaces is also appealing and cutting-edge within the industry.

Paralleling continued public health safety measures is the shifting demographic of renters — ranging from recent Gen Z college graduates to downsizing baby boomers — and a desire for digital connection and convenience-based services. Offerings that put control at residents’ fingertips, like smart home technology and digital valet options, keep residents connected no matter where they are and maximize convenience. Customizable services — like doorstep trash collection, home cleaning services, pet care, and package delivery — are gaining popularity and traction as well.

The apartment industry is broadly adapting to the changing lifestyle needs of America’s renters. Tastes and demand for amenities will continue to shift, but this season of change is highlighting the importance of meeting individual needs alongside those of the broader community, too.

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