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Pros & Cons: Installing Gates in a Multifamily Development

build-to-rent podcast market research Sep 13, 2021

What do you think about gates as an amenity?

Sherida Zenger

I think that there are pros and cons. Obviously, depending on the location of the project, a gate could be a good thing... You're going to deter people from just driving through sort of getting random people, you know, trash-wise or using the amenities in that project.

Sometimes I feel like it may be a hindrance because maybe it could scare a tenant off from even wanting to come in and seek a rental application. I don't know.

Steve Olson

I think if you got good leasing. I know there's a new technology where they can, they can do apps on their smartphone. And that opens the gate forum. And then that there's like a master code given to Amazon and the postal service that everybody can get in there that needs to get in there. You have to have a fire a crash gate for emergency services to get in through. More and more, I'm feeling like gates are probably a good thing. As long as you plan for it on the front end.

I've got one I'm dealing with where we didn't plan for it on the front end. So we got to put it in, it's gonna be a mess.

Sherida Zenger

It'll be interesting to see what happens on one of our Arizona projects that will be gated versus some of the others that aren't so I mean, I think time will kind of tell on that. Give us more experience. I don't have a ton of experience with that.

Steve Olson

You learn things about a build-to-rent project as you go down the line. You get feedback from the tenants and from your investors and you realize things that you might need.

One that I'm looking at right now, and this is pretty common in an A-class apartment building, it has a big beautiful clubhouse. And they'll receive your packages for you. We've got one more people are the packages getting stolen yet those porch pirates, right?

So we're gonna put in one of those packages, lockers. But where do we put it? I mean, it wasn't designed, the project wasn't designed for that. So there's going to be some construction that we're going to have to do but bottom line, everything that you can do to make the tenants happier, to stay longer to put up with those rent increases or to get new rental rates and raise them over time. That's stuff that you got to do.

It pays off 1000s and 1000s of dollars in expenses for amenities. If it keeps people longer and gets them to pay even 25 bucks a month more. That's important.

Chase Leavitt

100%. And that's key. It's understanding your demographic that we've talked about already. And then understanding what amenities are going to fit that demographic? figuring out what those costs are going to be for that demographic for that project, right? And then is that gonna allow you to get more rent? Or the rent that you're looking for? And then what you just talked about... Is it going to keep the tenant longer? and decrease that vacancy, or lease up faster.

Sherida Zenger

You need to look at the projects around you, too. We have a few projects that we've done, where there are other projects around us that have more amenities than us, and some that have less. A tenant may be looking at that as well saying, I want this amenity, or I don't want this amenity.

Don't over amenatize either, because that could go against you.

Steve Olson

Because in some areas, there's a certain amount of rent that people are going to pay. And you could put all the amenities in the world and think you're going to get $2500 a month in rent. And somebody that's gonna live in there is just not gonna pay it. You definitely hit a ceiling.

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