What's Hot and What's Not ....for 1997 Apartment Homes

by Lisa Trosien and Jamie Gorski

Isn't it amazing that in the apartment industry where we strive so hard to make our apartments feel "homelike" that at least half of the hottest things in the market are based on hotel style accommodations? Apartment residents are getting the best of everything these days the amenities of home ownership (without the headaches) and the perks of hotel stay, but within their own apartment. Couple these with the flexibility afforded by leasing vs. owning and you wonder why people ever bother to buy a house!

What's Hot!
Technology Wake up calls
Voice mail Fiberoptic lighting
Six line phone capacity Double phone jacks
Stereo speakers
& wiring in every room
Home offices
Virtual apartment tours Virtual beach walks
Keyless entry systems Credit application via email
Prospect screening on the WWW Free Internet service
Electronic bulletin board access 24 hour marketing center
Your own apartment community Website Direct link from WWW apartment guide ad to your Website
On site video conferencing center Automated teller machine on site
Automated rental payments Grocery ordering and delivery service via the Internet

"No Place Like Home" touches
Custom painted apartment
doors with stenciling
Solid oak apartment doors
Brass entry handles instead of doorknobs Double bathroom sinks
Bay windows Full-length, beveled glass mirrors
Brass kickplates for apartment doors Glass block shower enclosures
Customized kitchen organizers Wood, plank, terracotte or ceramic flooring
Crown molding Berber carpeting
Hearth & mantle fireplaces Window seats
Under counter water
purification systems
"Design your own apartment" packages
Customized reracking wire
closet shelves
In-apartment recycling centers
Two tone paint jobs (dark beige walls, bright white trim) Home office
Rounded corners Garden tubs
Arched doorways Ceramic kitchen backsplashes
One bedroom, two bath apartments Bathroom telephone jacks
Built-in, pre-wired entertainment center Fax machine included with apartment
Full size blinds Plantation shutters

Kid's computer study centers Conference room
Office center with: computer,
color scanner, color printer,
typewriter, coin-op fax or
credit card fax machine
Weekly jazz brunch
Pick up & Drop off dry cleaning, laundry & shoe repair Continental breakfast daily
Free daily newspaper delivery Caterer on call
Valet rent check pick up service Valet trash service
Doctor and Dentist "after hours" Gardening plots
Personal trainer and nutritionist Lobby Aviaries
Poolside food and beverage service Car care area
"Sundown Service" guarantee Car detailing service
Personal cassette players attached to all fitness machines Pre-taped aerobic classes
Laptop computer checkout from leasing cntr Maid service
Three story buildings with elevators Discounted movie tickets

Peace of mind
Personal intrusion alarms Auto controlled entry gate
Fully gated community w/ 24 hr courtesy officers Swiss designed locks
Criminal background checks on all employees Car de-icing and snow removal
Valet car service Bus and train passes
Extended hour, routine maintenance Name Brand Management
Renter's insurance included Photo i.d. required to see apartments
Free labor to hook up all electronics Refund security deposit with lease renewal

What's Not!
"Euro" or Mauve anything Mirrored Walls
Outdated appliances Outdated closet shelving and racks
"Gimmicky" sales techniques Freshly baked cookies in the leasing office
Human directionals Maintenance personnel without uniforms
Answering machines Full month's rent as security deposit
Closed on Sunday High pressure leasing constraints
Fill in the blank form letters Leasing offices only open 9-5
Mini blinds Lease renewals done by mail
Over-decorated models Basketball courts
Chair rails Tanning beds
Track lighting Bleached wood

There you have it ... the "What's Hot and What's Not" for 1997. This survey was conducted in over 50 markets in the U.S. and Canada, and included approximately 500 apartment communities. If you don't have anything in the "What's Hot!" section, don't worry ...you could be in Singapore where you have to include a bomb shelter. Or Japan, where a windmill in your front lawn supplies power, and ever apartment comes complete with a composting bin!

Reprinted with permission

About the authors: This article is from Let's Party! The Quarterly Marketing and Retention Magazine. Increase your profit potential with resident retention and kiss creative burnout goodbye with the inexpensive and easy to implement marketing retention ideas in Let's Party.
Mention this article & ComPortOne and receive $10 off the cover price!
Email Let's Party! or call 1-888-2RETAIN.

Lisa Trosien is the president of IMPACT Marketing, Training and Seminars. She can be reached at 630-898-8898.

Jamie Gorski is vice president of corporate Marketing
for Draper & Kramer, Inc. in Chicago.
Email Jamie or call her at 312-346-8600

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