As you’ve probably noticed in the past 15 years, property managers used to have a room full of mirrors, a couple of treadmills, and maybe a stationary bike, and there it was… a gym. After simply putting those components together, the property officially had a gym that they could list as an amenity. Well, in today’s communities, it’s not that simple anymore.
Communities at this time are trying to give their renters an experience with their wellness centers, which rival local gyms. In some high-end communities, property managers have even invested in fitness experts, virtual reality machines, nutritionists, smoothie bars and even community sports teams.
If it’s been a while since you’ve given your community center a renovation, then it’s probably the time to do so and to do it right.
Start by observing your fitness center. Is it usually empty, even after 5 pm? Or do people use it regularly? If it’s not being used regularly, then there’s more than likely a disconnection between your residents and your fitness facilities.
If you yourself are an avid gym member, ask yourself what you truly value and want in a gym. If you are not, simply walk into a local gym with high standards and take a look around. Gyms need to be a place where members want to spend time in and enjoy having a workout.
Some of the things you’ll find in higher-end gyms are:
- Classes and fitness experts that follow the latest trends
- Cardio machines with personal entertainment options
- Built-in fans and climate control to keep people cool while they’re working out
- Enjoyable ambiance with aesthetic yet functional lighting and subtle fragrances
- A mix of cardio/endurance and strength training equipment
- Secure access and good visibility
- Outside views, for both aesthetic and safety reasons
- Healthy food stations (salads, smoothies, protein shakes)
Other ways to add value for residents:
- Have a freelance instructor conduct yoga, Zumba, Pilates, or fitness “boot camp” programs.
- Consider allowing a freelance personal trainer to work with residents on-site or if demand is sufficient, consider hiring one.
- Promote fitness activities and community spirit by encouraging contests and activity clubs within your community.
With a little creativity and thought process, community managers even have the chance to become the standard and THE community to live in for small group training.
Small group training allows your residents to come together for small group workouts with fellow neighbors and friends. You could contract a trainer for next to no money (the trainer would handle collecting his or her own fees, or you could do it by having a sign-in sheet at the front desk.
Other ways to assure you’re fitness center is well thought out:
- Ensure you feature your facilities online, and in your brochures. Virtual tours on your website and social media sites are a huge bonus.
- Consider having a “track” around your property with stations, fixed benches, and different equipment in various areas around.
- Make sure your staff, and you, are familiar with how to use all of the equipment and safety guidelines.
Although gyms are not a typical focal point of multi-unit properties, as you can tell, times are changing. Your future residents may find this much more important than ever before.