Beyond Basics: Building Thriving Communities through Unconventional Offerings

Renting on the Rise

Since the 2008 market crash, the number of people choosing to rent homes has increased to over 41 per cent. This has created an exciting opportunity for real estate developers to capture the market and many are attempting to entice prospective renters with impressive aesthetics and luxurious amenities. However, leading experts in real estate and urban innovation caution against relying too heavily on superficial glitz and glam.

Nicole Fichera, Co-Founder and Principal at FWD Partners says, "Renters have more choices than ever before. You need more than just yoga classes to attract and retain tenants. You have to ask better questions: How can our building create a healthier neighborhood? How can our building transform residents' lives?"  Tenants are seeking a sense of community and belonging in addition to a beautiful physical space. This creates both a challenge for developers and an opportunity for further innovation.

Understanding the Market

So, how do you shift your buildings from tenant blocks to thriving communities? Nicole Fichera believes you do this by getting to know your customers and understanding what inspires engagement and belonging. To help find the right questions to ask, it is helpful to look at some emerging trends:

  1. Demand for walkable communities and easy access to amenities, cultural experiences, and public transportation.

  2. Rising participation in the sharing economy and the ways in which it fosters and facilitates community.

  3. The increasing blend between work, life, and play and the role the built environment has in creating community for those who work remotely.

These three trends do not yet hold immediate answers to the best approaches to attracting and retaining renters. Instead, they offer insights about the world in which your customers operate and the expectations they are developing for their homes and communities. From these insights, you can start forming the right questions to ask to find out what truly creates value for your renters.

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Nicole Fichera