Developers might be looking at different strategies to entice prospective condo buyers.
Now that we are in a situation that prevents large groups of people from using any one facility at the same time, what will happen to shared condo amenities for which residents are still paying fees? And, what can commercial real estate investors and property managers do to with the shared social amenities in and around the buildings now and in the future?
Today, most buildings have reopened non-essential amenities, but with new rules and limitations. Capacity limits have been cut by more than 50 per cent, hours of operation have been reduced, and in some cases, people must sign up for a time slot. Where there is no formal signup system in place, owners must show up and hope for the best.
Regardless of what happens with the pandemic, future shared condo spaces aren’t expected to be exactly as they are now.
Pre-existing condos shouldn’t expect to see new amenities, but there may be a change to how shared spaces are booked and cared for.
Better amenity booking system
Condo corporations that have embraced a formal booking system for all of their amenities may find that they prefer this organized way of doing things. Using an online booking system, residents can schedule a time that works best for them, and claim a spot from their phone or computer. This type of system makes life a lot easier for owners and management. While condos are expected to slowly increase capacity to let more people enjoy the game room or pool at the same time, they may keep the booking system in place to prevent overcrowding. This way, owners still get to mingle, but they don’t have to wait half an hour to use the treadmill. Of course, this system only works if residents are respectful of the rules.
More frequent cleaning routines
Some condo owners were not happy about having to continue paying condo fees even though they had no access to amenities. But even if those facilities didn’t require maintenance, the spaces that were still open (elevators, lobbies, laundry rooms) needed much more care. Deep cleaning was, and is still, being done, and these additional cleaning supplies cost money.
While such strict cleaning routines may eventually dissolve, more thorough cleaning routines for shared spaces may be adopted. Proper cleaning not only makes the building more attractive, it also helps prevent the spread of germs and keep residents healthier.
New condo buildings
It’s unlikely that we’ll see futuristic workout pods or have individual screening rooms in future condo buildings, but developers may look at different strategies to draw prospective buyers in.
More living space
The luxury condo market is already seeing a demand for more square footage. There is a good chance that more people will be working from home more frequently, even after it is safe for everyone to return to work. That means buyers will be looking for units that can be used for multiple purposes. Bigger units also make it easier for owners to entertain and have guests over, which reduces the need for social spaces outside of the home. There may be less of a focus on shared social spaces, but these facilities will not disappear.
Aqua blue swimming pools, bowling alleys, and indoor basketball courts are all really nice things to have, but future condos may be equipped with more practical features such as shared outdoor spaces, quality balconies, progressive security, and parcel lockers. Conference rooms and daycare facilities within the building may also become more common as more families decide not to move to the suburbs. These types of amenities deliver constant value, and generally require less maintenance than some of the more traditional amenities.
Shared social spaces are an important part of any condo community; however, they may operate a bit differently, even after our lives have returned to a more normal status. As for future shared amenities, developers are always looking for new and exciting ways to make their buildings stand out. Shared amenities aren’t going anywhere, but they may be transformed and adjusted to complement our new reality.
Kim Brown is a content writer with Condo Control Central.