This article was originally published by Arlington Transportation Partners.
It’s no secret that apartment and condo development is booming in the Washington D.C. region, fueled by a growing population of young professionals seeking to live in more urban environments.
However, as a result of this growth, developers and property managers are experiencing strong competition to attract tenants and reduce vacancy rates. As discussed in a recent Washington Post article, multi-family properties are going to great lengths to draw in residents with amenities such as theater rooms, recording studios, pet salons, even “community pets” themselves.
In Arlington, there is similar competition among existing and new developments to attract residents. In the county, multi-family properties make up more than two-thirds of the housing stock while several thousand new residential units have been approved or are under construction.
For developers and property managers in Arlington, getting a community puppy might be a little extreme, but there are some simple ways for new properties as well as non-site plan buildings to attract and retain residents. Check out these transportation-related strategies that can have an immediate and positive impact on your property and tenants.
Capital Bikeshare memberships – There are more than 60 Capital Bikeshare stations inArlington alone, and more than 300 stations in the entire system throughout D.C., Arlington, Alexandria, and Montgomery County. Providing a short-term (daily or 3-day), monthly, or annual Capital Bikeshare membership is a great perk you can include in a new resident packet or offer to interested tenants.
Resident survey – If your property has a high resident turnover rate, or you’re having trouble attracting new residents, perhaps it’s time to evaluate what your building is missing and if there is more you can do to meet your residents’ needs. A survey that asks questions about their commute or barriers to trying a new transportation mode could provide insight and lead to recommendations on ways to improve your property’s transportation amenities.
Free SmarTrip cards – Providing SmarTrip cards for residents to use on transit is an easy way to appeal to potential or new residents. At only $2 a card, this is an affordable amenity to make residents’ lives a little easier while also introducing them to the transit system. As an extra benefit, you could even preload the cards with a set amount so residents don’t need to add funds right away.
There are also several amenities and benefits that require much more time and resources to implement. However, many residential properties in Arlington have already chosen to provide such programs. These can include loaner bikes for residents’ use as well as shuttles to transit stations for buildings further away from Metro.
(Ed.’s note: Contact ATP’s Residential Services program, which can help take your multi-family property to the next level.)
Top photo by Ron Cogswell