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Hidden Multifamily Amenity Shoots to National #1 Spot in 2021

June 20, 2023

There’s no question that luxury multifamily communities must offer residents an abundance of amenities to compete in today’s rental market. Name your amenity, and it can probably be found at one of the thousands of posh high-rise buildings constructed in the last five years.

Bowling lanes, wine vaults, and even the fanciest of pet spas can lure potential clients to a new rental opportunity. Properties in urban city centers have seen occupancy increase and remain steady when their amenities are competitively updated.

Which amenity do you think was most booked in 2021?

The pool and barbecue pavilion were in demand over the summer. The gym always gets its fair share of action between group fitness classes and personal training. The dog park is used throughout the day, year-round. Yet, none of these earned the number one spot. Would you believe the most popular amenity for 2021 was the golf simulator?

2020 Golf Metrics Skyrocket

According to Links Magazine, the popularity of golf simulators has skyrocketed in the past two years. Thanks to the tech behind the game, golfers can play multiple courses around the world, get real-time stats, and improve with program-recommended adjustments. Virtual tee times haven’t replaced real world courses, though.

Despite golf courses, resorts, and country clubs shuttering their doors in early 2020, they adjusted quickly. After clearance from public health officials, most reopened just months into the pandemic, with extended tee times and limited food service. And as every other sport was facing setbacks, golf saw a boom. CNBC reported, “Golf surged in popularity in 2020 by nearly every metric, as people sought out the socially distanced outdoor activity amid the pandemic.”

Golf Simulators Book Up

Winter hit, along with another wave of COVID-19. Keeping amenities open, though limited, was important to both residents and management.

High-rise dwellers socially distanced themselves in private simulator rooms. And by 2021, the secret was out among those itching to keep their golf skills up.

In Class A communities all over the country, golf simulator rooms were booked up to 10 times more often than any other amenity, according to Elevated Living’s Resident Experience Platform.

Private chef kitchens and party parlors came in second place. Guest suites available for visiting family and friends grabbed third place.

At Hines properties like Chicago’s Wolf Point East or The Victor Dallas, golf aficionados routinely book their favorite virtual golf getaway, but more apartment dwellers have filtered in over the past twelve months. Golf rooms are booked morning to night, with residents maximizing booking opportunities via their building’s branded platform.

Proptech Changes Multifamily Landscape

The convenience of open or first-come first-serve multifamily amenities are long gone. Property managers have limited activities and areas with scheduling apps to abide by social distancing measures. To give residents an equitable way of booking, many managers frantically jumped on the proptech train. Yet, adopting multiple apps has proven to be an obstacle for those who want to live an effortless, opulent lifestyle.

Unless properties were already comfortably integrated with proptech, many property managers had to swiftly pivot when COVID-19 hit. Now, they realize that growth in proptech is outpacing what they presently use.

Simple, vertically-integrated solutions are making it harder for single purpose apps to compete for users’ attention. Luxury building property managers see the benefit of switching to one multi-purpose app to keep high-rise residents happy. From guest management to booking amenities, it should all be as easy as playing Pebble Beach from your NYC golf simulator.