This is the initial installment of an ongoing blog series called “Take Three,” in which we pose the same question to three people in the multifamily industry. The questions will address topics that will be addressed in one way or another at the upcoming conference.

For today’s installment, we asked three multifamily insiders slated to moderate at AIM 2016: “What amenity does today’s resident consider most crucial to a positive living experience?”

1) “Residents of today look for amenities that compliment their tech-loaded lifestyle. They care about fast Internet speed to stream entertainment and live their lives online. In a world where landlines are no longer relevant, keeping mobile devices wired and ready is essential. Communities should be mindful of supporting excellent cell phone coverage in apartment homes and free Wi-Fi in all common areas of their buildings. Best practice for management teams is to keep booted up, stay wired and check wireless signals across all cellular providers to ensure strong signals throughout the community. Meeting these crucial resident expectations is not only smart, it also gives your community a competitive advantage, so promote it!”

— Elaine Williams, owner and president of Elaine Williams Consulting, a Denver-based firm that works with apartment communities to improve operational efficiencies and technology programs. Prior to founding her firm, Williams worked for UDR Inc. for 14 years.

2) “I think the top desired amenity is moving from physical assets to services. Residents want to lease and pay their rent online; they want their service requested handled within 24 hours; and in all seriousness, they want their packages on their time.”

— Lori Torres, founder and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Parcel Pending, which provides apartment communities with package locker systems to manage the delivery of packages to residents. Torres has more than 25 years of experience in property operations in the multifamily housing industry, and she spent 13 years with The Irvine Co., where she held the position of senior vice president of property operations.

3) “Pets are huge with all demographic segments. Just huge. In fact, they are more of a driver now than at any point in my 35 years in the business. I consult with a client in Louisiana, and they put in a “bark park” – a fenced-in area with space for larger dogs and a space for smaller dogs. I think having facilities such as these and having the ability to accept larger dogs creates a marketing advantage for communities.”

— Jim Kjolhede, president of Satteron Enterprises, a metro Dallas-based firm that assists multifamily owners and operators as well as vendors that serve the apartment industry. Before founding the firm, he was the chief operating officer at Archon Residential Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs.

As this year’s conference will focus on the improving the resident’s user experience, amenities will be at the heart of many of the sessions and workshops. Some of the amenity-focused sessions will include “Training and Transparency for Delivering Exceptional Service,” “You Need Eggs: Activating the Connected Home Lifestyle,” “Push Button Fabulous: Third-Party Lifestyle Services” and “Parked Cars, Electric Cars and Driverless Cars – The Future of Auto Technology and Rental Communities.” View the complete AIM 2016 session schedule, and be sure to register for the show.

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