If you’re like many residential building operators, you are likely too busy to spend time worrying whether your residents are hitting the gym regularly. It’s enough that they have a well-designed and amenity-packed fitness club on their doorstep. But in a white-hot property market where your competition can easily lure away renters, it’s important to think about maximizing every asset on the premises, including your gym. Doing that well and creating community to engage residents, helps build loyalty when it’s time to renew the lease.
As you think about ways to get more from your fitness investment in 2023 and beyond, try these four strategies to make your fitness facility a hub of resident activity throughout the year.
1. Community needs competition
There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to bring residents together. A time-tested fitness studio technique, challenges help inspire engagement, conversation, and willingness to try new things.
All building fitness challenges – with an incentive and reward – can be an easy way to generate interest in your facility, as well as traffic through the door and a buzz around the building. It might be a virtual 10K or marathon using your facilities treadmills, where residents clock cumulative miles to take a position on your club’s leader board. Maybe every participant gets a custom t-shirt, and the top three winners get some other perk: free or discounted parking, tickets to a sports or other event in town. Challenges can also be stationary bike cycling (try launching this around the Tour de France timing) or healthy weight management programs at the start of the year and the run up to summer when residents are focused most on making healthy choices and changes.
2. It’s not just a fitness space
Most facilities today aren’t just ellipticals and treadmills lined up in a room. Make sure your residents know that their club is a center of calm in their busy work and home lives too. Use your on-demand content library to offer specialty sessions like early morning or after work mini-classes, where residents show up, grab a mat and access a short, instructor-led session to help them unwind. Introduce the idea through your resident website, email communication and social channels, and show residents that they can easily find everything from meditation content to stretch and recovery instruction to help them stay in shape physically and mentally. You might take the wellness center a step further, and partner with a local health food café to offer samples, or bring in a nutritional expert for a special “wellness weekend” event for residents once a quarter.
3. Meeting spot for group runs
Depending on the size of your building, you’ve probably got a hundred runners or more doing their own thing every time they hit the streets. Think about starting a running club that meets every Saturday or Sunday in your fitness facility for warm-up and regroups there for cool down and stretch before getting on with their days. Maybe you bring fresh smoothies from the juice bar in the lobby to kickstart things, or protein bars and shakes for recovery when everyone returns. Use your on-demand content library here too, providing easy access to all kinds of instructor-led stretches and cool down workouts to help runners recover. Promote the club through all of your social channels and incentivize residents who might want to lead the run each week with free sportswear merch or other discounts.
4. Virtual weekly workouts
Many people just don’t use their fitness facility because it’s one more thing to think about and plan in their busy days and weeks. So try creating a weekly workout program that gives your residents easy, convenient and pre-packaged ideas for how to work out each day with your on-demand platform. Review your content library and chose five to six instructor-led workouts for residents to try each week and mix them up: an HIIT session to kickstart the week, core strength to build muscle, and a variety of fun, high energy specialty classes to keep things fresh each week. It’s easy to search and categorize classes in most on-demand systems, and worth investing the time it takes to send a quick weekly email letting your residents know everything that’s available right on their doorsteps.
John King is a distinguished wellness consultant known for helping clients enhance revenue through top-tier fitness amenities and wellness programs. His approach, combining change management, analytical skills, and consultative selling, delivers impactful fitness solutions and drives leasing and retention success in commercial buildings.