Powering up Resident Fitness Experiences
Every developer and residential building manager knows, it’s a competitive fight for the Millennial and Gen Z dollar. Twenty years ago stainless steel appliances, high end finishes and granite counter tops were big drivers in getting residents to sign on the dotted line and move in. But today’s motivators are all about experience. And in a market already awash with on-site juice bars, dog grooming, fire pits and outdoors lounges, the race for the next must-have amenity continues. Studies show one of the biggest draws for residents today is access to amenities for healthy living like on-site bike paths and access to local trails or places to work out. While you may not be able to relocate your building to the perfect site for hiking, running and cycling, an easy way to bring a luxe fitness experience to residents is already on your doorstep. Your fitness facility – which could be missing an easy experiential upgrade opportunity. Here’s how to maximize what you already have and power up your facility to engage and attract more residents.
Optimizing your investment
The average fitness facility or on-site club today costs around $90-190 per square foot. With a finite, landlocked footprint it’s not possible (or frankly budget-friendly) to add banks of Pelotons, or spa like wellness treatments that many high end clubs now offer. But adding digital fitness to your on-site club can bring a premium experiential upgrade to even the smallest space, drawing residents in and helping you get the most from your investment. Look for an on-demand platform that offers members self-service access to a wide variety of classes and content. Portfolio’s should ideally include a mix of core-strength, HIIT, conditioning, and specialty options, offering instructor led classes for extra motivation and engagement.
Look too for a balance of content from world-class, brand-name instructors and fitness studios – names that residents will recognize – as well as emerging fitness trends they’ve seen at the gym but may be enthusiastic to try at home on their own time. And lastly, offering a selection of short form workouts and classes from 15 to 30, 45 and 60 minutes means you’ve got options for any resident need from a quick stop by at the gym to a full morning workout before they leave the building.
Choose zero effort for big results
There are several options in the leading fitness platforms, but one essential item on your shopping list should be plug-and-play functionality. Can you unbox the hardware and be up and running in your building’s club in almost no time without an inexpensive, technical install or a hard install? The more modern system options also include sleek flat panel monitors that are as easy to hang as a flat panel TV and provide ultra-responsive and intuitive touch screen controls for all users. The new SO1O (Solo) product from FOD features a horizontal orientation and high definition mirrored-finish meaning residents can easily see themselves and monitor progress with instructor led classes and content. Overall, any system you choose needs to be easy to install for you, intuitive for users, and run around the clock without maintenance or management. Make a checklist when you review product options.
Look for content that’s an easy fit for residents
You may not have the budget or floorspace to invest in more cardio equipment but using on-demand digital content can create exceptional experiences for the members who do make use of the equipment you have in-club. That might include specialist instructor-led classes for treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike use that keeps residents engaged, motivated throughout their workout. Or a selection of low impact classes like yoga, Pilates and stretch for early morning wake-up workouts or to de-stress when residents return from work. It’s important to make residents aware of the many offerings that an on-demand system now brings to their doorstep, so look for ways – and times - to promote options. Feature classes on your social media, highlight instructor-led sessions in your social channels and weekly resident emails and include signage in your gym.
Set a challenge to engage residents
Is there also an opportunity to create workout challenges for residents using the gym? A virtual runner leaderboard for miles clocked up that week. A mini 5K challenge once a month? Or a company cycling challenge by miles, speed or a set class circuit during the Tour de France for instance? Creating fun ways to engage – and promote – your new fitness content will help keep your fitness facility and digital content offerings top of mind for residents even if they choose not to participate in a challenge. And for those that do create incentives for word of mouth – gift bags with high-end fitness gear, or private use of resident gathering spaces for a small event.