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Is Your Property’s Fitness Center Sitting Idle? Try These 6 Amenity Activation Tips 


by Catherine Rotman

Gone are the days when a standard fitness center was an upgraded perk for the average renters. While a pool, dog park, and playground area are all still attractive features for prospective tenants, multifamily buildings are having to quickly adapt to accommodate more of a lifestyle approach with 59% of renters continuing to work from home post-pandemic.  Forward-thinking multifamily community developers across the nation have already begun to incorporate luxurious fitness and wellness spaces into their plans, ranging from sports courts and simulators to Vibroacoustic Electro Magnetic and Infrared Therapy Rooms, and on-site spas for both residents and their pups.   

On top of this, gyms are facing greater competition from multifamily buildings who are incorporating their fitness amenities onsite. However, despite the demand for fitness onsite, apartment managers are still finding challenges fully utilizing their standalone fitness centers. Americans, as a whole, are spending millions every year on gym memberships that remain unused.  

To date, renters prioritize their health and wellness and rank fitness amenities as a top leasing consideration when looking for a place to live.

“Fitness is now being viewed more holistically from a wellness perspective. Properties are not only including large class spaces but bringing in fitness programming”. 

said Kelly Naylor, senior partner at BKV. “Properties are not only including large class spaces but bringing in fitness programming”.  In addition to a variety of fitness program offerings, multifamily developers and owners are also looking forward by encompassing more saunas, steam rooms, cold plunge tubs and outdoor fitness arenas.  

So, what can you do to level up your apartment community’s fitness amenities? The answer is surprisingly simpler than the unrealistic expectation of uprooting the infrastructure of your fitness spaces or building. With a few simple additions to your community management strategy, you can be on your way to transforming your fitness amenity space into a greater ROI

Here are 6 easy ways to elevate your fitness amenities at your apartment community today: 

Provide Onsite and Virtual Group Fitness Classes 

They say the hardest part of any fitness plan is showing up. Meeting fitness goals can become more attainable when renters have accessible, convenient group fitness classes available right where they live or through virtual programming. Renters can perceive a greater value on rent during a time when all costs are increasing if they feel like they can tap into fitness programs and offerings that make it more sensible to work out where they live than to continue paying for a membership through another outlet. Onsite Group fitness classes are an easy way to offer immediate value. Yoga and Barre Studios and Cycling rooms are becoming priority over generic fitness rooms with treadmills, enabling workout classes, streaming services for fitness, and a fitness experience that promotes greater interaction with others in a post-pandemic world. 

Offer Personal Training Onsite

Offering or including the ability for your residents to book personal training onsite for your apartment community can help unlock further accessibility and convenience to help residents meet their fitness goals. A trainer can build slow resident engagement over time through access to building their own clientele and being able to offer a personalized workout plan for each resident. This service can also be offered as an add-on service to existing fitness offerings or as part of a package that includes other health and wellness services such as massages or nutritional counseling. Likewise, personal trainers are always looking to build their referral network and gain new opportunities, making it a rewarding partnership for everyone.  

Organize Social Fitness Events

While fitness is intended to be for personal gain, adding a community element alongside it can make it more effective and increase likelihood of participation. Renters like to feel like they are part of a community, and uniting fitness with social activities can be a powerful tool to increase resident engagement and integrate new members of your apartment building. Popular fitness social events include themes such as bend and brew, with yoga classes followed by fresh locally catered coffee, as well as ‘Weights and Plates’, ‘Poses and Proseccos’ or a running challenge followed by a hour-long open dialogue session with a nutritionist.  

Give Residents an Apartment App

A resident experience apartment app can be another way to increase exposure to everything your building has to offer. Many resident experience applications can offer an array of benefits to help you manage your resident experience, ranging from essential property needs such as rent payments and maintenance requests to streamlining of your amenity management. For example, the ability to reserve an amenity area, RSVP to any classes you have onsite and even the ability to post about upcoming onsite fitness classes and events onsite are just some of the features available from resident experience app providers. Having an application can also allow you to track and monitor your engagement across your property initiatives. For examples of apartment community apps available, check out this blog post from smart access provider Butterfly BMX.  

Hire a Dedicated Onsite Lifestyle Coordinator 

While some communities might have a few weeks of free classes or onsite fitness classes, most residents don’t know about these offerings. Among many other administrative and service-oriented justifications, hiring a dedicated onsite lifestyle coordinator for your apartment building can help bridge the gap in communication to your residents to engage with them regularly about upcoming events, onsite fitness classes, and act as a concierge for booking personal training sessions. 

Sell Healthy Meals Onsite

Healthy meals on demand can be an excellent way to encourage healthy eating habits among residents who may otherwise skip meals or eat fast food due to busy schedules or lack of kitchen space in their apartments. You could also offer healthy meal options in the building’s common areas through select evenings through a local caterer or consider a standalone self-service kiosk through a partner with prepped meals ready to go so people don’t have to go out every time they want to eat something healthy.  

Overall, if you’re looking to activate your fitness amenities and make them a more appealing offer to prospective and current residents, be sure to leverage all of the amenities that you currently have in place. From group fitness classes to onsite personal training and healthy meals on demand, there are easy ways to elevate your fitness amenities without having to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch. 

The addition of these types of fitness areas that are now becoming more integrated into multifamily communities, and the increased amenities becoming elevated beyond traditional fitness centers, is an exciting development for the apartment community. It provides residents with the opportunity to optimize their health and maximize their lifestyle all within one setting and for apartment communities to provide a living environment that is invested in promoting an active lifestyle for people everywhere to be more connected and to live well.  

What are some unique ways your property engaging residents to use their fitness amenities? Share in the comments below! 

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