New Apartment Trends Seen Last Week

While touring some amazing new constructions sites (yes, there are still properties being built in this economy) I saw some GREAT stuff. Here are some trends that looked worth following and copying. Did I say copying? Why, yes, I did. After all, it was Tom Peters who said, “Swipe from the best, then adapt.” So swipe and adapt away. Here’s what I saw:

1. BIG emphasis on mirrors and reflective surfaces for furniture and wall art in model spaces.

2. Exciting paint and wall treatments in models such as stripes, harlequin, ribbon and more.

3. Iconic, memorable lighting fixtures.

4. Huge emphasis on amenities. Whoever said that business centers were on the way out due to wi-fi and laptops was wrong.

5. One business center had a Mac AND PC area. Very smart!

6. Details, details, details, in such areas as under counter, recessed and accent lighting, tiled cove base finishes, door numbering identifiers and decorative painting in common areas.

7. Surprisingly, all properties had brochures – some were even oversized and overkill. Most were small, efficient and low key, but still, the brochure is living and breathing in new construction.

8. Most of the sites visited had done a great job of identifying their remote leasing offices from the construction site. One property – who’s actually advertising spring occupancy and was just having the windows put in on Friday – had absolutely NOon site identifiers on where their remote leasing office was. Calls to their leasing center were poorly handled. I predict a rough lease up for this particular property as it’s clear they will miss the leasing season in their market.

It’s going to be fun to watch these new properties lease up. Or, as in the case of #8, maybe not.