Convenience-Based Amenities

January 2019

Condo living offers a unique and desirable lifestyle compared to other types of housing.  Part of its attraction is conveniences important to people when choosing where and how to live.

Condo amenities have undergone dramatic changes over the past twenty years.  One of the first amenities available in a condo was the exercise room.  Back then it was likely a basement gym without natural lighting equipped with a treadmill and a couple of resistance machines.

An aging exercise room or outdated lounge no longer attracts a desirable clientele for most condo buildings.  Today the exercise room is more likely a complete gym with diverse cardio and weight machines, free weights, group exercise space, television and natural lighting with a view.  There is likely to be a change room, sauna and possibly a whirlpool.  Residents desire lessons or classes to make better use of their swimming pool or squash court.

Wine tasting, yoga classes and card games allow busy residents to make the most of their non-working time and offer a way to know their neighbours.  Wireless cyber cafe, outdoor space, state of the art fitness space plus party and meeting rooms are now standard in a growing number of condo buildings.

Another convenience is the concierge which can also provide security.  High-end buildings may offer white glove treatment that includes opening doors and carrying bags from the car.  Package acceptance, amenity bookings and responding to resident calls are common duties.  In buildings with older residents a concierge may be asked to assist with in-suite tasks or help a resident who may have fallen.  Regardless of duties the concierge should be polite, pleasant and willing to assist.

Physical amenities such as a swimming pool, wine cellar or movie theatre may be desirable.

Yet it may be activities that bring people out of their suite that are most important.  Bringing residents together to participate in social events promotes cohesiveness and socialization.  Companies offering services that make better use of existing spaces by offering programming and activities are growing in popularity.

Desirable amenities may include an accessible kitchen for hosting talks, cooking demonstrations and cooking classes.  On-site child care is important to young families.

Other popular convenience-based amenities include a car sharing service, vehicle cleaning space, package acceptance and a 24/7 concierge.  None of this was available 20 years ago.

Pet amenities are increasing popular.  A storage room can be turned into a pet cleaning or play area.  Dog walking, pet sitting and grooming services appeal to pet owners.

Higher-end condo buildings may offer more innovative convenience-based services such as private theatre, spa, salon or 24-hour valet service.  An event planning service focused on programming for residential buildings may organize social events, cultural activities and trips outside the building.  It may arrange for lessons or classes so residents can make the most use of their physical recreational spaces – swimming pool, squash court, yoga room or other activity spaces.

Providing amenities or services desired by residents begins with understanding how current spaces are utilized.  Underutilized spaces may require updating, upgrading or repurposing.  Infrequently used meeting room space could be updated to allow for musical performances, arts and crafts, reading space or invited speakers.

A social committee of residents can be tasked with planning and managing programming they believe to be most desirable for their building.

Some may argue that certain convenience-based amenities and services come with risk and liability.  While inevitably true, the loss of convenience and enjoyment of one’s home will detract from the value of your home, can reduce the price for those selling and discourage some from moving into your building.