Need the secret to attracting and retaining residents? Find out how Elite Amenity Management’s lifestyle services fosters loyalty and creates community
Property developers, owners and landlords recognize there’s one sure way to wow tenants: Bolster the prestige of your property with the ultimate in amenity offerings. No longer will tenants accept a dingy weight room or a sad, basic pool. Today, properties know they need to add resort-quality spa and fitness facilities, along with unconventional offerings like bowling alleys, rock climbing walls and chef-ready kitchens to appeal to a sophisticated high-end New York clientele.
However, excelling in the amenities race is just one way that buildings spur retention and loyalty. Today, residents also want a sense of community. New York City-based luxury lifestyle operator and consulting firm Elite Amenity Management is finding success for its clients on both fronts.
Pivoting to adapt to new needs
Andrew Meditz and Michael Zuchelli founded Elite Amenity Management in 2006 to meet growing demand from property owners who were increasingly realizing the necessity of leveling up their facilities. “Buildings didn’t have the glitz and glamour they have now,” says Meditz. “They might have carved out a ‘workout’ room in a former storage area or put up a pool table and called it good.”
Yet as tenants’ expectations grew and the industry evolved so did the pressure to provide more luxurious offerings. Finding the right mix of amenities, combined with space planning demands, often fell outside the owners’ expertise. That’s where the Elite Amenity team saw an opportunity to grow their business by assuming the entire function. They will consult with a developer at the conception stage or a building owner who’s reimagining an existing property to help them identify the right enhancements for their target demographic. Then they can offer counsel on how to allocate their space effectively to maximize value; provide insight into the health regulations, ongoing costs and other factors that drive feasibility; and finally, if needed, hire and oversee the requisite staff or even provide management and operational services themselves.
While many building owners want to build beautiful rooms like libraries or salons that might only be used for the annual holiday party, no one can afford to have areas that aren’t utilized to their capacity. “With space at such a premium, we advise buildings on additional programmings like a pasta-making class or weekly yoga sessions that can bring extra rooms to life regularly,” Zuchelli says.
Given their insiders’ view into the amenity landscape, Meditz and Zuchelli began to recognize an additional gap in the market that has led to an evolving scope of work. Today it’s about more than just having the right physical amenities; buildings of all sizes seek to create a unique culture and community that will attract residents.
“We were receiving an abundance of calls for events and activities as property owners discovered the power of engaging their residents more actively,” Meditz says. Now Elite Amenity Management helps curate the ideal lifestyle experiences for each property: from paint-and-sip classes, rooftop jazz nights, holiday-themed events and much more.
Building bonds promote tenant retention
In this post-pandemic world, society longs to rekindle relationships. Fostering a welcoming community within the four walls of a property is an effective way to increase retention.
“Landlords are realizing tenants are more likely to re-sign a lease if they’ve bonded with another couple they met at the holiday party, or their kids or even pets have become best buds after the Halloween parade,” Zuchelli points out. “A major reason you renew your lease is because of the relationships you’ve formed. We create that lifestyle that allows residents to interact and find their people.” That in turn results in retention for the building because feeling connected means a customer is far less likely to go searching to find a marginally better deal across the street.
But creating this community can be challenging as many buildings don’t include a staff. Even in properties with an onsite manager, that person is tasked with multiple expectations, from handling day-to-day maintenance requests to overseeing additional staff to helping tenants move in and out. Planning a party for the big football game is likely to fall to the bottom of their list, resulting in missed opportunities.
The current alternative, hiring a one-off party planning company, didn’t adequately fill the need. That’s where Elite Amenity Management comes in to get a sense of the vibe of the building to create experiences that cater to its unique characteristics, handling everything from planning the event to managing the RSVPs and executing it flawlessly.
“We do much more than just prescribe a specific event or advise on a menu,” says Zuchelli. “We’re actively engaging the building and residents on a more granular level to create something that suits the personality of the building, whether it’s primarily families with kids, young professionals, the 55+ set or an intriguing mix.
For example, at one building in Brooklyn, they created a roster of activities, such as a winter holiday market featuring neighborhood vendors and a pop-up floating yoga class in its ornate pool. The goal was to provide interesting programming while also exposing tenants to all the neighborhood has to offer.
Or, take the benefits they have offered to Astoria West:
“Astoria West possesses over 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities. We specifically opted to devote this much square footage to both indoor and outdoor communal space because the cultivation of community is a fundamental component of the lifestyle we’re offering at the building. At Astoria West, we believe curated programming is essential to bringing these spaces to life and utilizing them as valuable tools that foster connection. To do this we turned to Elite Amenity Management, which has an incredible track record in this arena. Elite worked seamlessly with our team to develop a keen understanding of Astoria West, its amenity package, and our diverse renter profile to craft authentic residential experiences that help renters commune onsite as well as introduce them to the magic that is Astoria, showcasing all this neighborhood has to offer.”
– David Kronman, President of Cape Advisors || Astoria West
A new app is the answer
While Elite Amenity Management is known for its masterful amenity event and lifestyle services, it has recently gone a step further with a just-launched app designed to be a one-stop shop for all building information. Branded to each property, residents enter a code that corresponds with an individual landing page containing all the information for their building, everything from announcements and event information to rules for the grill or pool. They can register for a class or download a schedule of wellness programs, such as massage therapy or nutrition services.
The app also includes a library of professionally recorded content, from cooking and mixology demonstrations to fitness classes “We will have an Elite branded chef or fitness instructor whom residents can then hire for an engagement or coaching,” Meditz says, citing
“Beat Bobby Flay” and “Chopped” winner Chef Matt Migliore is an example of the type of top-tier talent available for on-demand videos or to hire for private events. The app also offers vetted resources for everything from swim lessons and tutors to the best caterers and birthday party entertainment.
Through the app, Elite Amenity Management can expand its reach beyond the buildings it actively manages. “Many properties thought they weren’t big enough to warrant a consultant, but now we can serve a range of buildings whose clients would benefit from our service,” Zuchelli says.
They also are able to cull data from the app to help buildings amplify the amenities that resonate most. And they can provide even more meaningful input as they advise new properties. For example, Meditz says they’ve been surprised at how popular outdoor grills are. “It’s a relatively simple, low-cost amenity, and yet when we tell developers that it’s a must-have, we explain that it’s far more arduous to run a gas line to a rooftop garden after construction than to include it in the initial plans.”
Creating a marketing bonanza
Property owners know all too well that the adage, “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t always apply to buildings and tenants. One way to organically market a building is to offer a glimpse of the exciting experiences a potential tenant would find. Elite Amenity Management is skilled in helping social media and marketing teams amplify their events and showcase camaraderie among residents.
“We work directly with a social media team to help them highlight the cool stuff going on in the building to attract tenants and build interest among those who might be looking at different options,” Meditz explains.
For example, one property recently held a comedy night for their tenants which drew several dozen residents eager to enjoy the fellowship with a low-key event that was the ideal antidote to a busy day. By sharing highlights of that evening on their channels, the social media team was able to drive interest among their target clientele.
Could your building benefit from increased tenant retention?
While “lifestyle” and “community” are becoming newly coveted assets, Elite Amenity Management has been perfecting its expertise in this field for decades. “Our experience with managed properties makes us uniquely equipped to immerse ourselves in a building’s ambiance and help them achieve the best outcomes for their residents – and ultimately boost their occupancy,” Meditz says.
Would you like to learn more about how Elite Amenity Management’s services can benefit your property? Reach out to Elite Amenity Management today to schedule a consultation or demonstration.