Developers are offering a wide variety of incentives to entice buyers to their properties. Over the top amenities, such as state-of-the-art fitness centers with yoga and pilates classes, lap pools, free car service and automated car parking are becoming the rule rather than the exception. Concierge services are another way that buildings can distinguish themselves when vying for potential buyers.
While movie nights and mixers have all been used to keep residents in the building, concierges at higher-end condominiums and apartments are determined to get the inhabitants out of their comfort zones with off-site adventures. The traditional role of the concierge was to accept packages, arrange pet services, and make dinner reservations. Now, however, many are offering exclusive events for the residents.
Involvement in the community has become a driving force for many millennials. For example, about 70 residents of an apartment complex in Los Angeles recently gathered to make sandwiches and distribute them to the homeless. Some of them joined to hike up the nearby Micheltorena Stairs, and there are gatherings for drinks at a local bar. A rep from the building is always along, playing the part of chaperone and host. One of the organizers says, “We want them to know their surroundings and see all the cool things they can do locally.”
At an in-development luxury tower in Beverly Hills, concierges are already “crafting experiences” off site. These include a wellness room where residents can bring in estheticians for beauty services. A chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce and Bentley are available to shuttle residents to nearby destinations. Other experiences will include special menus at chef’s tables in gourmet restaurants and private visits to museums and galleries.
Another condo in the Westwood area has recently begun exploring group events outside the building for residents. There are already plans for a private tour of the Broad museum via a chauffeured luxury bus.
As a rule, management tries to absorb the cost of some of these activities, while striking “sponsorship” deals with local restaurants and bars, even offering deep discounts to the residents.
The nature of the events is largely determined by the demographic of the building. At a rental building in Hollywood, many tenants are millennials who work in the entertainment industry, and get-togethers might include a game at the Staples Center or a pub crawl.
A recent buyer in one of the city’s newer towers said the building’s social activities had been a factor in his decision to buy there. He and his wife and baby get to meet their neighbors. “We see them at softball on Saturdays and at the farmer’s market.”
In a large metropolitan city where everyone seems too busy to meet their neighbors, such events can make a residential building feel like a community.