Jared Husmann  /   December 17, 2019

amenities vs services

The Difference Between Amenities and Services: Which is Worth More to Renters?

If you’re interested in building or investing in multifamily properties, it’s important to consider more than just units per square foot, rent rates and utilities. Certain amenities and services can be enticing to potential renters, and maintaining high overall service quality is vital, if less tangible. Providing flashy amenities might draw tenants in, but offering high quality and responsive service will keep residents satisfied.

As you consider what amenities and services to offer at your multifamily rental properties, think about what those offerings will cost and if your tenants will find more value if you invest that money elsewhere in the property. Read on for an explanation of the differences between amenities and services, along with our recommendations for how to save money while offering more value to your tenants.

What is The Difference Between Amenities and Services?

“Services” and “amenities” can start to seem like industry jargon, and many people think there are no differences between amenities and services. However, there are a few important distinguishing details that set them apart.

Amenities at Multifamily Properties

Typically, amenities are physically tied to the property and are permanent. Common apartment amenities include:

  • Swimming pool
  • Dog park
  • Rooftop patio
  • Clubhouse or party room
  • Fitness center
  • Theater room
  • Garages
  • Balconies
  • Bike storage
  • Laundry room
  • Fireplaces
  • Playground
  • Coffee shop/free coffee

These amenities cannot be added or removed without serious renovations. Some have steep up-front costs and ongoing maintenance expenses. Anyone interested in investing in multifamily properties should keep those costs in mind. If you have the budget for them, amenities can provide nice perks for residents. They can give your whole property a luxury feel and entice people to sign a lease. But are they worth a long-term investment?

Services at Multifamily Properties

In contrast to amenities, services are not permanent and are typically less expensive to implement. Apartment services include:

  • Intuitive service ticket system and prompt responses to maintenance requests
  • Online and recurring payment options
  • Dog walking, pet sitting and other pet-friendly services
  • Driving services/airport pickup
  • Trash valet
  • Laundry services
  • Fitness classes (not just facilities)
  • Upgraded package delivery services

Why Services May Be A Better Investment

Residents are less concerned about fancy amenities they may not use anyway and more interested in services that increase convenience and ease. People are busy, and they want ways to save time during their daily routine. Investing in the features and services people actually want will give you more satisfied tenants and a better return on investment.

We know there’s a difference between amenities and services, but what does that mean practically when you’re investing in multifamily properties? If providing amenities and services is so expensive, are rental properties a good investment at all? We believe if you focus on high-value, low-cost services and amenities, you’ll find it’s worth it to own multifamily properties.

Ideas for Investing in Your Service Standards

One of the easiest ways to increase your service standards is to optimize your current offerings and focus on efficiency. You could hire more maintenance technicians so service requests are completed faster or simply evaluate current processes to make sure you’re maximizing your resources.

Introducing more services can be gradual, and some ideas may require very little investment. For example, you could partner with service providers like pet-sitters, dog walkers, drivers or housekeepers. You wouldn’t need to hire a whole new crew of staff members — simply facilitating the connection between your tenants and these services is, in itself, a service.

You could also try piloting services by offering them as limited time offers on specific days. A trial is a great way to see if residents are interested in certain services, and they’re a way to test how much time and money is needed to make a service available to tenants.

When you start implementing changes, even small ones, residents will notice and appreciate the attention to detail. Soon, current tenants will start to spread the word about their great experience living at your property, and your vacant units will start to fill up.

Are Rental Properties a Good Investment? Find Out More

If you’re curious about purchasing commercial real estate to rent out, or if you’re looking for ways to make your multifamily rental properties more successful, reach out to us. Our commercial real estate experts are knowledgeable about industry trends and tips, and we would love to answer your questions. Contact us today or reach out to Jared Husmann directly at 515-334-4900.



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