As you determine ways to make your apartment complex more appealing to tenants, you should pay attention to the latest trends when it comes to outdoor spaces. More specifically, take note of what the American Society of Landscape Architects found when they conducted their Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey for 2013. Then consider using these findings to your advantage as you work to improve your property.
Opportunities to Cook and Entertain Outdoors Top the List
A whopping 96% of Americans surveyed said they wanted grills outside. This was closely followed by complete outdoor living spaces, including outdoor kitchens and areas to entertain guests. If your apartment complex does not yet have a built-in barbecue area, or grills at the very least, you might be missing out on tenants who value livable outdoor spaces.
Seating is equally important according to the survey results, so make sure you have tables, chairs, or even basic picnic tables set up around the apartment complex. Installing some fire pits or outdoor fireplaces may also be the key to satisfying your tenants, according to 97% of the survey respondents.
Sustainability Matters When It Comes to Apartment Landscaping
More people care about sustainable outdoor spaces than you might have thought, and that includes landscaping. In fact, about 94% of people surveyed said they liked low-maintenance landscapes. Of course, in an apartment complex, the amount of maintenance might not directly affect the tenants, but it may affect your landscaping bill. Choosing plants that are native to the area can reduce the amount of work required to keep them healthy, and this move would please 87% of the survey respondents, too.
Nearly as many people also like the idea of having gardens that grow fruits and vegetables. In fact, more apartment landscaping plans these days are featuring gardens as a major part of their sustainable outdoor spaces. You can offer one or even a few courtyard gardens, or even window boxes for tenants to grow their own food. Either way, this apartment landscaping can improve the quality of life in your complex. It often even increases the length of each tenant’s stay, since many people grow quite attached to their gardens after putting in hours of work to grow food.
Lighting and Installed Seating Are Also on the Minds of Many Tenants
About 95% of those surveyed claimed lighting was important to them in an outdoor space. After all, this makes it possible for tenants to cook dinner outside as the sun goes down or even simply feel safer taking walks at night. Considering how much people now value sustainable outdoor spaces, you should be sure to use energy-efficient or even solar lighting with timers and sensors to help keep light pollution to a minimum.
Another common desire for outdoor space is the presence of installed seating. This ranges from simple ledges and boulders to installed benches. You can install what you think would look best in your apartment complex, again paying attention to sustainability by using eco-friendly materials that can stand up to your city’s climate for years.
Outdoor Recreation Amenities Are Appreciated in Modern Apartments
You might be surprised to find that outdoor recreation amenities, such as pools and tennis courts, garnered only 76% of the vote in this survey. In fact, more people – about 82% – thought having weatherized chairs outside was more important. That means the ability to cook outside and sit comfortably, perhaps in front of a fire pit, is more important to many Americans than access to a pool.
Of course, many apartment complexes are still expected to have such fun amenities, especially in warmer areas. However, apparently you should focus on getting grills and seating set up first if your apartment landscaping is missing these features. After all, sustainable outdoor spaces are of great importance to many tenants.