Whether it’s a custom new home or a multifamily dwelling, homeowners and multifamily residents agree that smarter, custom storage solutions are a top priority. They want more than just shelving.
Undoubtedly, efficient storage has been most important to homeowners in the past, but with more people renting today than ever before, and a bevy of baby boomers downsizing from larger homes, it has become a top priority—even a deal breaker for some buyers and renters. Recent studies published in Multifamily Executive reveal walk in closets are a top amenity among residents, and ForRent.com cites walk-in closets as high on the list of top-searched amenities.
Bottom line: Everyone wants more storage! Amanda LeBlanc, who runs The Amandas, an organizing firm in Birmingham, Alabama, says her clients always want better storage solutions than what was included in their new home or apartment. They want to maximize space and organize their busy lives.
Most Important Storage Features for Multifamily Residents
“Organization makes life easier,” says LeBlanc. “The right storage helps residents save time, money, and stress.” So how do you know which storage is best? Based on her professional experience, LeBlanc shares features most important to renters and condo owners:
- On-trend storage. Multifamily residents are looking beyond basics—no more white wire. They want more customization, like a selection of on-trend finishes, adjustable solid shelving, and drawers and baskets to match their unique style.
- Adjustable systems. People’s lives are not stationary, so their shelves shouldn’t be either. Multifamily residents want systems that are easy to adjust to meet their changing storage needs.
- Maximized storage throughout their apartment or condo. Closets, pantries, linen closets, laundry rooms, and entryways are prime storage spots for renters and condo owners. They’re in these spaces at least twice a day, every day. So it’s important that they are organized and efficient.
- Drawers, baskets, and show storage upgrades. Adding these features in a closet eliminates the need for a bedroom dresser and frees up valuable living space.
Here are key tips and product features architects and builders should consider when offering storage that will differentiate multifamily projects and ensure builders and property owners increase sales or leasing rates and profits:
- Consider adjustable storage. Not only will it meet the needs of today’s residents, adjustable storage is a long-term investment for builders and property owners because it changes easily to meet the needs of multiple residents over time. Also, adjustable storage can be raised or lowered to meet ADA requirements, and thus is ideal for universal design.
- Simplify custom storage options. Make it easy for residents to customize storage for their apartment or condo. Offer storage upgrades and allow residents to tack the price of upgrades onto monthly rents. With a small increase in monthly rent, builders can recover the cost of a $500 upgrade in just 15 months with rent increases of $30 to $35 a month.
- Gain time. Specify quality products that can be installed quickly to ensure fast turn-around time.
- Inspire prospective buyers or renters. Be sure to market and merchandise the storage: Set up an impressive design center or showroom with photos and product displays to help potential buyers or tenants visualize their organized space in their new apartment or condo.