Pillar Properties Raises the Bar with Unique Apartment Amenities

With each move and renewal, residents are expecting more from their apartment communities. From out-of-this-world amenities like glass-bottom pools to the more tame amenities of yoga classes and pet-friendly buildings, continuously innovating with unique apartment amenities is no easy feat.  

In a sea of management companies, Pillar Properties has made a name for itself with exceptional resident experiences and noteworthy amenities. We caught up with Pillar Properties’ marketing team to find out exactly what’s behinds their track record of exceptional amenities.

Unique apartment amenities have become more common throughout the property management industry in recent years and Pillar Properties definitely has its fair share of wow-factor amenities. When it comes to attracting and retaining residents, how large of an impact do you feel these amenities play?

Amenities are an opportunity to add significant value to the renter experience. In this day and age, it’s also a way for communities to stand out among the crowd. Amenity spaces also help make an apartment building a community. A well-designed lounge with dynamic spaces will inherently invite residents to meet their neighbors in a comfortable setting. These spaces serve as an extension of a resident’s home to further meet their needs and social desires. Amenity spaces are what residents want to show to their friends and family and boast about on social media!

What are a few of your most popular amenities and why?

The most popular amenities across our portfolio are our rooftop decks. A rooftop space in one of Seattle’s most desired neighborhoods puts our residents on top of the city! These spaces were designed with the intention of providing our residents with not only an unparalleled view but also a true experience.

Residents appreciate amenities that serve a need they would otherwise seek outside the community — amenities such as our car wash stations, paw spas for their pets, or our fitness centers. Value is added when residents can cancel their gym memberships and utilize a state-of-the-art fitness center right outside their front door. We also see residents appreciating the spaces they didn’t know they needed, such as a high-tech theater or lounge outside their apartment they can dedicate to entertaining friends and family.

What’s the process for identifying and implementing these amenities?

Identifying an amenity is all about understanding the wants and needs of our target demographic. Furthermore, it’s using that information to better predict future expectations and desires. In the development process, we try to make our spaces flexible enough to be able to accommodate modifications over time based on changing trends. We also do a lot of homework by shopping the newest and greatest in the market prior to development and asking ourselves how those competing in the ‘amenity arms race’ will fare over time. From there, we determine if it’s just something that’s flashy now or will have staying power. Also, we’ll determine how it might fit into our communities and programming.  

For property management teams, what’s the most important thing to keep in mind when implementing new amenities?

The key to a successful amenity space is its ease of use, for both residents and management. There needs to be a system in place that allows the management team to be effective in ensuring that all residents have the opportunity to enjoy the space to its full potential. This may involve consistent policies to facilitate the upkeep and accessibility of the amenity space.

Have there been amenities that you have implemented at your properties that didn’t have staying power? If so, were you surprised?

Fortunately, we have been diligent in understanding our residents’ desires to create amenities that appeal to a variety of lifestyles. It’s important to monitor trends. While also planning strategically to be able to respond to change — adapting accordingly. For example, trends have reported that theater rooms and business centers were decreasing in popularity. However, by evolving how they operate and function, they’ve remained a consistently-used amenity at our properties.

Can you elaborate on how you’ve been able to keep theater rooms current?

Theater rooms have become a space for entertaining. It is now a gaming space. Residents bring their Xbox or PlayStation, they even host tournaments! Movie marathons and game day viewings are also popular resident events. Residents even host their own season premiere parties.

Business centers have also evolved. Now that people are frequently working remotely, they are used as conference rooms and meeting spaces. These spaces are never empty in our communities! 

What is the favorite amenity that Pillar Properties offers?

The favorite amenity Pillar Properties offers is undoubtedly our rooftop decks. A breathtaking view never gets old, it’s not a changing trend. These spaces capture the city while providing the environment to take it in and enjoy it. Rooftop decks are a relatively unique feature of urban apartment properties. We took advantage of the luxury and the location of our properties to make it the best of the best. Our rooftop decks are featured at The Corydon, The 101, The Lyric, Stadium Place, and The Century.

Last but not least (and just for fun), what do you predict will be the most popular amenity in the year 2050?

Whatever the most popular amenity is in the year 2050 it will be centered around technology, innovation, and the ability to easily socialize. How can we make the renter experience easier? How can we make apartment living more exceptional? Everything will be “smart” — the apartment home itself, the cars in the garage, and the drones delivering packages! Communication from space to space will be easy and instant and will have to connect to people’s personal accounts and lives. If I were to guess, theater rooms or lounges might instead convert to VR rooms or pods where people can go into whatever virtual land they want to meet up with friends. In 2050, the world will be their oyster!