It was that long ago that you could pick a room, add mirrors to the wall, a treadmill or two, one of those multi-exercise gym units, and maybe an elliptical machine or bike and boom, one “Fitness Center” for your tenants. Maybe you even added a couple of TVs just to make it extra “nice.” But, for most people who want a fitness center where they live, this won’t do.
Cultivating a New Experience
Many of the better multi-family communities are working hard to create an entirely new type of fitness experience for their tenants. Instead of the old school fitness center, they are installing “Health Centers” that have far more in common with expensive gyms. They offer services such as fitness experts, VR devices, community league sports, access to onsite nutritionists, the latest in exercise equipment, and any number of residential fitness programs.
When was the last time you stopped in and took a good look at your fitness center? Are your tenants using it regularly, or can you hear the breeze blowing through it as it sits empty, even during what should be peak use times? If all you ever see are the dust bunnies being blown around by the air conditioning, you have a problem.
How Do You Fix the Problem?
So, what exactly do today’s tenants want to see in their “Health Center?” The best way to find out is to walk into your nearest Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, Bally’s or any one of the other major fitness centers in your area. This is what you are likely to see:
- The latest in cardio machines with multiple entertainment options
- Fitness experts teaching the newest fitness trends
- A carefully controlled climate with extra fans to help keep everyone cooled down
- A mix of the latest in cardio, strength, and endurance training equipment
- Security locks on the doors, excellent lighting outside, and excellent visibility, most young women will not exercise if they do not feel safe getting to and from your health center
- An enjoyable ambiance to the room with plenty of lighting, some music playing quietly in the background, even a very light fragrance wafting through the room
- Stations offering healthy foods like protein shakes, salads, fruit, etc.
Go Freelance for Fun
To add to your new dedicated health center and give it even more value for your tenants, consider bringing in freelance instructors. You can find freelance fitness instructors who teach things like yoga, “boot camp” training, Pilates, Zumba and more. Why not have a freelance personal trainer come to the center to work with your tenants? What little it might cost, is sure to be offset by the number of new and long-term tenants your new Health Center attracts.
Keep in mind, that any freelancer you hire must carry their own liability insurance this will protect both you and your tenants. Be sure you include pictures and information covering your new Health Center on your website and in any advertising brochures you put out. A small investment now can make a big difference to your occupancy rate in the future.