Staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic means that we apartment dwellers have become very familiar with the four walls we rent. And to be able to work, exercise, and even socialize at home, we’ve had to rely on technology more than ever to help us adapt to living life indoors.
In recent months we’ve noticed that luxury apartment buildings have taken their use of technology a step further and created virtual programming for their residents to enhance their day-to-day lives while sheltering in place.
“By offering virtual amenities, we can interact with our residents, while offering them fun and creative ways to stay active while at home,” says Ashley Wade, general manager at Gio Midtown in Miami.
So what does this rising trend look like? Here are some of the most popular online amenities that luxury rental buildings have introduced for their residents in the era of COVID-19.
1. Home workouts
To get a good sweat going, exercise enthusiasts have had to get creative since the closing of gyms. But many upper-end apartment complexes have muscled their way back in to provide their own virtual alternatives to get tenants active again.
At 101 Via Mizner, a luxury apartment building in downtown Boca Raton, resident Randi Inniss says she is grateful she can still take her Wednesday night yoga class.
“Considering this state of uncertainty, the yoga class is really helping me to center myself,” says Inniss. “Oh, and one added benefit of the new format: I don’t have to worry about my outfit or check my hair. I can just log on and go.”
Melissa Myers, senior director of marketing for real estate developer Penn-Florida Companies, which operates a luxury residence, says that in addition to yoga, they offer residents various virtual fitness classes, including dance, Pilates, and body conditioning.
At Gio Midtown, Wade says to keep residents moving, “we offered a virtual high-intensity interval training workout class taught by a certified personal trainer, as well as a personal training demo from a firm that specializes in virtual fitness and wellness.”
2. Cooking classes
You’re no Ina Garten, but, you could up your cooking skills with a live chef instructing you in your own kitchen.
“Many communities that we work with are also offering other virtual amenity services such as live healthy recipe cooking demonstrations,” says Christian Skillen, president and CEO of Prime Health Management in Delray Beach, FL, which specializes in providing health and wellness services to high-end apartment complexes.
Skillen says the virtual amenity services help bring the community together since residents can see and interact with neighbors online as they cook a meal together.
Myers says one of their cooking classes offered by her building attracted more than 50 residents.
3. Q&A sessions with professionals
Now, more than ever, people are craving expert advice on how to navigate our new normal in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and safety precautions to take at home. To help residents get more information, Skillen says his company has been arranging virtual Q&A sessions with local health professionals.
“These virtual amenity services that they are offering provide a little relief when everyone is stressed and unsure about what the future is going to bring,” says Skillen.
Some apartment buildings have taken from their own pool of tenants to host informative Q&A sessions with the apartment community.
“We’ve hosted live Q&As with one of the doctors who lives in the building, where residents can submit their questions about COVID-19, as well as a similar series with our resident CPA on financial planning during these uncertain times,” says Myers.
4. Arts and entertainment
Apartment complexes have been creative about coming up with virtual activities to keep tenants engaged and entertained. Skillen says they host virtual dance parties.
“We have live poolside entertainment by one of our favorite local musicians, and residents can listen to the concert from their balcony,” says Myers.
She says they also have paint and sip parties, mixology classes, and Netflix watch parties. (Couch potatoes, rejoice!)
“The response has been very positive thus far,” says Wade. “We’ve learned that these virtual tools are a great alternative to connecting face to face with our residents.”