Chicago-based RMK Management knows technology makes a property attractive to customers. And when you’ve got tech, you flaunt it—especially to Millennials.
“The downtown market is young and tech driven,” says Diana Pittro, executive VP of RMK and president of the National Apartment Association Education Institute.
RMK’s target age group is 24 to 35. “They want the fastest, most current technology when they walk in the door,” Pittro says, noting that RMK residents enjoy technology for its a time-savings and convenience.
The company manages 27 rental properties—totaling over 7,000 units throughout the Midwest—that include: media rooms, wine cellars, business centers, indoor/outdoor pools and cyber cafes.
“Today’s tech will be outdated in six months,” says Pittro. “Market the heck out of it while you’ve got it. That’s important.”
There is no added charge for the technology amenities they offer. Pittro finds speed and strength of the Wi-Fi connection is especially important, as are location and consistency of access.
“They want to be connected everywhere throughout the property.”
And the company makes an effort to not only offer technology amenities to residents, but to adapt to their tech-driven lifestyles. Rental payments and work orders are all made online.
“Communication is faster and more timely,” she says.
In their leasing tours, RMK uses iPads to show potential customers various systems on the website. “We have many tech-related amenities related to their cleaning deliveries, parcels and food deliveries,” Pittro says.
Pressbox Cleaners offers valet services, and Parcel Pending handles parcel alerts. In each case, the resident drops an item off for pickup and receives an email or text when an inbound item arrives, with a code to open the locker with their goods. Residents also check out bikes and enjoy pet services.
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“Pets are part of the family,” Pittro says. “Forty-six percent of residents are pet owners—mostly dogs. RMK provides heated dog runs, pet spas, and doggy daycare.”
Pittro says her favorite amenity is the workout system, which works like Red Box. The computer provides custom video via the building’s exercise machine or a personalized workout based on a Fitbit-type setup.
In a new development, Pittro says it’s critical to look at what digital services are available locally. Many areas are not in strong signal areas for the speed the demographic wants, she has found.
So signal boosters or added wiring are included at the onset of development.
And while signal boosters, pre-wiring and “Simpler is better,” she says. “The simpler the offering—whether rental programs or technology—the better it will go over.”
Curt Harler, Freelance Writer
Curt Harler is a Cleveland-based freelance writer specializing in physical and data networking security, technology and environmental issues. Harler’s articles are widely read and respected for their leadership and insight.