In urban areas and compact cities, where the rental competition is fierce, figuring out what amenity will consistently attract the best applicants is the million dollar question. As ridesharing apps are gaining popularity and widespread use among Millennials, the largest renter group, one rental community aims to capitalize on the trend. The big question is, will these newly developed “Uber Rooms” be the next big amenity?
What is Ridesharing, you ask?
Ridesharing services allow people to quickly arrange a one-time carpool, most of the time through a network that can instantaneously connect a person to a driver and handle payments. The most common ridesharing services are Uber and Lyft, which have gained widespread usage due to their easy-to-use app interface. With over 8 million users on Uber and 631,000 users on Lyft in 2015, according to Huffington Post, the ridesharing industry has grown to have a net value of 51 billion dollars. With many renters depending on ridesharing services for transportation, urban communities are considering how to take advantage of the online service.
The “Uber Room” Amenity can Help Parkingless Communities
An apartment building in Washington D.C. is offering their residents a place to hang out while they wait for their Uber, Lyft or cab to arrive. Dubbed “The Uber Room”, the Washigton Post reveals that this amenity “shares many characteristics with a more standard lobby”. On the side from the main entrance, the Uber room has plush couches, a TV, and an outside view to allow residents to spot their ride pulling up. Alongside the ridesharing waiting room, the apartment complex has tons of bike racks, with electronic bikes for residents to borrow.
While dedicating a whole common room for waiting for your taxi might seem a little extravagant, for urban areas that do not provide parking, this amenity is not so far-fetched. In fact, with Millennials (ages 18-34) consisting of 56% of the renter population, urban rental communities might see a higher dependence on ridesharing services.
According to USA Today, “the average person ages 16-34 drove 23% less in 2009 than in 2001, the sharpest reduction for any age group.” 2015 transportation study by the National Multifamily Housing Council showed that over 2.2 million apartment-renting households traveled by bus, subway, rail, bicycle or walking (taxis not included).
It is completely unrealistic to think that ridesharing waiting rooms will become the next amenity craze. However, for some urban communities, this new amenity might just beat the local competition and get rental applications by the dozen. If you fall in the latter category, send your residents a survey and make notes in your renter files who are interested in the potential amenity. You never know, maybe your community will be the one to put this amenity on the map.
Do you think “Uber Rooms” will become more widespread in urban areas? Are ridesharing waiting rooms a practical amenity for some of your communities? Let us know your opinion in the comment section below or chat with us on Twitter @CICReports.
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