When it comes to condominium amenities, one of the first requirements residents expect is a gym. Not just any gym, but a well-equipped, spacious, well-maintained gym. According to a RentShare study, the biggest pet peeve of the modern resident is not having access to quality services. This is one of the responsibilities of condo property management companies.
The shift over to buyers and renters who prioritize amenities such as exercise rooms, pools or gyms when searching for a condominium building is drastic. Nearly 15 years ago, developers didn’t deem it necessary to lay out a gym in a condominium’s building plan. Gyms were a second-thought in a building. If there was space left over or room to fill on a floor, the space would be converted into a gym. However there is great value in providing a gym facility for the residents so they don’t have to spend additional monies and have the inconvenience of belonging to another gym.
This has drastically changed in a day of health-conscious individuals who are constantly looking to improve their wellbeing by eating well and exercising. As the demand for a gym as a basic amenity within a condo building grows, developers must make sure they’re equipping buildings with fitness facilities.
While developers are responding to the immediate demand of exercise facilities in condo buildings, sometimes it’s not quite enough. Condo buildings now may have gyms, but residents still have numerous complaints about the size, equipment, hours and maintenance of these facilities. We’ve highlighted the most common complaints condo management receive about their facilities and suggested how to overcome these issues.
- Limited Equipment and Overcrowded Gyms:
To top the list of complaints that condo residents have with their fitness facilities is that they are too crowded. The busiest time for the gym is 6am to 11am and 4pm to 9pm. That leaves a narrow window for health enthusiasts between noon to 4pm to peacefully enjoy gym facilities, without worrying about waiting for the elliptical or a treadmill. Although this isn’t very convenient for those working 9-5.
The fact of the matter is that most condo property managements understand the need for a gym, but gyms are too small and overcrowded during hours that most people aren’t working. This makes it’s extremely hard to beat the traffic at gyms and actually be able to use the facilities as well as you’d like.
On average, each condo building had closer to 200 units up until 2006. This number has increased, and by 2012, most condo buildings had closer to 400 units per building. For a building of at least 400 or more inhabitants, even if a condo gym has 3 treadmills, 3 ellipticals and additional equipment, each resident would be entitled to only 1% of a single machine, if you break it down.
These figures suggest that even gyms that are better equipped with maybe 4 or 5 of each machine are still not meeting the demands of gym goers. There is a shortage of equipment, regardless of how nice the gym may be within a condo building.
TIP: In an ideal world, we’d all have a whole floor dedicated to a gym, but when you’ve got to make use of what a condo building has, consider re-allocating another common area into a gym or exercise room to offer increased facilities. If possible, dedicate an entire floor to exercise facilities.
If you want your condo residents to be satisfied with the gym, pool, weight room or any other physical fitness facilities offered in your building, make sure you’re investing a greater level of thought and planning into the gym area.
Look at the logistics into how you could potentially expand on the number of machines and exercise equipment, and of course square footage, of your gym or exercise room.
It’s better to focus on offering fewer facilities (such as a well-equipped gym, a well-maintained pool or a yoga studio) rather than offering multiple, poorly-managed facilities. Make sure you do the math and keep in mind the number of total units in the building when deciding on the square footage and how much equipment you can get.
The more your condo property management focuses on quality and quantity of the facilities you offer, the happier your tenants will be and the less complaints you’ll get.
- Limited Gym Hours:
Another common complaint that is connected to the shortage of equipment or limited facilities are gym hours. Most condo gyms are open anywhere between 6am to 11pm. Of the 17 hours the gym is open, 60% of the time it is an extremely busy place.
As a result, condo residents complain about restriction on hours. Rather than specific hours, residents and owners believe that gyms in condo buildings should be 24 hours. Because it is a facility that can remain open with little supervision from the condo board, residents think that perhaps they should have greater access to the gym. Schedules vary, gyms are busy for greater parts of the day, so from a condo board’s perspective, couldn’t a gym be 24-hours?
TIP: The other side of the picture is that a gym can be noisy so condo corporations receive noise complaints for residents directly above the gym. However, the trick to resolving both complaints is the corporation should review noise reduction solutions and make sure the gym is sound-proof. These solutions can facilitate both parties; those who wish exercise on their own schedule and those who were previously disrupted by noise from the gym. There is a fine line here however as those residents affected by noise are the ones whose suites are located adjacent to the gym or directly above or below.
- Poorly Maintained Exercise Centers:
Needless to say, well-maintained gyms and exercise rooms are what residents expect. However, as a result of the constant use of equipment and machinery in exercise facilities, often things stop working or aren’t kept up.
Proper maintenance of machines is a given, but it’s also important to ensure that overall, the space is clean and fresh. Common maintenance complaints about condo gyms are poor ventilation and intolerable smells. The two go hand-in-hand. If a gym room has poor ventilation, it won’t air out the smell within the space.
TIP: It is extremely important that modern, durable, and high quality equipment be the foundation for any fitness center in a condo building. Because there is a wide demographic within the condo community, it’s important that equipment is easy-to-use in order to increase unit value as well as residents’ engagement and satisfaction.
Ensure that your equipment is constantly maintained so that it creates value and engagement for gym-goers. Make sure your condo property management schedules routine checks to see that there is good ventilation, lighting, and that the space if kept clean and healthy for residents.
You can also ensure that residents are taking care of the space by leaving sanitization and cleaning supplies, towels and cloth so that they can clean up after themselves.
The gym is a shared space within the condo building so the responsibility falls on both residents and the condo corporation for its upkeep. The biggest thing a corporation can do is listen to their resident’s concerns in order to facilitate healthier exercise facilities within condo communities.
ICC Property Management has been assisting condo corporations in creating community and ensuring property is being well maintained since 1992. Contact ICC Property Management if you need assistance in managing your condo building in Toronto. With a focus on transparency, communication and community-building, ICC offers property management services to buildings across the Greater Toronto Area.