Looking out for the needs of your residents is one of the most important things you can do as a property manager–but you already know that. One detail that often gets overlooked, however, is accessibility. Hopefully, when your property was built, all ADA requirements were met, so you’re already off to a solid start. But the reality is: these requirements often aren’t enough for people with disabilities to live as comfortably as they could be. If you’re not already sold on going above the standard ADA requirements at your property (we hope that’s not the case, but alas), let’s look into why it’s not only important but a win-win for everyone.
Why Accessibility is Important
1) It makes your property more broadly appealing
According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults live with a disability in the United States. That’s roughly 61 million people that you could be alienating from your property if you’re only doing the bare minimum. With the upgrades we’ll be suggesting, it’ll be too easy to turn down that huge demographic you could be welcoming into your property.
2) It sends a message
Taking the time to make your property as accessible as it can be sends an important message to your residents: you care. You already know why this matters. A property manager who cares is more likely to foster better relationships with their residents, which will result in higher tenant retention and more property recommendations. Need we say more?
3) It helps you avoid problems
Failing to make your property properly accessible can lead to complaints, serious injuries, and possible legal issues. By upgrading your property to address inaccessibility, you’re getting ahead of the curve and keeping yourself in the clear.
3 Easy Accessibility Upgrades
As great as it would be if every property manager completely redesigned their properties to allow for optimal accessibility, we understand that’s not realistic for everyone. Instead, here are three easy upgrades you can make at your multifamily property to increase accessibility.
1) Install smart technology
Installing smart home tech can be game-changing for a person living with a disability. Depending on the software you go with, smart home tech can allow a user to control their entire home from one place, offering a new independence and ease for people who may struggle with everyday tasks.
3) Renovate your floors
Making your property more accessible can be as simple as renovating your floors. Features like carpets can make it difficult or even impossible for those using a mobility device to get around their own home. Consider replacing carpets with hardwood floors or tile. And let’s face it, carpet is out of style anyways!
4) Upgrade your pathways
Both the addition of lighting and tactile floor strips are simple but powerful upgrades you can make to the pathways on your property. These both serve to make navigation easier for the residents who need it.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that disabilities look different to each person experiencing them. Make sure you consult with your residents before making upgrades to ensure their needs are met first. Living with a disability can be an exhausting experience when the world we live in constantly falls short of being entirely accessible. As a property manager, it benefits everyone to offer the accessibility your residents deserve. Happy upgrading!