brightly colored apartment gym


Key takeaways

  • An apartment gym is necessary to attract prospects and retain current residents.
  • Building a gym for your apartment building will cost $30 to $80 per square foot.
  • Designing an apartment gym requires understanding your residents, offering variety, and implementing smart technology.
  • Maintain your gym by inspecting it regularly and cleaning it daily.
  • As a resident, look for 24-hour access, cleanliness, and plenty of space in your next apartment’s gym.


Gyms or fitness centers are highly sought-after apartment amenities by many residents. If you’re unsure about adding an apartment gym to your property or want tips on how to do so, this guide is for you.

On the other hand, if you’re a renter looking for an apartment with a gym, we’ll cover what you should look for further down in the guide.

With that said, you’ll discover if an apartment gym is necessary for your building and how much adding one might cost. We also provide you with tips on designing a good gym and how to maintain it to satisfy residents. Lastly, we’ll detail how you can help residents enjoy the gym in the best possible way.

This guide covers:


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Does your building need an apartment gym?

Yes, your building needs an apartment gym because it’s an attractive amenity for many prospective residents.

According to Renew Bariatrics, people spend an average of $10 to $40 each month on gym memberships. However, renters want to minimize living expenses while also maximizing their quality of life through exercise and fitness.

More specifically, an on-site apartment gym will benefit your property in the following ways:

  • Greater appeal. Prospective residents find on-site gyms attractive, which gives your property more appeal than those that don’t. The idea of not having to spend money on a membership or drive to the gym is a powerful incentive for attracting leads.
  • Improves resident retention. Current residents using your gym are more likely to renew their lease when the apartment gym is well-designed and plays a pivotal role in their lifestyle. After all, finding a new apartment with a similar gym can be a hassle many residents want to avoid.
  • Event opportunities. A well-equipped fitness center is a great opportunity to host fitness-themed events, such as yoga classes, nutrition workshops, and weightlifting contests. These types of events enrich the living experience at your apartment, which residents are less likely to leave.
  • Cultivates a community. An apartment gym offers a place in which like-minded residents can interact with one another. In turn, you can better cultivate a community that residents want to be a part of at your apartment building.
  • Alternative revenue streams. A gym at your apartment enables you to implement alternative revenue streams for your property, such as offering memberships to non-residents, installing vending machines, and offering on-demand fitness content.


How much does it cost to add an apartment gym?

If you don’t already have one, the cost of adding an apartment gym is between $30 and $80 per square foot, depending on the size of the space.

However, the cost of revamping or adding to an existing gym amenity will be different. Some gym equipment can be bought outright for a wholesale price. If you plan to lease, you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $100 a month.


Tips for designing an apartment gym

If you truly want to benefit from an apartment gym for residents, you need to design it properly. Of course, designing an apartment gym is no easy task.

There is a lot that goes into designing an apartment gym, so here’s what you should keep in mind:


Discover more amenities every building should have:


Understand residents

Before you move forward with building an apartment gym at your property, you must understand what residents want. Otherwise, you could include features or equipment that turns residents away or is simply never used.

So, start by surveying your current residents to ask what they’d like to see in your gym. Ask them to provide specific equipment or the type of exercise they want to perform, such as weightlifting, yoga, cardio, boxing, and more.

Then, consider your apartment community’s demographics. Younger residents may prefer more dynamic and high-intensity exercise, whereas older residents will prefer wellness programs and low-impact machines.


Utilize space efficiently

Regardless of the square footage, it’s critical that you use the space as efficiently as possible. With a smart layout, you can maximize space utilization while incorporating all the equipment your residents want.

In addition, consider multi-functional areas, such as a yoga room doubling as a weightlifting area. This way, you’ll appeal to all residents by incorporating multiple forms of exercise into your gym.


Offer variety

As we’ve already hinted at, diversify your gym’s offerings by including a wide range of equipment, programs, and events. This will attract more residents to use the space and even appeal to potential tenants. By providing various exercise options, residents can tailor their workouts to their preferences, promoting a holistic approach to fitness.


Implement technology

Don’t be afraid to incorporate new technologies into your apartment gym. For instance, smart fitness equipment is becoming popular in fitness centers because it improves exercise. These machines can give users feedback on their posture or technique, allowing them to improve their routine.

Furthermore, virtual reality and the gamification of exercise have made strides in enticing more people to work out. VR provides an immersive experience that prompts various exercises, which are veiled by actions in a video game. As a result, people are more likely to enjoy their workout and continue with their routine.


How to maintain your community’s gym

Now that you know how to design an apartment gym residents want to use, it’s important you know how to maintain it so they return.

Maintain your community gym with these methods:


Inspect gym equipment

Over time, your apartment gym equipment will experience wear and tear. So, you should inspect equipment daily to ensure it remains functional and problems don’t go under the radar. This is especially important when you have one type of machine that is used often.

When a resident notifies you of a problem, or you notice it yourself, be sure to schedule maintenance as soon as possible.


Schedule maintenance

Scheduling corrective maintenance is important when you notice problems, but preventative maintenance is also vital. In fact, it may be more important because it can catch larger problems before they arise, reducing downtime of equipment and lowering repair costs.

So, work with your maintenance team or a third party to inspect and maintain apartment gym equipment regularly.


Perform regular walkthroughs

In addition to inspecting gym equipment, walk through the gym to identify anything that may need your attention. A thorough walkthrough will help identify potential damage to parts of the gym, areas needing cleaning, or jolt ideas for better space use.

Plus, this is a good time to see and speak with residents using the gym. Making yourself seen by residents gives them an opportunity to stop you, give you feedback, or alert you of a problem regarding the gym or overall property.


Clean on a regular basis

Hygiene and sanitization are paramount for many gym-goers, meaning you’ll need to make sure the gym is cleaned regularly.

Here are some ways to help maintain a clean workout space:

  • Learn how to sanitize: Sanitation is more than wiping down equipment with a wet cloth. Brush up on the best cleaning techniques and tips to make residents feel better about using the gym. Perform the sanitization yourself or hire a professional cleaning service to handle it.
  • Make sanitization accessible: While staff should keep the room clean on their own, residents should also clean their equipment before and after each use. By keeping sanitizing stations within reach, you’ll help gym-goers take more initiative in cleaning after themselves.
  • Print signs and check-ins: Print and post reminders on the inside of doors or cabinets to remind others to keep spaces clean. Also, having forms showing residents when the last sanitization cycle took place will give them a visual assurance that equipment is not being neglected.


gym management software


Help residents get the most out of the gym

Most residents want to know how to get the most out of their apartment’s gym. This is a legitimate concern when weighing their options between paying for an amenity-rich apartment or putting that money into a separate gym membership. If you want to tip the scales in your favor, knowing how to meet residents’ needs will help.

If you want to help your residents enjoy the gym to its fullest, give these tips a try:


Start a group fitness program

If your gym room is large enough, consider hosting group fitness classes such as yoga, Zumba, or weight training sessions. This way, residents won’t feel as though they’re missing out on group fitness opportunities at an independent gym.


Enable guest access

A lot of people like perks such as allowing a free guest, even if the host cannot be with them at all times. Allowing guest entry via digital access codes with an access control system could be beneficial and incentivizing. These are safe and secure, and allow property managers to audit guest usage.

Investing in a gym management software system, in addition to your property management system, is the best way to ensure smooth guest access without compromising security. If your residents are particularly fond of the gym amenity space, consider upgrading to make the most of your investment.


Establish clear rules

The best way for everyone to enjoy a shared space is to create clear and enforceable rules and regulations. Rules are important because they instill parameters for respecting shared amenities, the people who use them, and those who maintain them.

Some examples of rules for apartments with gyms:

  • Age limits: Children under the age of 14 should be accompanied by adults for the comfort of exercising residents.
  • Rules of conduct: Noise and attitude rules are important because they protect other gym users.
  • Clothing policies: Clothing policies should be put in place for safety. Limiting loose clothing and open-toed shoes are good examples of clothing rules.
  • Equipment time limits: Maintaining limits on machine use gives everyone the opportunity to use the equipment.


Consider amenity fees

The question of whether to charge amenity fees is worth considering. On the one hand, no one likes being charged extras, but residents who want a specialized amenity are likely to be willing to pay some kind of reasonable fee.

If you don’t have amenity fees already, consider having a conversation with your tenants to see how they feel about them. Transparency about amenity fee allocation could help them feel better about paying extra for something that would enhance their building.


Offer amenity reservations

Enabling amenity reservations lets residents reserve the gym for their own group workout, yoga session, or solo workout routine. You’ll need an access control solution, like ButterflyMX, to fully implement such an ability.

Then, your residents can reserve the gym using the access control system’s mobile app. After confirming the reservation, the resident and their guests are granted exclusive and time-restricted access. This way, other residents won’t be able to access the gym during the event. After the reserved time is over, guest access is revoked, and access is enabled again for other residents.

Overall, you should choose an access control system with this feature built-in for easier management. The amenity reservation feature should also offer payment tracking so you can easily track reservation information. With ButterflyMX’s keypads or card readers, you can easily enable this feature for residents.


Amenity reservations in the mobile app


What residents should look for in an apartment gym

When looking for an apartment, a gym may be on your list of must-have amenities. Well, when that is the case, here is what you should look for in an apartment gym.

When looking for a place to live, the apartment gym should have these features:

  • Variety of equipment. A variety of apartment gym equipment ensures you can receive a diverse workout experience, ranging from cardio and flexibility to weightlifting. Not to mention, equipment variety will lower the chances of the equipment you want being taken during your workout.
  • Cleanliness and maintenance. Is the gym clean? Are there numerous “out of order” signs on the machines? Does the gym have areas where you can sanitize machines yourself? All of these questions will tell you how much or little the property cares for the gym, determining your satisfaction level.
  • Spacious and accessible. Cramped gyms can dampen a workout routine and completely stall it for those who can’t access it. For the best experience, ensure the gym has enough room between machines and open floor space for various workouts. This way, you won’t feel smothered by other residents or the gym itself.
  • Technology. What technologies does the gym incorporate? WiFi and televisions are common inclusions for many gyms but look for workout mirrors or smart machines. These technologies can further diversify your workout routine and improve the overall experience.
  • 24/7 access. Your apartment building’s gym should offer 24/7 access, allowing you to work out whenever it fits your schedule. While there may be a one-time charge for this convenience, the ability to exercise at any time is well worth the cost.


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Rebecca Cline

Rebecca is based in Northern Virginia and has been a writer all her life. She loves learning new things and enjoys writing everything from real estate to property management!

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