Ingenious Asset Group: Property Management & Real Estate Blog


Smart Los Angeles Property Managers Maximize Building's Usable Space for Big Profit


Oct 24, 2016

Los Angeles Property Managers Simply Look Up, and Discover Untapped Goldmine of Useable Space

Every single habitable building has one- and for the most part, this area common to every building in the city is often overlooked. In a growing trend among Los Angeles Property Management companies, savvy building owners are beginning to tap into this previously underutilized space in order to remain competitive in the fiercely competitive amenities race which has swept the metropolitan area.

All Property Managers Had to Do was Look Up...

roof top amenities

Springing up on rooftop after rooftop; the LA skyline has become dotted with these beautiful oases, and Los Angeles Property Managers  are reaping the benefits in the form of higher rent cost.


A Page Borrowed From the Luxury Hotel Handbook

The use of rooftop real estate is nothing new. For decades the luxury hotel industry has capitalized on the empty space on top of buildings. Historic hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton, The Ace Hotel, and The Wilshire Hotel house some of the most legendary rooftop pools and amenities in the country.

More and more we see a growing number of Los Angeles building owners, and Los Angeles Property Managers borrowing from the luxury hotel industry handbook in an effort to meet the rapidly changing wants and needs of contemporary renters. 

How Property Managers are Utilizing Rooftop Spaces

Los Angeles Property Managers utilizing roof space in a number of different ways. Some of the most common amenities you may find at the top of a residential building include: Grilling Area

  • Pool / Hot tubs
  • Dog Runs
  • Gardens
  • Barbeque/Grilling stations
  • Lounges
  • Picnic areas

Some apartment complexes have opted to utilize rooftop space in less conventional ways, such as

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Fitness Centers
  • Sports recreational areas (such as tennis courts)


Rooftop Amenities = Retention + Higher Per Unit Rent Prices

An article concerning the ROIs of rooftop amentities posted by,  Mark Humphreys, CEO of Dallas-based Humphreys & Partners Architects states:

"While creating rooftop spaces can be expensive for developers, Humphreys says residents will often pay more for spectacular rooftop views, even leading to a potential one-year return on investment by including the space. Increasing rent prices even by small margins, such as 20 cents per square foot, for units at a property with a rooftop view pays off for both owners and renters. 

'The evidence we’ve seen on our properties, and with other properties, is that if you don’t have a rooftop amenity, then you just lost revenue,' Humphreys says."
Today's renters are seeking something beyond the standard in-unit amenities, and that something is a sense of community. As we reported in our recent article "The Top 10 amenities desired by Los Angeles Renters", contemporary renters not only report that they would pay more rent for access to more community features, many also report that access to such community amenities plays a large role in their decision to rent a specific apartment. 

Affordable Rooftop Amenities 

Although some amenities, such as a rooftop pool, may be an expense that exists outside of the average property budget, there are a plethora of different ways a rooftop can be utilized for a reasonable initial investment. 

1. Rooftop Gardens

rooftop garden

One of the least expensive rooftop amenities are rooftop gardens. On average, to install a rooftop garden with the proper drainage, you would be looking to spend around $30 a square foot, plus the additional cost of a few sets of patio on which tenants can lounge.

For an even smaller investment, a property manager can even consider above ground planters, patio furniture, and a pergola for a luxury feeling space on a very reasonable budget.


2. Dog Runs

dog park amenity

74% of LA residents have dogs. THe number one most requested amenity which renters report wanting, but not having access to, are pet spaces. A dog run is a fantastic amenity to add to a rooftop that requires very little initial investment on the part of the property owner.

Residents will leap at the opportunity to avoid the need to go down to street level in order to exercise their pets. Add a small water feature for beating those hot LA summer days, a fence to separate areas for big dogs and smaller dogs, some soft astroturf under foot, and you can stand out from any other apartment complex in your surrounding area by providing a pet friendly space for your tenants. 

3. Grilling / Barbecue Areas

rooftop grill

Another relatively inexpensive rooftop amenity to consider, is the addition of rooftop grilling areas. Purchase 2-3 outdoor grills, provide some picnic tables, trash receptacles, and shady place to sit, and there you have it! A great community amenity with low initial investment and low maintenance cost which is highly desired, and considered by most renters to be a luxury amenity. 

The Verdict

Los Angeles Property Managers are borrowing from the Hotel Industry handbook and incorporating rooftop amenities into their buildings. This is generating higher profit, and long term tenant retention via resident satisfaction. Although there are some amenities which come at a steep price to developers, there are a wide array of profitable options open to property managers with a more modest budget. By utilizing this previously overlooked space, property managers are able to get the absolute most out of each square foot by creating community spaces and luxury amenities for which residents will pay a much higher price.