Make sure you get the most out of your fitness amenity investment.

black kettlebells on the floor in a gym

Everyone wants value in their real estate investment. Are you receiving value in your property’s investment in your managed fitness amenities? Learn how you can you measure and improve the value of your fitness amenity investment.

Have you ever wondered what value are you receiving for your property’s investment in your managed health club or pool? If so, you may want to consider identifying cost variables and creating a favorable ratio of value to cost. This is often considered “value engineering” an operation. Consideration of the information below will provide valuable insight.

A fitness amenities program that includes abundant weekly exercise classes, over a hundred operational hours per week, daily continental breakfast, and monthly programming creates a high perceived benefit and attracts residents. This is especially important in the early stages of a property’s evolution. These factors set a property apart from the competition, help to sell units, and maintain high tenant satisfaction and occupancy rates. It can also be a very expensive operation.

Value engineering can help measure where your dollars are efficiently applied to your amenities program, and where less justifiable expenses may exist. The following are samples of metrics that can be used to determine value in your managed fitness amenity.

1. Staffing Value and Operational Hours
A resident to staff cost quotient can be determined for each hour of operation. For example, if a fitness professional is paid $18 per hour and there are 10 residents at the club during the hour, the quotient is 1.8, a favorable value. On the other hand, if a lifeguard is paid $15 hour and from 9:30pm to 10:30pm nobody enters the pool area, the quotient is 15, a less desirable value. You may want to consider adjusting staffed hours if undesirable resident to staff quotients persist over a period of time.

2. Group Exercise Class Value
To determine group exercise class value, instructor cost to number of participants can be determined for each class. A packed class is highly efficient. However, attendance under 5 residents for a larger club or under 3 residents for a small club may warrant a change in class time, content, or perhaps instructor.

3. Social Programming Value
Where fun interesting events and free food is offered, resident attendance will be high, which is very desirable. However, you should know what the social programming agenda and food service is costing your property. Calculating the cost of an event vs. number of residents attending will provide valuable information. Generally, residents attend events for the social component, and are not expecting expensive gourmet food. You may want to consider a nominal charge for events, insist that food is not taken from the event, and reduce the complimentary food service hours to conserve cost.

4. Pool Operation Value
Pool maintenance, repairs, and cost of chemicals are variables to consider. Regular preventative maintenance including cleaning the hair strainer to protect the pump, backwashing the filter and maintaining proper pool water chemistry are key tasks that should be performed by your pool management company. Your property should know how much is being spent annually on pool system repairs and supplies to ensure the expense is reasonable. It never hurts to shop price for chlorine and other water stabilizers, as well as repairs.

When a fitness amenities management company, or consultant, collaborates transparently with their client to “value engineer” a fitness amenities operation, savings opportunities for the property are likely to be identified.

By: Gail Hamilton, Professional Fitness Management