Space is limited and real estate prices are soaring. Are your Co-op and Condo basement spaces utilized in the most efficient way? Here are 5 Tips on how to increase income for the building while adding amenities, all which in effect increase property values:

1.       Storage bins, #: Your building has a few storage bins; couldn’t you squeeze in a few more? A friend rents a storage bin that is located ON TOP of the regular storage bins! His bin is shorter and rents at a more affordable price, but provides additional storage and income. Installing more storage bins is a minor one-time investment that results in ongoing future cash flows and better services to those who are on the “waiting list.”

2.       Storage bins, $: Why not charge the “going rate” for storage bins? Check out what other buildings or storage companies charge and price yours at the same rate. Don’t forget - people pay for convenience. What can be better than taking the elevator to pick up your Halloween costume instead of booking a Via or Uber? Realistically, you could probably even charge a premium.

3.       Bike storage: Perhaps you don’t want to “punish” the healthy bikers, but what about squatters who leave rusty, dusty bikes there because they may get around to using them “next summer”? One building had over 60 bikes. The Board initiated a modest $100/year bike fee, and less than 25% of those bikes were claimed, with many of the forgotten bikes going unclaimed. Those went to charity, creating room for more productive use of  real estate which was previously squandered.

4.       Locker or Supply Room: Does the building have a locker room, or a supply room, and if so, could they be moved to smaller rooms, or even be combined?

5.       Fitness Center: Many buildings do not have a fitness center, often because they “don’t have enough space.” Fitness Centers are very attractive and valuable amenities which can, and should, generate income and increase property values. They can be installed at a relatively modest cost. With a little re-configuration and creativity, most basements can free up enough room for a Fitness Center.

There are many great alternatives to uses of space: family room, children’s playroom, movie room, music room, wine cellar, cedar closet, cold storage. Just bring floorplans and some creative thinking!