Posted on August 14, 2019 by Gordon Smith

As a nation, our passion for fitness is not showing any signs of slowing down. With nearly seven thousand health and fitness clubs in the UK and nearly 10 billion members, it is one of the biggest markets in Europe.

However, there’s signing-up to a gym and then there’s using a gym. As life and ongoing commitments can sometimes get in the way, it’s no surprise that one survey claimed that Brits waste £558 million every year on gym membership.

As we all know, it’s easy to find reasons not to go for that workout. It’s easy to feel less enthusiastic after a day at work when all you want to do is go home and not have to make that extra journey to the gym.

Including a gym and studio within a new or existing residential development is one area where developers can really gain competitive advantage. If you’re in the process of thinking about including a workout space, we give you some pointers on ensuring you get a more effective return on investment.

Make life easy

As tech makes life simpler, people seem to be getting busier, so the last thing anybody wants is a complicated setup, especially when it comes to fitness. Making the time to go to a gym adds a layer of additional thinking into a daily routine, but an onsite gym can remove that layer.

There are several benefits of building a residential gym. Having a fitness outlet on the doorstep is going to not only make your development more attractive to renters or buyers but it will also ensure you have engaged residents. Residents can get to know each other, creating a sense of community and they don’t have to travel anywhere and can workout purely on their terms.

A key thing to note though is that ease of use and long hour access is paramount. Closing the gym early in the morning or evening is not going to work with residents as they will most likely be the popular workout times.

Ditch the gym membership

We’ve previously examined the challenges of designing a residential gym. Your gym should be seen as a profit centre, not a cost of sale. So one of the biggest challenges is keeping your gym profitable. This means hitting the right price point. If onsite gym fees are too high or too complex, residents will simply go elsewhere. With the rise of budget gyms, you really need to make sure you’re hitting the sweet spot when it comes to charging.

In order to ensure you get a return on your investment, you need to make the onsite gym more desirable than a public gym. The average public gym membership in the UK is around £50 – £60 per month. That’s up to £700 per year! At these prices, it’s not hard to attract fitness fans away. Some residential development owners incorporate gym fees into the annual service charges. This way you can offer a more competitive price, which will be a far more attractive proposition to residents. You’re offering convenience and more flexibility around access times, which is a far more attractive sell than having to travel to a public gym.

“To ensure you get a return on your investment, it’s important you make the onsite gym more desirable than a public gym.

‘Always-on’ gym maintenance

If residents are paying an annual fee to use the gym, broken or outdated equipment is not going to cut the mustard. Ensuring all equipment is working well and able to support latest trends or technologies is going to be crucial. This means you will need to factor residential gym maintenance into your costs.

For new gyms, it’s important to future-proof equipment wherever and whenever possible. The ability for equipment to sync with wearable tech is now a key requirement for new or updated gym spaces. You can keep on top of the latest trends in our gym design blog. Or read about the latest gym equipment trends.

Additionally, it’s vital to ensure you have a flexible space that can adapt to different forms of exercise, such as group workout classes. Including equipment that can be moved around can allow for this. Gym consultants specialise in understanding your residents’ needs and can help you develop the space to maximise the benefit.

A gym for social good

“Creating a gym space that is designed to help and support the local community, not only makes it attractive to the area, but also to prospective residents.”

There is an increasing trend towards activity that is designed for social good. It is an area that is extremely important for the younger generation.

Sometimes larger developments suffer from a perception of being detached from their surrounding communities. Creating a gym space that is designed to help and support the local community, not only makes it attractive to the area, but also to prospective residents.

Such opportunities could include gym maintenance and/or management training or apprenticeship programmes, as well as personal trainer schemes. That way, the development is giving something back to the community.

In turn, it will become an attractive development for potential buyers or renters. The millennial generation firmly believe in social good, so this approach will certainly resonate.

The team at motive8 are experienced gym consultants who are able to advise on a range of areas, from gym design and equipment, right through to future proofing your space for better ROI. Interested? Why not get in touch by calling 0800 028 0198 and find out more.