Hi, I wanted to ask if there are others out there that have a Residential Fitness gig? I signed a contract with an amazing Luxury Apartment home that has an unbelieveable fitness center and yoga room with an opportunity to provide bar classes. My contract also allows me to bring folks that do not live in the building. People just started to move in the middle of May. The building is now 85% occupied. I put a survey out to see what they would like offered in terms of fitness classes or other wellness services but I only had 11 people fill it out. Many residents I talked to seem excited for the classes but when it comes down to it I only get 2 or people making the classes. Most of these people are at a higher position in thier job and work long hours. I really want people to get excited about classes, one on one training, nutrition coaching etc? I was thinking to do a fitness fair but that requires money. WIll it be worth it. At this time the building pays me to do 2 fitness classes and 1 yoga class a week. How do I get folks to come to those classes and pay for other fitness class packages. Again I can open it up to the community. I don’t even pay for rent.
Does anybody have experience with this or creative thoughts to get this moving?
We offered a free Barr Class to the community and residents. We had 8 RSVp and everyone canceled. How does that many people cancel. We never offered a Barr class before.
I had a deal like this at one point. I sent a questionnaire to the residents that allowed them to circle times, days and class formats to see what they would like offered. Our demographics are probably similar to what you have. The responses were all over the map. In fact people were very particular about exactly when they wanted class, but there was not a huge overlap. And of course you don’t know till you try what is the best option because there are people who will ask for something and not show up. In practice what worked for me best was 6 am. I found a lot of people were working really late hours, so they liked to work out as early as possible and then get on with their day. Earlyish morning on the weekends also did well.
Are you bringing in teachers to teach the classes, or doing it all yourself? There are advantages to having a couple of people, particularly if you are offering specialty classes like yoga, because then when you do your newsletter you can include bios and backgrounds about how awesome the teachers are and that will also bring people in.
Doing a newsletter and leaving it at the reception area is also a great idea.
Give yourself some time. Bit by bit people will come down, and as they do hopefully you will get a reasonable retention, and build from there. In a way you are in a really enviable position…. no rent….. and an in house local audience. August is always hard. Make some plans for September. I have found in September people get a bit jazzed about starting new things. You could start a healthy changes support group, or put on your fair then, or advertise a new schedule of classes starting after labor day. Lots of possibilities.
Ariadne has some good points. A few things to keep in mind is that people tend to move from one apartment to another during the summer months so this could have an impact on the number of people learning about your services and committing to them. The other thing to think about is that just because you offer these services as a perk to the residents it doesn’t mean they will just jump aboard right away. It takes time, consistency and a lot of promoting and advertising for the classes and services you offer.
You can ask the apartment office to give you those times that the gym gets the most people in. There are certain times in the day where their gym attracts a larger number of residents. There must be a system in place where they can track how many and when they visit the fitness facility. This will help you to plan better for any classes you want to offer and spend more time at the gym to do some networking and promoting. The office of the apartment complex is your best ally here. You should ask them to keep sending out newsletters reminding the residents of the classes you have in place. Always include a small bio so the residents will become more familiar with you and feel more comfortable to come down and participate in one of your classes and/or use your 1-on-1 services. Another way to go about this, is to include your information as part of their welcome package to their new residents.
You could also offer some informational workshops about nutrition and other fitness related subjects open to the residents and to the rest of the community if you like (since you can bring people in there even if they are not residents). Use the apartment’s FB page (if they have one) to do some social media advertising and new connections. Of course you could start one on your own as well. You can also begin a boot camp for the residents either early in the morning or in the afternoon. Keep the hours consistent. The word will spread very fast in a small community like that. You have a great thing going on in there so just be patient. If you build it they will come ;-)!
How long have you been teaching there? It might just take time for interest to build.
It’s been many years since I taught in a residential facility, but those classes were always smaller than my gym classes because they drew from a smaller population to begin with. Also, many of the renters already had memberships at other places.
It’s not a bad thing to have a small class. I can make bigger changes in individuals’ fitness levels when I work with them in smaller groups. Maybe you can capitalize on that. Limit the class to 6 or 8 people and charge the public but let the residents have first priority.
Thank you all for the great answers.
First, I rather small classes. I am afraid they might cancel the contract if the building owners don’t think the residents are using it and want to put thier money else where.
Second, marketing is hard. They have a thing called active building that I post a lot of our classes on but people say they don’t understand it so don’t go on it. I also, put stuff on the buildings facebook page. Many of them do not know there is a facebook page. I am trying to get to as many of their socials as possible so they can meet me.
I have a Newsletter that I put together for the clients outside the building because I can’t get e-mail address for the residents. I like the Idea of leaving a newsletter in the front. I am thinking maybe putting a one pager together of all the services we offer them and sliding it under their door.
What are some things that you put in your newsletter? Of course your classes. Anything else that drives people to read it?
What have been your top classes? I have a yoga instructor. She does teach Barr as well. I think I will put classes together for that. What other classes are popular?