It’s human nature to gravitate toward things we like.
So what you think makes a rental property attractive will probably appeal to other like-minded people. But you could be limiting your market by only doing that.
When you have a rental property, it’s best to make that property appealing to the greatest number of potential renters—people that span all generations—not just millennials or baby boomers, for example.
Landlords need to appeal to renters across multiple generations.
The good news is that appealing to one type of renter doesn’t have to mean alienating other demographics. Renters across every generation will likely be attracted to the same features in a rental.
The best way to start increasing the appeal of your rental units is by finding the commonalities most of your prospective tenants share. The 2017 “Renter Preferences Report” from the National Multifamily Housing Council is generated from survey responses by more than a quarter of a million apartment renters around the country, and based on the findings, here’s how to ensure you’re casting the widest possible net:
1. Focus on the essentials
For the most part, renters want the same basics. Air conditioning and access to high-speed internet made the top of the list, with 94 percent and 93 percent interest, respectively. In fact, 92 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t lease a unit without air conditioning. Many renters are also interested in reliable cell phone reception (92 percent), secure parking (88 percent), and secure access to amenities (84 percent).
By starting with these basic features that you know renters want, you can broaden your appeal and attract as many applicants as possible.
2. Adopt useful technologies
Adoption of home automation technology has exploded in recent years; approximately one-third of U.S. broadband households own at least one connected device. Home automation adoption among renters, however, has been below the national average because of the complexity of choosing, installing, and maintaining a home automation system in a rental home. Take this opportunity to install home automation solutions that increase renters’ safety, savings, and convenience.
- Smart locks prevent the need to rekey after each renter, and they improve safety by allowing renters or landlords to issue unique access codes that show them who was in a rental unit and when.
- Exterior video cameras, such as doorbell or driveway cameras, let residents keep an eye on their home from the comfort of their couch … or halfway around the world.
- Smart thermostats can improve savings by lowering energy costs when a unit is unoccupied.
- Water sensors can alert you to flooding before unwanted water has the chance to wreak havoc.
- Smart lights increase convenience and lower bills by turning off when rooms are vacant.
- Voice assistants are appealing to all generations because they make it easy to control other smart home features.
3. Pick a good location
Location is key for any resident when they’re choosing a new home. Suburbs no longer hold the same appeal they once did; renters of all ages want to be closer to the action, where restaurants and nightlife are convenient and walkable.
4. Provide maintenance-free living
People of all ages want to live maintenance-free. In fact, one of the biggest appeals of renting is that landlords take care of upkeep and maintenance—from unclogging toilets to repairing broken appliances. Landlords who can respond to maintenance requests quickly and efficiently will attract great tenants.
The bottom line
The rental market is growing and becoming increasingly multi-generational. Millennials may represent the majority of the rental market, but a winning strategy is one that increases the appeal of your properties for all renters, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z. Checking the essential boxes is the most important step you can take—from there, introduce the right technologies in the right locations, and you’ll have renters lining up to view your property.