It is important for rental property owners to cast a wider net when searching for potential tenants. This means adapting to the ever-changing wants and needs of the market, including modern renters.
What Features and Amenities Do Modern Renters Want?
The rental market is experiencing a shift in terms of demographics. As older generations exit, younger generations enter the pool of potential tenants. In fact, in 2020, renters aged 65 years and above made up only 10% of the U.S. renter population. In comparison, 47% of renters were under 30 years old.
And younger generations tend to have different tastes regarding rental properties. Such tastes are mainly brought on by technological advancements, though they can be due to other factors as well.
If you want to attract modern renters, you should have these amenities and features.
In today’s hyper-connected world, Wi-Fi is no longer an indulgence — it has become a necessity. And it is difficult to find a renter who doesn’t mind living in a place without Internet connectivity. If you want to attract modern renters, you need Wi-Fi, and you need it everywhere. In addition to the unit itself, it may be worth extending the signal to cover common areas as well.
2. Tech-Forward Communication
Back in the old days, landlords primarily used mail to communicate with their residents. Today, renters expect more tech-forward methods. And it is not limited to just email or text messaging. Renters now want resident apps where they can file complaints, submit a work order, or simply send a message to their landlords. With the modernization of property management, landlords would be wise to adopt AI, automation, and even CRM to streamline processes.
3. Convenient Payment Methods
In addition to tech-forward communication, tenants now also want tech-forward payment methods. Gone are the days of sending cheques via snail mail. Now, tenants want more flexible and convenient payment options like credit, debit, and third-party apps like Venmo.
This works out for landlords, too. When you offer these payment methods, renters are less likely to miss a payment.
4. Smart Home Upgrades
If you can swing it, consider installing some smart home features as well. These include keyless locks, video doorbells, and smart thermostats. While small, these upgrades can really make a difference and take your rental into the modern world.
5. Digital Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is important to modern renters. They want clean spaces and neighborhoods. That means contracting a regular cleaning service to keep entryways, walkways, and common spaces neat. It’s also a good idea to impose pet waste and trash rules for tenants to follow.
All of these things can affect digital curb appeal, which is how attractive your rental is when listed online. Aside from photos of the place, online reviews can influence the number of prospects you get. You’re more likely to receive offers if you cultivate a good reputation (clean streets, well-kept landscaping, etc.).
6. A Dedicated Home Office
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of companies to adopt a work-from-home setup. And, even with the pandemic mostly behind us, remote work continues to be popular. With a vast number of people working from home now, more and more tenants are looking for a rental with a home office. A dedicated space for work, even at home, allows renters to separate their work life from their personal life.
Most modern renters want homes that already come equipped with appliances, especially renters who tend to move around often. This is because renters have to haul all their belongings when moving from one place to another. And appliances are fairly troublesome to take with them.
If you have a bare rental, consider installing appliances to attract more tenants. Some of the most popular appliances include stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, and television sets. If you have older appliances that don’t work very well, now is the time to upgrade.
8. Safety Features
Safety is paramount to most renters, particularly if your rental is located in a neighborhood with a high crime rate. Invest in security cameras, alarm systems, and video doorbells. Homes with keyless locks are more difficult to break into as well. In addition to this, it is essential to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
9. Pet-Friendly Policies
A large portion of the population intends to remain childless, so it makes sense that pet ownership in the United States is rising. With pets essentially becoming the new kids, modern renters are on the prowl for pet-friendly rentals.
Landlords understandably want to limit pets because of the potential damage they can bring. But, it may not be worth the tradeoff. If you want to attract modern tenants, skip the outright pet ban and just go for pet restrictions.
10. Outdoor Spaces
Concrete jungles don’t hold the same appeal as they did in the past. Now, renters want to live in a place that offers outdoor amenities and spaces. These include balconies, verandas, and shared outdoor spaces such as courtyards, gardens, and common decks.
11. Laundry Services
If possible, installing a washer and dryer in the unit is a good idea, but even laundry services or laundry rooms within the building will work just as well. Renters don’t want to go out to find a laundromat anymore, especially after a tiring week. If they can find a place that comes with laundry amenities, they’re more likely to go after it.
12. Fitness Centers
It’s all about health and fitness nowadays. Modern renters want to stay in shape, and it’s all the better if they can do that without an expensive gym membership. If you want to appeal to a broader market, add a fitness center to your building.
13. Package Storage
Online shopping has really taken over the world, offering convenience and fast shipping. Renters are having products delivered to their doorstep now more than ever. And a modern amenity you can offer to accommodate that is package storage or management.
Package lockers are a good place to start. But, if you can take things to the next level, consider designing a centralized room where tenants can retrieve or prepare to ship their packages.
The Time to Act Is Now
Modern renters are quickly taking a majority share out of the renter population. Before long, landlords will be forced to make changes in order to keep up. Get ahead of the curve by implementing these changes today.
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