Increasingly experienced tenants, especially among the millennial generation that now accounts for as many as 55% of renters overall, consider a great many priorities when choosing a property. For landlords and building owners, this means that securing high-quality tenants who provide the best possible returns is about more than positioning a substandard apartment or property on an otherwise booming market. Instead, it means making sure not only that your property is as good as it can be in terms of location and appearance, but also that it includes the right amenities necessary to be a competitive offering.
Of course, to some extent, the most desirable features and amenities are going to vary depending on everything from the location of your rental to your target market. That said, there are certain popular amenities that most tenants want, and even expect in some cases, and we’re going to talk you through what those are to ensure your property is as strong as it possibly can be.
# 1 – Parking
Parking spaces are in high demand with even traditionally purchased properties, but renters, in particular, value and will even pay more for parking in rental apartments that don’t often provide this benefit. In fact, studies show that, where parking spaces are evident, they account for as much as 16% of overall rental costs, and can especially be a sign of a luxury high-end rental prospect that’s guaranteed to gain extreme levels of interest. Covered or private parking spaces in the form of driveways, converted basements, and so on are by far the preferred form of rental parking, but even private on-street spaces can see your rental costs and levels of tenant satisfaction soaring.
# 2 – Outdoor Space
Outdoor space is another amenity that renters value highly, especially if your rental property is in an area where this benefit can be hard to come by. While large spacious gardens are both out of your control and a landlord maintenance nightmare waiting to happen, creative ways of ensuring outdoor space can help to appeal to the best and highest paying tenants possible. Even in high-rise apartment buildings, additions like well-designed balcony gardens or roof terraces where applicable can make a huge difference to the feel of a property, and the interest it receives as a result.
# 3 – Air Conditioning
While the majority of states don’t legally require landlords to supply air conditioning, the comfort that this amenity can bring means that it is an investment worth making, especially for rental properties in hot areas like Chicago and Florida. In some cases, tenants in these locations won’t consider a rental without this benefit, but do note that landlords in the vast majority of states are legally responsible to maintain air conditioning units once they have been installed.
# 4 – Appliances
For millennial renters who tend to move around a lot, the idea of taking appliances from one property to another can be off-putting and is something that most people aim to avoid. Appliances are therefore an amenity that more and more renters are on the lookout for, with landlords increasingly providing fridges, washing machines, and even dishwashers as standard. As with air conditioning, supplying these additions does require some level of maintenance, but the ease and cost savings that tenants can enjoy from this benefit means that you’ll be able to charge more than enough extra to cover both the costs of appliances plus any maintenance requirements, and still pull a profit overall. Note, too, that you don’t need to supply every possible appliance, but sticking to the essentials such as fridges and washing machines is generally recommended in the current market.
# 5 – Storage Solutions
Storage solutions including built-in wardrobes, under stair closets, and even pre-installed chests of drawers are another amenity that renters who increasingly have to fit entire lifetimes into rental properties have come to value. Families that now account for a great many tenants, and are only set to do so more as long-term renting rates increase, especially value the ability to store their belongings without worrying about the clutter in even small apartments. Of all available storage solutions, walk-in wardrobes are by far the most in-demand and are surprisingly affordable to achieve, as well as being one of few options for storage that can see you demanding a slightly higher rental rate. Even without profitability benefits, however, storage solutions of all kinds can help you to extend your market appeal to otherwise unconsidered audiences, and should generally help to secure fast sales.
# 6 – Wipable Furnishings
With average renters losing at least some of their deposit each time they move, most are well aware of the downfalls of fully-carpeted homes and other problematic soft furnishings like curtains. While this isn’t necessarily enough to prevent a sale, easier-to-clean amenities that include hardwood or laminate flooring and wipeable blinds can therefore help your apartments to secure tenants if they ever end up going head-to-head with an equally viable contender that doesn’t offer these benefits.
# 7 – Smart Home Features
While they are still a relatively untapped amenity, younger rental generations who increasingly value tech to make their lives easier are sure to appreciate smart home amenities including wifi thermostat controls, IoT connectivity, and even automated lighting setups. Admittedly, these can be expensive rental additions and, as it stands, they may not add any viable value to rental amounts overall. However, landlords looking to stay ahead and continue competing may soon find that this is an amenity they can’t afford to miss out on.
Are You Willing To Invest In Amenities?
Increasingly competitive rental markets, and renter demands that have changed a great deal in even the past ten years, mean that landlords need to listen to what their tenants want. Amenities are at the top of that list, and the options mentioned here are particularly popular among rental prospects right now. Are you willing to invest to help your properties both make their mark and potentially earn you more in the long run?