According to a recent survey from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there currently are 100.9 million people living in a rental home. The rate of homeownership has steadily declined over the past few years and younger generations are opting to rent vs purchasing a primary residence.
The majority of rental properties are owned by individual investors rather than large corporations. This opens up a large window for a personal touch and value add when an individual investor is involved. Large corporate areas may create every rental unit they own to be uniform with the same features. An individual investor has the flexibility to tailor some amenities and upgrades in a rental property according to demand and market trends. When it comes to rentals, knowing what your tenants want and like will not only quickly secure tenants, but retain them as well.
There are obvious amenities that all of us would love to offer, such as a balcony view over the ocean. This list is focused on the things that are largely able to be controlled by an investor.
Top Amenities on a Renters Wishlist
If you’re renting in an urban area, parking can be somewhat of an issue. For tenants who have cars, especially in a community, parking is of the utmost importance. No one likes to come home from a busy day at work, after spending time in a traffic jam and having to worry about parking 20 minutes away from home. Designated parking also makes your tenants feel safer and secure because they will always be familiar with the area and surroundings.
2. A Good Pet Policy
According to the III- Insurance Information Institute, 70% of American households, or 90.5 million people own a pet. It is no surprise that people love their furry friends. Renters are no exception. Having a policy in place where you allow pets will eliminate some of the stress for a tenant searching for a home. Being smart and having a thorough pet screening policy is the best way to protect yourself as a property owner. Having a flexible pet policy will secure tenants quickly.
3. On-Site Laundry
In today’s world, it isn’t always feasible to spend a few hours a week at a local laundromat. Loading your car up and traveling to a laundromat is not only a hassle, but can also create unnecessary stress with the additional cost. Having a washer/dryer in the unit would be an ideal situation for most renters. At a minimum, offering a few on-site washers and dryers, even if they are paid, will suffice and fill that void. In most residential areas, I think it is safe to say that many people would not even consider renting a place without access to laundry facilities.
4. Outdoor Areas
This one isn’t always within your control. As a property investor, keep this one in mind when purchasing a rental property. Many renters will be satisfied with any outdoor space whether it is a balcony, deck, or porch. Not only is an outdoor area an extension of the property, but it also can pack some really big value if the space is kept in great condition. If your property doesn’t have a great outdoor space, look toward community areas such as parks and recreation nearby.
5. Storage Space
While it can be expensive and challenging to modify an existing floorplan to create additional storage, you can always get creative. Adding additional shelving units in closets creates extra storage space. Ensuring that kitchen cabinets have ample shelving inside to maximize storage space is a huge bonus. Over-the-door hooks and racks will allow for shoe storage, towel storage, and even odds and ends. Also, if you plan to update your bathroom vanities, be sure to select one that has maximum drawer and cabinet space.
The majority of renters will not come into a property-owning a full set of appliances. Including an oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher in your tenant package will certainly add immense value and attract quality tenants quickly.
7. Air Conditioning
Air conditioning is probably one of the most desirable amenities, especially in hot and humid climates. If your property does not currently have an air conditioning unit, you may need to consult with an HVAC specialist and put it into your budget. Consulting with a specialist may cost more upfront, but it pays to do it right the first time so that yearly maintenance costs will be lower. If your property lacks the capacity for a central air conditioning unit, exploring other options such as providing a window unit, or an individual room cooling system may be the next best thing.
These are just a few of the top amenities that renters across the United States have expressed as being valuable in their search for the perfect home. If you’re looking to rent your home and would like a free estimate on what your property would rent for, we can help! Additionally, we can provide professional and expert service to your tenants, such as a designated maintenance team, easy ways to pay rent, credit for on-time payments, and more! The RentWise motto is ‘Less Hassle, More Happy’ and we stand by that in every interaction we have with property owners and tenants alike!