One of your biggest priorities as a landlord is going to be keeping your property occupied. When the property is vacant, you’ll want to fill it as soon as possible. When the property is filled, you’ll want to keep your tenants for as long as you can. That’s because an unoccupied property is going to lose you money every month, while an occupied one can make you money every month.
This premise is very simple. But following it can be challenging, since it’s not always easy to know what renters want or how to appeal to them. If you can make a better appeal to prospective renters, you can fill your property faster and ultimately make more money.
So, what exactly are renters looking for in a property?
Rent Price and Size
The two things that renters care about most are, arguably, the price of rent and the size of the property. These are two variables that are, for most of the population, not negotiable. If a person is on a fixed income or if they have limited resources, there’s a strict upper limit to the rent they’ll be able to pay. If the rent is too high, a unit may be instantly excluded from the search.
Similarly, if a property is too big or too small for a tenant’s current needs, it may also be rendered irrelevant. For example, a young family may need a property with at least two bedrooms, so a 400-square-foot studio apartment simply isn’t going to work.
If you already have a property, there isn’t a lot you can do to manage these variables. You need to charge a fair rent price to make a consistent profit, and you can’t change the size and shape of your property without a massive investment. Still, understanding these priorities can help you market to the right demographics and highlight the advantages of your units.
Next, tenants usually look at the overall location, including factors like:
- Safety/crime rate. One of the first things people look at when considering whether to move to a new property is the crime rate in the area. People need to feel safe, so they’re only going to consider moving to an area with a high crime rate if they absolutely have to.
- School access. If you’re making an appeal to parents and families, you’ll need to consider the local school district. Responsible people want the best for their kids, so they want to be assured that local schools are in good condition.
- Transportation options. Excellent property rental options facilitate easy transportation. That could mean having easy access to a local highway, being close to a bus stop, or both.
- Shopping and entertainment. Most people also look at shopping and entertainment options when considering a move. Nearby grocery stores and movie theaters, for example, can make a property more appealing to tenants.
- Aesthetics. Overall aesthetics also matter; clean and polished neighborhoods attract more renters than their broken-down counterparts.
Tenants also care about parking if they drive on a regular basis. Most people don’t want to have to fight for a street parking spot and they want their vehicle to be safe. The more parking that’s available, the better, though convenient parking options aren’t always possible.
Overall Age and Condition
Another priority for tenants is usually the age and condition of the property. The older the property is, and the worse shape it’s in, the less likely a tenant will be interested in it. This does vary based on neighborhood, however; some neighborhoods are known for their older, more unique properties.
Most tenants have expectations for appliances; they expect to see a refrigerator, a stove, an oven, and heating and cooling options, at minimum. They may also expect to see a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, and other appliances. The more appliances you offer, and the newer these appliances are, the better.
Recent Upgrades and Renovations
If a property has had recent upgrades and renovations, it’s going to look even more attractive to most tenants. Not only does it increase the luxury aspect of the property – it also shows that the landlord is serious about investing in the long-term quality and appeal of the property.
Curb appeal is huge for prospective tenants, since it’s responsible for forming their first impressions. Even if there are some internal flaws associated with the property, a beautiful exterior has the potential to make up for them. Focus on aesthetically pleasing landscaping choices, repairs and improvements to your siding, and little touches (like hanging flower baskets or a repainted front door).
Many tenants also prioritize storage space and storage options. If they have many possessions to bring with them, they need to make sure that they can all be stored and organized reasonably. Extra cabinets and cupboards can help you provide this.
Some tenants have pets or kids to look after. Some tenants love to be outside themselves. Others simply like knowing that they have a beautiful yard outside. In any case, most tenants interested in your property will be looking for attractive and functional outdoor spaces. The more rooms you have to offer, and the better condition the outdoor space is in, the more applicants you’ll receive.
Finally, remember that tenants may also consider the quality and integrity of their landlord when renting a new property. Starting the relationship on good terms, with positive and proactive communication, can make them much more likely to follow through with renting.
These factors can help you in almost every stage of the property management process, from choosing new properties to add to your portfolio to marketing your property after a vacancy. But all these tasks are much easier to manage, and vacancies close much faster, when you’re working with an active property management firm like Green Residential.
At Green Residential, we have a full team of real estate experts to help you with your next property purchase or with managing your existing property portfolio. For more information, contact us today!