No two renters are the same. Behind every lease agreement is a unique individual with hyper-specific desires, wants, and needs. But in spite of their circumstances, most Austin renters are seeking many of the same features and amenities in rental properties and apartments. As a landlord and real estate investor, understanding what’s desirable will help you increase demand, reduce turnover, and create happy, long-term tenants who pay on time and in full with minimal fuss.
These 7 Features and Amenities are Important
According to an ApartmentGuide.com survey of 2,000 renters, the search for a rental is an emotional process. The most commonly reported emotions include excited (46 percent), stressed (44 percent), optimistic (40 percent), overwhelmed (35 percent), and worried (31 percent).
In other words, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes – things landlords don’t necessarily see or understand. But the more you appeal to their innate desires, the better your chances are of courting them and signing a long-term lease agreement that leaves all parties excited about the future.
You can’t be all things to all people. Someone has probably communicated this piece of wisdom to you at some point or another. But in the world of landlording, you can appeal to the most pressing wants and needs of Austin-area renters by addressing some of the most attractive features and amenities – elements that nearly everyone in the marketplace is either proactively or indirectly seeking out.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered. Here are a few of the top things Austin tenants are looking for in a property. (Capitalize on them and you’ll find success in any market conditions.)
According to the aforementioned ApartmentGuide.com survey, 44 percent of renters are looking for a place that fits their budget. The key words in this statement are “their budget.”
You don’t have to drop the price on your rental to make it “cheap.” You do, however, need to ensure it falls into a budget-friendly range for your ideal renter.
Budget-friendly means different things to different people. If you’re leasing a downtown loft in an area of Austin where tech startup CEOs like to congregate, budget-friendliness looks different than if you have a 1,200 square foot starter home in the suburbs and you’re targeting middle-class families who want to be close to decent schools. Know your ideal renter, identify their budget, and offer a rental rate that’s competitive within this context.
Location is always a key element in any real estate equation – especially in a hot real estate market like Austin. And while you can’t do much about location once you already own a property, there are plenty of ways to frame your location and make it more desirable.
When putting out a property listing and/or generating word of mouth about a vacancy, play up the location as much as possible. Focus on convenience above all else. If you’re located near the University of Texas, talk about how it’s a convenient walk to campus (appeals to professors, graduate students, staff, etc.). If you have a single-family home near the Apple campus, play up this proximity and go after Apple employees. People want to live, work, and play in a geographically convenient circle. If you can offer this, you’ll find it much easier to find and keep good tenants.
The American Veterinary Association estimates that 50 percent of renters have pets and that 3 out of 10 renters without pets would have pets if their landlords allowed it.
Pets can be rough on rental properties, but these rudimentary data points suggest you should at least consider allowing them. It opens up your prospective pool of renters and can give you a more competitive property. (There are also ways to protect yourself, including additional fees, strong lease agreement language, etc.)
The expectations for appliances are lower in a single-family rental property than they are in an apartment. Having said that, renters are still on the lookout for properties that have things like garbage disposals, washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and microwaves. In higher-end rentals, you residents may even want/expect things like smart thermostats and TVs.
Wireless connectivity is extremely important to renters. And according to one study, 91 percent of renters say reliable cell reception is important. A hefty 44 percent of renters say they won’t rent without reliable cell service.
Again, there’s not a whole lot you can do about wireless connectivity, but it is something to consider when investing in new properties. (There are websites that allow you to check service for every major carrier based on the address.)
You should never spend more on a rental property than comparable properties justify, but there is something to be said for updating the kitchen in your property. This is the first room people notice and it typically has a major influence on how prospective renters feel about the property. (There’s no need to go crazy – just update the backsplash, paint the cabinets, and include some new lighting and hardware.)
One of the bigger benefits to living in Austin is the ability to enjoy warm water all year round. Your tenants are no different – they want to maximize the perks of the weather. You can appeal to this desire by focusing on outdoor living space. For larger properties, you might consider building a patio or deck. For condos and apartments, dressing up the balcony is a good move.
Green Residential Professional Property Management
Green Residential is the leading Austin real estate management company in the area. We have more than 40 years of industry experience and our team works hard on a daily basis to ensure you get the best and most comprehensive service possible.
What sets Green Residential apart? Consider services and amenities like flat-rate management fees, access to an on-staff CPA, no obligation contracts, monthly accounting statements, maintenance and repair coordination, instant online payment process, thorough tenant screening, 24-hour support line, property marketing, professional quality photography, and more.
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