Following the trend in increasing mortgage rates, more people are looking to rent than to buy homes. That is true for all areas of the United States and not only in Washington…and with good reason. In the more popular areas like Bellevue and Seattle, home prices average at $858,000 in Bellevue while those in Seattle are priced at approx. $630,000. The people who choose to buy single-family homes or residential properties are few and far in between. This is why over the past couple of years, the rental property market has enjoyed steady success.
The increase in the number of renters has steadily outpaced the increase in homeowners with renters in 23 million, and homeowners less than 700K. As of today, growth in the homeownership space has remained virtually unchanged. More people are renting now more than any point in the history of the property market. There is such a huge diversity far from the usual “college students putting themselves through school.” Apartment renters could be young professionals who share the cost of an upscale apartment with three other roommates. Apartment renters could be a small family whose credit is keeping them from buying their own home. Apartment renters could be a retired couple who finds relief in being free from maintaining a big house and a yard. Apartment renters are millennials entering the housing market but not buying houses at the same rate as older generations. Apartment renters are baby boomers who are now retired and downsizing. With renters being such a huge and diversified target market, how can we know for sure what apartment renters want?
Architecture and Design
According to the modern interior design firm, Sensory Six, the most important things that people look for in an apartment are space and storage. There is a dichotomy. While space is at a premium in apartments, the small space is one of the reasons why renters might have been drawn to that apartment. House and lots are tough to maintain but give its inhabitants room for storage and space to entertain. Renters would most likely choose an apartment that incorporates smart storage. A place to put seasonal decor, sports equipment, books, and toys would be very valuable for people who are looking to move to a smaller space. Flexible spaces that can convert to multipurpose rooms are also a big plus. Tenants would be grateful for a space to entertain small groups, even if it’s just a balcony.
Renters are also drawn to spaces that feel well thought of and intentionally put together. You might want to invest in landscaping or hall lights that add unique details to the rental property. You can also add details to the walls and floorings of each unit, such as tiles that won’t break the bank but will make your rental property stand out instead of opting for stark white walls. This will make your rental property stand out.
A sense of community
Apartment living may not offer a huge yard with picket fences that has always been the American dream, but there is always a way to enjoy the same feeling. Having a community garden, a pool, or a kid’s playground within the apartment premises will give tenants a sense of community and still get the feeling of having a good old backyard to play in, cool down, socialize, entertain, or plant in. Prospective renters would appreciate these little shared spaces even though they are outside of the proverbial home. Who knows, they might form a gardening club or a fitness club. Parents might also be able to find playdates for their kids when they interact with other parents on the playground you have provided within the apartment complex.
An attractive lifestyle
Offer an attractive lifestyle to prospective tenants by adding an entertainment hub or a fitness center to the apartment complex. It doesn’t have to be a big gym or a movie house. A nice multipurpose room with a big TV can serve as a movie room or double up as a meeting place for official apartment business. A small gym with basic equipment or a few yoga mats can serve as the fitness center where tenants can squeeze in a quick workout. You might want to add a garden path or walkway so that the older tenants could do some brisk walking and light exercises. This would prove attractive to prospective tenants especially if the theater or the gym is a long way off from the apartment complex.
Apartment complexes that are well maintained will always be fully occupied. Tenants want to feel that they are well taken cared of in their rental homes. Keep an eye out for things that need repair and maintenance, especially outside the rental units. These can easily slip and won’t be reported by tenants because they are more likely to report repairs needed inside their apartments. Hall lights, locks, paint, and other outside installations should always be maintained. If you keep your rental property well maintained, tenant attrition will not be a problem.
Apartments that offer a little bit of something for everyone will always stand out from the rest. Be prepared to accommodate a diverse line up of tenants, each with a different need. All of which are looking for a safe and beautiful place to call their own. Property owners don’t need exquisite architecture or an interior design degree, they don’t even have to splurge on high tech or expensive additions. If they can put together an apartment complex that incorporates the things that renters find attractive across all demographics, then they are sure to fill vacancies in no time. Just make sure that the apartment complex is a safe, well maintained, cohesive place that tenants can be proud of.
At Davis Property Management, we can help you plan and create the best possible rental property and also help you find the best tenants. Learn more about how we can help you. Schedule a consultation with us today.