Owning multiple rental properties in various parts of the Seattle area can be a pain to manage, especially if you are not equipped for the ever-changing needs of your tenants. A thriving neighborhood would always have its share of changes, and hopefully…growth. Growth is very much encouraged. It will ensure that there is a better future. But as a landlord, you should arm yourself with the knowledge to make sure you are ready for the future.
You know that there will be changes, and you think you have the skills to face it when the time comes. But are your multiple rental properties really future proof?
Here’s what you should do in order to accommodate your tenant’s ever-changing needs and make sure you’re ready for the future:
Understand your tenant’s needs
As a landlord and property manager, you interact with a lot of people from all walks of life at all hours of the day. This means you are in constant contact with a diversity of personalities, languages, characters, needs, values, priorities, and backgrounds. While it would probably take a master’s degree in psychology to understand the behavior of the personalities you encounter on a daily basis, it is nice to have a good grasp of how they operate and what their motivations are. For example, young families have a different set of values and priorities compared to families with older children. While both are upwardly mobile, dual-income families will have a set of motivations and preferences that are very different from retirees and empty nesters. Your tenants would expect you to understand these needs. The only problem is, there is no one-size-fits-all process.
The simplest way to understand your tenant’s needs is to talk to them and keep an open mind. Watch out for clues and preferences that your tenants drop into conversations. This is how you assess what their needs are. Then you adjust accordingly. Make sure these adjustments are as beneficial to you as they are to your would-be or existing tenants.
Be diligent in maintaining excellent communication
It’s not enough to send letters and notices on community billboards. Nowadays, your tenants expect you to be easily reachable through other forms of communication. Other communication systems like online portals, calls, email, or text messaging should be made available to your tenants as a means of communicating with you or your property manager.
State of the art communication systems might be out of your budget, for the time being, so make sure that other means are in place. You can give out your email address and phone number as a standard, but you can also make yourself available through instant messenger apps. Make sure that your business hours are clear to your tenants so you can avoid questions and reports in the middle of the night. Set a time for them to be able to contact you if you are to make yourself available through instant messaging. The standard business hours of 9 to 5, Mondays through Fridays, is a fair time frame for accepting rental property-related messages.
In the case of getting future-ready, walk around means that your rental property will have a bigger draw for future tenants if it is in a walkable neighborhood. Your tenants should be able to “walk-around”.
Today’s tenants are all about community building. They want to be able to walk anywhere and find what they are looking for within walking distance.
Your property will have more future-ready points if it has accessibility to what possible tenants place a high value on. For example: retirees would like access to social hubs and recreational facilities. They would love to have a place where they can get to meet like-minded seniors and not have to get on a train or spend hours sitting in traffic. Walkability is also important for families who need to be near schools and groceries. This also gives them a chance to support local mom and pop businesses.
Consider convenience and your tenants physical considerations
As mentioned earlier, retirees would love to be able to walk around the neighborhood. However, it wouldn’t do them any good to have steep hills or mountainside trails. They would be hard-pressed to use the hiking trails and walkways if they’re on a steep incline. So consider building your walkways on a rolling slope.
Some other things to consider when building future-ready rental properties if you are targeting seniors are having a universal design. This means that your rental property has zero-step entrances, single-floor living, and wide halls and doorways. This will help with accessibility and minimize opportunities for falls and accidents.
Modernize your homes
This is probably the most important step to getting your rental property future-ready. Tenants, whatever demographics they are in, are easily drawn to modern homes. This doesn’t mean it looks modern on the outside. This means that, while the rental property might have an old Victorian facade, the amenities inside are modern.
While it might be a good idea to install smart building technology not everyone can afford that kind of modernization for their homes. If you want modern amenities for your rental property, a good place to start is with smart lighting. Smart lighting is designed to help with energy efficiency. Tenants are able to control the lighting inside their homes, remotely. This means they can check if they left the lights open, and promptly turn it off if they indeed forgot. Or, say they’ll be out of town for a while, they can turn the lights on and off to make it seem that someone is at home. So you see, smart technology not only helps with energy efficiency but also with safety.
These are just a few steps to ensure that your rental property is future-ready. These guidelines might change over time since rental trends are always changing. The best way to ensure that your rental property is future-ready is to be adaptable and flexible to change.
As for rental trends and tenant preferences, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. To make it easier for you to manage this level of diversity, you should look into delegating and assigning a property manager to each. This way, the service will be personalized and your tenants will feel seen, heard, and taken care of.
The Davis Property Management team is ready to help you with all your property management needs. We are a service-oriented team and will make sure that your tenants are well taken cared of. We’re ready to go into the future with you. Schedule a consultation with us today at 425-658-7471.
Davis Property Management
At Davis Property Management, we provide fast, friendly, and professional service tailored to your individual property management needs.