High-end Amenities Your Tenants Want
Amenities can not only increase resident satisfaction and retention, but also make your rental property more attractive for potential renters. The addition of high-end upgrades provide extra convenience and benefit to your renters, and helping them feel more at home will help you keep occupancy rates high.
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) recently conducted an exhaustive survey of renter preferences, collecting responses from over 370,000 renters across the US, and found that the most desirable amenities are in tech-based features, and perks for four-legged family members.
For properties where pets are welcome, providing extra amenities and features for pets will go a long way to increase your renter’s experience. The NMHC report found that over one third of renters are pet owners, primarily with dogs. Dog owners further reported they expect to pay an additional $28-$34 more per month for pet amenities like a community dog park, pet-bath area, or on-site pet services.
There’s no limit to the amenities you can provide for pets, and many ways to adapt them for the space available at your property.
A community dog park with benches and trees for shade give owners the ability to let their pet run around while they relax and converse with other pet owners in the complex. If you don’t have a large enough single space, simply do not want to convert a very large space into dog park, or conversely if you have a large community with many residents spread out, consider placing multiple smaller parks around the property. A collection of multiple, smaller parks, can be placed more conveniently for residents to access from their rental unit, and when fenced-in can also help provide residents with individual pet off-leash time where appropriate. For high-rises, consider adding an in-building dog park.
Another option to add value for pet owners is through a pet bathing area. A dedicated pet washing area is always a hit with pet owners, saving them from the hassle and mess often caused by bathing a pet in the bathtub. You can provide in-house grooming services for owners too, either daily or a few times a month depending on the number of pets and demand from residents. To go for the fully luxurious option, offer a full pet spa with facilities for drop-off.
The NHMC survey also reported high-speed internet was important or very important to 92% of residents, pre-installed wi-fi important to 75%, and community wi-fi desired by 69%. With an increasing amount of professionals working remotely at least some of the time, and households with more connected devices (with 54% reporting 1-4 connected devices and 35% with 5-9 devices) , the availability and reliability of continuous high-speed connectivity is next to essential for many residents.
Since internet access is often packaged with cable television, if you are already offering cable to residents, then the upgrade should be discounted and easy to add. If you are not already offering cable as part of the rent, you could consider also including it as well to increase the benefits for your tenants and attractiveness of your rental. Though this could be offered as an option available at an additional charge, including it as a “free” service will give your property a substantial added value by removing their cable/internet bill, as well as limiting potential issues with residents during service down times (if services are added as a billed option, then renters will likely turn to you in instances of outage).
Providing wi-fi access to residents is also a great first step in converting your rentals to ‘smart homes,’ as any subsequent smart appliances and fixtures added will complement the value of wi-fi already in place.
Smart-home devices certainly compliment wi-fi offerings, and are designed to make life easier while also providing both style and convenience for your tenants. Some of the easiest and most effective ways to start smart-home conversions are also the most wanted: automation in locks, thermostats, and lighting are the three most desired home tech additions for renters. These upgrades add convenience by providing multiple features such as remote access, voice control, and integration with virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home (which more than a third of renters already own), while also helping your tenants save money.
Healthy living is also still among the top priorities for many, and residents often look for comprehensive fitness centers with more than just a few pieces of equipment. To add variety, consider holding regular fitness classes or adding a yoga studio with scheduled classes. Facilities for sports such as tennis or basketball can provide another fitness alternative, while also helping to build community within the complex.
Don’t forget to market your upgrades and unique or special amenities offered. A small graphic, such as a paw print or wi-fi symbol on listings, and mention in the listing’s bullet-points will help get the word out.
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