Tenant-friendly amenities, those that attract and keep high-paying tenants, are a must in today’s rental housing world – but some features cost so much to add that it’s difficult to recoup your investment.
Fortunately, there are some attractive elements you can include in your rentals that won’t cost a fortune.
In recent years, the cost to rent an unfurnished apartment increased by about 50 percent over a 10-year period. In some big cities such as New York, nearly half a person’s salary goes to paying rent.
Sure, high prices are good for landlords. However, since renters are paying so much, they expect a lot in return. Discover tenant-friendly amenities that will attract new renters and secure higher rent rates.
1. Offer high-speed Internet
If you’re leasing a commercial space, fast internet is a must. A high-speed connection as part of your rental package will attract those who work from home, such as busy professionals.
Is fiber optic available in your area? If so, extend the offer to the entire building so each unit is wired and ready to connect. You can even include free internet as part of your rental package or add an up-charge for the service.
2. Include pet deposits in your tenant-friendly amenities
There are millions of families with some type of pet. Even busy singles often have a dog or cat for companionship. However, as much as we all love those furry critters, they can create thousands of dollars in damage to your building. Cats with claws may dig at the carpet and leave a frayed mess. Dogs may have accidents or chew through doors if they have anxiety.
Many building owners find it essential to charge a pet deposit and monthly fees to offset costs. A deposit is typically not refundable, and you can customize the amount based on the type of animal. Some landlords charge fees based on their experience with similar pets. You should also consider insurance, as some dog breeds and animal species will ramp up your rates.
3. Install a laundry center
Most renters expect to have on-site laundry facilities to wash clothes and bedding. It’s much more convenient than dragging everything to an off-site location. For landlords, this is an opportunity to make additional money. You can invest in modern machines that are coin-operated. Add a vending area with laundry soaps and softeners, plus snacks for those doing their laundry.
If you have the staff and want to ramp up your profit-making potential, offer a dry-cleaning delivery service. You can run dry-cleaning items to a local store, pick them up when finished and deliver to tenants’ front doors. This type of add-on is particularly attractive to those who work long hours. Plus, it adds a nice side income to your real estate business.
4. Vet new tenants
The people you rent to can save or cost you money. Look for people who will treat the rental as their own home and take good care of it. You can earn a profit from people who pay rent on time, don’t damage the property, and offer reasonable complaints. Low-maintenance renters are a landlord’s dream come true. You won’t have to spend money on costly repairs or invest in a lawyer to start eviction proceedings.
While it isn’t possible to avoid every bad tenant, running background checks and conducting an interview process helps. You should also ask for references from previous landlords. Just make sure you follow state and federal laws to ensure you don’t discriminate based on age, race or other important factors.
5. Tenant-friendly amenities: Install desirable finishes
If you want to demand higher rent on your units, you must compete with similarly priced buildings in the area offering quality amenities. While you don’t need to transform your property into a luxury complex, take a look at competitors to see what they provide. Do they have a gym or 24/7 doorman? In 2018, the top amenities included dog parks, bike storage, workshop areas and more.
Make any apartment look pricier by adding a coat of fresh paint to the walls. Install granite countertops, add a backsplash in the kitchen and swap old carpet for beautiful hardwood floors. Upgrade one unit at a time until they’re all completed. Remember, however, buying materials in bulk can save you money.
Choosing Amenities That Increase Your Profits
These tenant-friendly amenities and upgrades above are a good start, but you should also consider what your tenants want.
For young people, a social outlet, like shared common areas, is particularly important. You can also implement small things that tenants appreciate, such as green plants and beautiful artwork.
Determining which amenities your renters want most is key to keeping profits high. You don’t have to go over budget to provide luxury amenities in a market that doesn’t support it, but there are great ways to provide an improved living experience for your tenants while maximizing the revenue you bring in.