Tenants are thinking a little differently now post-pandemic, so what are the 3 most important things to tenants and what things in rentals are they are looking for these days?
By Justin Becker
There is no argument that the best tenants are the ones who pay rent on time, have long-term leases, and respect the properties they occupy. As a landlord, the key to your success is retaining the current tenants and attracting new ones.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it hard for most landlords to get the best tenants, making the real-estate industry more competitive. If you want to have a high chance of getting the best tenants now, or in the post-pandemic period, then you should consider the features highlighted below.
Whether you are improving your current property or purchasing a new one, we have listed the three most important things every tenant wants in a rental property. These features will not only assist you in attracting new tenants, but also help you find the best tenants in the industry.
No. 1 – Location and Security
Just as it is for a business, location can greatly influence your real-estate revenue. For instance, the best tenants in the industry want to rent an apartment or house that is closer to their place of work, restaurants, community parks, and grocery stores.
These clients focus more on the quality of lifestyle. They are willing to overlook certain desirable aspects and pay more money, as long as the property is located in a great neighborhood.
For instance, tenants would prefer to live in a place where they could take an hour or less to commute to work. Tenants also find it desirable to settle in a place where they can easily buy dinner when they don’t want to get in the kitchen and cook.
Another example is that there are many growing families that would love to settle in a good school district. This is the top priority for tenants who have young school-going children. Even for tenants who don’t have children yet, a good school district is still perceived as a predictor of the quality of the neighborhood. This is, therefore, a factor that’ll always be on the mind of a tenant who is looking for a long-term home.
The good thing about having a house or apartment complex in a desirable location is that you can charge higher rent, and no tenant would complain.
Another thing, which goes hand-in-hand with location, is safety and security. A safe environment and neighborhood is one of the greatest motivators for the majority of tenants. If tenants are worried that their homes or cars will be broken into, it may not be easy for them to sleep at night.
As a landlord or property-management professional, it’s important that you research the crime statistics of a certain area before investing in a property. If you don’t, you might find yourself buying a property in a dangerous location that won’t attract tenants.
If you already have a rental property, it would also help if you add an alarm system, or any other security feature, to make your tenants feel safe. Remember, the goal here is to keep the existing tenants comfortable, as well as to attract new ones.
No. 2 – Move-In Ready Conditions
This is one area that many landlords don’t take seriously. However, if done correctly, there is a high chance that you can attract some of the best tenants around.
Repairs, both in common areas and units, are annoying and disruptive to tenants. If your property needs, for example, carpeting, cleaning, or painting, it might turn off excellent potential tenants. It’s therefore important that before you show off the apartment to prospective tenants, you clean it and make all of the necessary repairs.
If the tenants see the property in a poor state, it may create a poor impression of the property in their mind, and thus they will lose interest. Another disadvantage is that they may set it in their mind that this is how they should also treat the property.
You want to avoid giving your potential tenants such an impression. A move-in-ready unit sets the standard that every tenant should maintain the property in high regard, all while keeping everything clean and neat.
Another important step in getting your property in move-in ready condition is to include important appliances in the apartment, and make sure they are working properly. As much as homeowners are willing to pay for certain appliances and their upkeep, tenants who are renting the property usually aren’t.
Tenants do like nice appliances that they can take pride in, and thus take proper care of them, but most don’t want to buy costly and large items that they may not require in their next rental unit. This means that if you decide to provide new appliances for your tenants, it’s less likely that they will be damaged.
For instance, tenants would be willing to pay higher rates for 1 bedroom apartments if they are sure that the landlord will provide laundry machines/facilities as part of the rent. Every tenant recognizes that washing their clothes at a local laundromat can be very expensive. An in-unit washer/dryer, or even community machines, could therefore be ideal in such a scenario.
No. 3- Excellent Amenities
Excellent amenities are without question the top priority on the list of many tenants. When it comes to amenities, there are several things that landlords should keep in mind.
Ample parking is one of the most important amenities that every landlord can provide for their tenants. No tenant wants to drive around for long minutes while searching for a parking spot, especially when they have melting ice cream or a bundle of groceries in their car.
As a landlord, you should look to purchase properties in suburban areas since there are many parking spaces on the streets; parking can be a challenge in an urban environment. If you don’t have enough parking spaces, you should give your tenants directions to any decent parking garage nearby.
If you happen to offer parking spaces, you should outline rules related to them in the lease agreement. It’s also important that you post signs that notify everyone of these rules. Finally, you must enforce the rules to ensure that no unauthorized user accesses the parking spaces.
Another amenity that tenants prefer are apartments that have adequate storage space and open floor plans. This might mean offering an extra closet in the bedroom, or eliminating an unnecessary wall.
Alternatively, you can offer a storage unit outside of the house, maybe within an outdoor storage shed or basement. Tenants prefer landlords who offer them an option to store seasonal belongings such as skis and bikes, as well as their large belongings. This offers them enough space to move around their rental and entertain guests. In the end, this creates an enjoyable living experience.
A private balcony or back yard could also be a wonderful addition and can be attractive to new prospects, especially to urban dwellers. It also can be an amenity that makes your property stand out from the rest of the neighborhood.
You’ll attract more tenants to your property if you can offer space for them to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. You’re even more likely to charge a higher rent for it.
Most Important Things To Tenants Conclusion
Whether you own apartments, manufactured housing units or stick-built homes, you must include the above three amenities to attract the best tenants to your rental property.
Apart from just ensuring that you have provided the best amenities and best location, you should always aim to be a good landlord to your tenants. Maintain a good landlord-tenant relationship by always attending to their needs as best you can.
We hope that you become a successful landlord or property management professional, especially in the post-pandemic era.
About the author:
Justin Becker is a property owner in the state of Michigan and has a passion for managing communities. He owns apartment complexes and mobile-home communities, and has been writing his own blogs for his properties for several years.