The amount of total rental households in theUSis expected to reach 46.8 million by 2015.  With crippling student loan debt affecting young people’s ability to buy a home, it’s been predicted that a large portion of these renters will be millennial.

As more competition emerges in the rental market, it’s important for property owners to keep properties as up-to-date and attractive to renters as possible to stay ahead and obtain competitive rental rates.

Who is today’s renter?  Where do they live and what do they want? We put together this article with tips for attracting renters, including the most enticing amenities, valued extras and biggest turnoffs.

Most Important Factors

When tenants were asked what the three most important factors in a rental unit are, they responded:

  • Location – 33%
  • Unit Quality – 27%
  • Price – 22%

Most Enticing Amenities

When asked what amenities were most preferred, the below three were rated highest:

  • FitnessCenter – 83%
  • Convenient Parking – 81%
  • Outdoor Pool – 59%
  • Walk-in Closets – 70%
  • In-Unit Laundry – 69%
  • Balcony/Outdoor Area – 59%

Five Tips to Attract Renters:

  • Update lighting, floors and appliances
  • Install  Wi-Fi
  • Stay proactive with constant communication
  • Partner  with local businesses such as yoga studios
  • Allow pets

Renter Turnoffs

  • Bad Odors
  • Carpets in bathroom
  • Broken Appliances
  • Dirty carpets
  • Lack of storage

Upgrade Your Properties!

Every year people make their New Year’s resolutions. Next year, you’re going to finally get in shape, start saving money or maybe even take that exotic trip you’ve been thinking about. Here’s a resolution that might be easier for property owners to keep – make at least one significant upgrade to your rental property in 2014. Not only will it be appreciated by your residents, it will also make your properties, and their values, even more attractive.

Doors and Windows

Windows account for 20 to 25 percent of energy loss and drafty doors can add another 10 to 15 percent. Cut down your property’s utility bills by conserving energy. 

Upgrade the Kitchen

It may cost some money, but upgrading the kitchen can create a happy tenant. According to AOL Real Estate, visually appealing, high-function kitchens are keys to attracting low-maintenance tenants.  Consider upgrading:

  • Countertops
  • Appliances
  • Flooring 

Improve the Exterior

Upgrading the exterior of your property will not only make it look more attractive, but also make it safer for renters.  Consider upgrading or adding:

  • Roofing, siding and foundations.
  • Bushes,  trees, plants and flowers
  • Exterior lighting
  • Patio or  deck 

Don’t Forget the Bathrooms

How many times have you heard a prospective tenant say, “We loved it except for the bathroom situation”? Even if your property is being rented, having improved bathrooms can make your tenants extremely happy.  Consider upgrading:

  • Flooring
  • Sinks
  • Shower Heads
  • Faucets

Some of these suggestions may cost a lot, while some may be minor investments. Choose one (or more) that you can both afford and accomplish in 2014. The right upgrades to your rental property can go a long way in keeping residents happy; attracting new, low-maintenance renters; and increasing the value of your property.  And this is a resolution you can stick to!  Happy New Year!

Bob Pifke is Chief Marketing Officer with Real Property Management – a property management company that for over a quarter of a century has proudly upheld its reputation as the nation’s local property manager. Real Property Management has more than 250 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada and they each share the same goals – to save owners like you time and money. For more information or to get a free quote, call (888) 806-7088 or visit www.realpropertymgt.com

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