Recently, decreased purchasing power has meant that there is a higher demand for rental accommodation. This is especially the case since many construction projects have been delayed and even families who would usually buy a home are now looking to rent as a short-term solution.
This new generation of new renters comes with new expectations. Simply providing a few treadmills, a bike storage area, or an ADSL hookup isn’t going to make your multifamily property stand out from the crowd in 2023.
We’ve picked some of the most in-demand features among the current generation of renters. By including features like these, you’ll stand a better chance of attracting prospective tenants away from competing properties and ultimately leasing more units.
Secure, private storage facilities are in growing demand, as renters require additional space outside the main property to store bicycles or other sporting equipment or to provide a temporary home for furniture if they plan to move to a larger property in the future.
On a smaller scale, providing storage lockers suitable for receiving packages when residents are away from the home eliminates the risk of theft, and is an ideal solution in developments where there is no 24/7 concierge service or superintendent present.
In the wake of the COVID pandemic, residents are much more alert to the importance of in-depth and regular cleaning of shared spaces within a multifamily unit. Today’s tenants expect agents or property managers to provide a clear list of the cleaning activities undertaken, and how often these occur.
For maximum peace of mind, renters opt for properties that offer sanitizing — rather than simply cleaning — of doors, carpets, elevators, and other high-touch areas within a building. In addition, proper ventilation and air filtration in common areas are important, along with the provision of hand sanitizing stations and related signage at key points throughout the property.
Enhanced security and safety
Security is another area that is crucial for tenants’ peace of mind, and therefore a major factor in their decision-making when choosing a property to lease. Renters expect the latest technologies to be in place to keep their properties and their families safe — as standard, not as an additional luxury.
Smart access control systems meet this need well, offering a range of features and flexibility to improve security while also increasing convenience, and lowering ongoing costs for property managers. Installing smart locks provides residents with the option of smartphone app or biometric entry, and the ability to grant remote access to visitors or friends.
Video doorbell systems at apartment entrances let tenants screen and communicate with visitors even when they’re away from home, and CCTV and intruder detection systems in shared areas improve security for residents and employees alike.
Smart home features
Along with smart security features, smart home devices are a big draw for potential tenants. From smart kitchen appliances to IoT-connected heating and lighting systems, and smart TVs, modern residents want to be provided with inbuilt technology that doesn’t just make their lives easier, but allows them to be more environmentally conscious and lower their carbon footprint too.
For the smart home, high-speed internet is a must, especially with the dramatic rise in working from home which we’ve seen since the COVID pandemic. That means ensuring that fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is available where possible, and that prospective tenants are provided with up-to-date information on the available providers and packages. The quality of internet connectivity can be a dealbreaker for the current generation of digital-native renters.
Along with in-home technology and communal area services such as cleaning and security, another consideration that ranks highly on the list of priorities for today’s renters is the provision of shared outdoor space which can be used both for individual leisure activities and to promote a sense of community between neighbors.
Landscaping the public spaces around your development to support a variety of different uses can make your properties stand out from the competition. Tenants value features such as children’s play areas, dog parks or exercise yards, outdoor gym, and fitness equipment (if the local climate allows), and facilities for cookouts or picnics. Space for gardening or growing vegetables has become increasingly popular since the pandemic, and even just providing comfortable outdoor seating to provide meeting places for neighbors can add substantial perceived value to your development.
Of course, it’s unlikely that every multifamily property will be able to tick every box on this list — but the more desirable features you can offer, the easier it will be to tap into the growing family rental market.