If you are a landlord, you undoubtedly have encountered a newer, younger set of renters in recent years. Millennials now make up the largest population of people in the U.S., surpassing even the Baby Boomer generation. This generation is showing higher rates of renting than any other previous generation, and remain renters for much longer than their parents and grandparents ever did. As a result of the economic crisis and housing bubble burst of 2008, rising college tuition and limited entry-level job opportunities, Millennials have put marriage and children on the backburner. In many cases, this means Millennials do not settle down and purchase homes generally until their early to mid-thirties. This population is currently saturating the rental market, and it’s certainly in your best interest to appeal to their wants and desires as renters. Here are few ways you can modify your rental to appeal to the next generation of renters.
Include a Washer and Dryer
Many apartment complexes cannot sustain or simply don’t include washers and dryers. Many renters have to sit at the laundromat for hours or use the oft-occupied community washer and dryer. If you want to craft a hot selling point, install a washer and dryer in each unit. Manufacturers understand that many complexes can’t afford the space of a traditional washer and dryer, and have created space-efficient design. Consider a stackable washer and dryer option. Typically, these machines are smaller and easier to install. Many landlords convert linen closets or other small spaces into a space for a stackable washer and dryer combo. Including in-unit washer and dryer amenities can justify a hike in rent rates, and help you attract the cream of the crop in terms of renters.
Create an Open Space
As renters grow older and generate more disposable income, they are more likely to want to entertain. Thanks to these entertaining sensibilities, open space is much preferred. This trend is due in part to converted industrial complexes such as defunct factories in areas such as Brooklyn, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Interestingly, this once cheaper option has become a hot commodity for renters. You may not own a giant industrial loft, but there are things you can do to make your space more open. The key is to eliminate unnecessary walls. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get rid of hanging cabinets over the kitchen. When people have friends over, natural flow sees guests hanging out in the kitchen and eating areas, where the host is cooking. Instead, make your counter also a bar with stylish barstools, so all of their friends can commune in an open space. Small changes like these can make a property more breathable and make it appear larger, which makes a renter feel like they are getting more for their money.
Install Environmentally-Friendly Utilities
Younger generations have been raised to be environmentally conscious, and are attracted to properties that exhibit energy efficient appliances and features. Sustainable upgrades such as energy efficient heating and cooling for the home or water conserving bathroom fixtures are attractive to younger renters looking to reduce their carbon footprint. These upgrades can be financed through PACE programs from companies like Renovate America. If you’re looking for investments that will significantly increase property value, consider larger projects such as solar energy adoption. Solar panels are quickly becoming more affordable with many states offering rebates, while many sun-flushed states find that their investments pay off quickly. If solar panels are a bit too much out of your budget, consider a low water use toilet. Traditional toilets waste numerous gallons of water and they also cost tenants more in utility bills.
Don’t Forget the Landscaping
Efficiency upgrades can extend into the property’s yard. Installing natural landscaping features can provide a boost of aesthetic appeal and reduce expenses for landlord and tenant. Instead of high maintenance grass lawns that require more water usage, natural landscaping can be used to cultivate a beautiful yard that requires little work and provides an added dash of curb appeal. Native plants and succulents can combine for a colorful yard that wastes little to no water. Like solar panels, your local government may offer rebates for your landscaping.
Making your rental property attractive to younger renters can improve your bottom line. Choosing the right upgrades can mean all the difference, so consider incorporating these must-have features and make an immediate difference in rental property profits.