Rental Apartment Amenities – Most Popular
Since the proliferation of rental buildings / communities’, amenities have greatly evolved, adapting to the changing needs of the sophisticated renter. Amenities that were once a luxury are now considered basics. Hardwood and laminate floors, stainless steel appliances, the fitness center, a pet spa, the pool, and the concierge desk are now standard features in today’s rental and high end condominium buildings. We have found the trends have shifted over the past 6-8 years and you would be surprised which are the most popular amenities.
New rental project amenities include the yoga studio and massage room, the theater room with the big screen and comfortable chairs, fancy party rooms, and guest suites allowing owners to make use of common amenities while saving on the square footage in their unit. More luxurious features include private wine cellars, humidors, infinity pools and screening rooms. Up and coming trends to look for are Wi-Fi connectivity, media rooms, rooftop gardens, and outdoor amenity decks with tennis courts, pools and pet walks. When shopping for an apartment, the most important features prospective renters seem to be interested in are fitness facilities, 24-hour security and concierge, and visitor parking.
While amenities are attractive and appeal to many renters at first glance, you can maximize on your rental amounts with the more amenities a building has.
Attracting and keeping tenants has been paramount in this ever expanding rental market. The post war baby boomers flocked from the inner cities to housing communities in the suburbs with low interest rates and inexpensive houses, so that they could own a piece of the American dream. Today is much different. After the 2008 Real Estate and Financial bust the appetite for owning your own home has waned for several reasons including the desire to move to a more metropolitan environment, the high cost of owning and the ever tightening of the mortgage market and being able to save the 20% down that most mortgage companies require, while being drowned in Student Loan debt. So the rental market is on fire. Wondering what to do to your rental property to attract quality tenants or keep the ones you already have in place? Consider incorporating some of the amenities that renters are looking for nowadays. As people’s needs shift over the course of a life, so do a rental community’s needs as a whole. That’s why paying attention to the trends in rental property amenities can keep you and your property on the cutting edge of what people want.
These are some top amenities that should be considered, some of which are must haves and others should be considered in each marketplace.
Washer and Dryer
If your rental property has washer and dryer hookups, this may be the single best investment you can make for your property’s image. If you want to buy the appliances yourself, make sure you get high efficiency models to cut down on the water bill. There is no reason that you shouldn’t charge a rental fee for a washer and dryer and add that into the rent. If your rental property doesn’t have hookups, it all depends on the property’s layout, plumbing and more to see if it’s is feasible to do the remodel. However, some property owners are surprised at how affordable it can be. Ultimately the rental fee on the washers and dryers will become a revenue source not just a repayment of capital.
A social space has become very popular in rental communities where residents can play cards, watch sports on a large television, sit in front of a fireplace or use the business center with computers, printers, fax machine and copier. These rooms are set up like a high end hotel for the comfort and convenience of the residents. Putting out coffee on the weekends is a nice touch as well as having parties throughout the year.
Patio and Outdoor Spaces
Many property owners forget about including the outside space when advertising or showing a property. When there is a nice outdoor area like a patio, porch or balcony, it can increase what the renter feels is livable space as long as the weather is nice. For single family homes, adding a patio, pergola, porch area or similar outdoor nook isn’t all that expensive and may really boost the quality of applicants you get. Even if you don’t have funds to create a proper patio, there are many ways to create a usable outdoor space that is cozy and inviting, like setting up a patio set in a shady spot, building a fire pit area or installing an awning. Adding in barbecue areas is a wonderful addition and amenity. If you have building staff, have them cleaned every morning while in season.
It’s hard to imagine a rental property that doesn’t include a dishwasher because these are so much a part of daily life that it’s no wonder that renters will avoid places that don’t include one. If your rental property doesn’t have a dishwasher, it’s not difficult or too costly to get that set up. If you live alone, a dishwasher may be a convenience you can live without–but if you have a family, this is one apartment amenity you’ll want to make sure you have. You can consult with a contractor to see if there is some lower cabinet space to take out to fit one in and get pipes in place.
There’s something cozy and inviting about a fireplace in your living space or in a community room within your building. Efficient fireplaces can really cut down on heating costs during cold weather, and there are a range of options, from true fireplaces to gas varieties.
Few people are so disciplined that they have with them only the things they need. The rest of us need lots of storage space, and walk-in closets are highly desirable for many renters. If you are in a position to do some small remodeling of a bedroom, consider expanding the closet space as needed to give renters plenty of room. Even if you can’t change the layout of your rental property, you can maximize closet storage space by installing closet organizers or including an additional wardrobe if the unit is furnished.
In this wireless world, it’s no wonder that renters are interested in properties that offer free wireless internet in the community rooms and other amenity rooms. The good news is that this is one of the most affordable things you can do to boost the attractiveness of your rental property for tenants and their guests. Many internet companies have affordable monthly rates and offer very fast service. In some cases you can make an arrangement with your local internet provider to give you free service if you allow them to directly market to your residents.
A pool at your complex may be indulgences for some, but many people look for such an amenity if you have a family.
Fitness Center and Yoga Studio
Gym memberships can be expensive. If you love working out, but hate spending the money on a gym, a fitness center in your apartment building can be a perfect solution.
Two cars and one parking spot can be a real annoyance. If you’re a multi-car family thinking about moving into a complex with only one parking spot, be sure to scope out the neighborhood in the evening on a weeknight (when you would normally be returning home from work) to make sure there is ample street parking.
If you’re living in a small studio apartment, there’s a chance you’re not going to fit all of your stuff in the space. But if your rental unit has storage available, you’ll be able to keep your things and live in your dream pad. Make sure to talk with the landlord about the security of storage units–you don’t want to store personal possessions in a place where everyone has access to them.
Klein Property Management has managed rental properties for years. We have special and unique insight to the most popular amenities and which ones create the most value for your tenants. For more information about managing or designing your rental property, contact Klein Property Management at (732) 446-0611 or visit us at http://kleinpropertymanagement.com/