Which items regularly top the list of must haves what renters look for year after year when it comes to searching for their new home in the greater Seattle area, and how do the features in your rental stack up? While many new apartment buildings have been marketing unusual amenities lately like pet spas, virtual reality arcades, rooftop yoga studios (and even bowling lanes!) in an effort to stand out from the crowd, a majority of tenants say they are looking for much simpler items in their next rental home to make their stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible.
When it comes down to it, these luxury amenities are just perks, what renters are really looking for tend to be things that upgrade their everyday life. The good news for landlords is that many of these features are affordable upgrades that property owners can provide to help attract excellent long-term tenants and stand out in a sea of other rentals to help get their property leased faster!
- In-Unit Washer & Dryer
Add a washer-dryer to your property for tenants who are looking to stay in their homes instead of using public machines. Tenants love that in-unit laundry means they don’t have to save up quarters, plus, they know who used the machine last – them. They can trust that it’s clean, and available when they need it.
- Assigned Parking or garage parking included
Ensure your tenants have a place to park at your property. Whether that means cleaning out the garage of storage shelves, or helping them with zone parking, your tenants will know they have a spot when they come home. This gives them peace of mind while they’re out and about, and shortens the trip between car and front door after their trip to Costco.
- High-Speed Internet
Access to internet might as well be a utility like electric, gas, and water. If you can’t provide internet services, use the available services as a marketing tool. Be sure to add which providers are available to your property in your marketing.
- Updated Appliances
Updated appliances help tenants know that few things are likely to go wrong and interrupt their daily life. Nothing is worse than a leaking refrigerator, not just for landlords who pay to fix it, but for tenants who lose the convenience of the machine, and have to clean up the mess.
Another reason for updated appliances is aesthetic. When a tenant is proud of their home, they’re likely to stay for a while. Consider matching all your appliances so they look the same, and go with your overall palette. Stainless steel appliances are not only beautiful, but easy to clean. Avoid white appliances, as dirt and stains are easy to spot.
- Outdoor Spaces (rooftop, balcony, community park or yard)
Can you add a patio or yard to your investment property? Tenants are looking for a space outside where they can enjoy nature without having to drive to a hiking trail. Outdoor spaces are also essential for tenants who have pets, especially dogs, who need to be walked daily.
Consider adding a patio to your rental, or finding a spot for a community park. If the yard is private to the home, make sure to include landscape as part of the tenant’s responsibilities. If you’re offering a community space, be sure to add rules of use to your lease as well to make sure the space stays enjoyable for all tenants.
A convenience most people are used to by now, the dishwasher is a crucial appliance for renters looking to save time, water, and their hands. Consider adding one even to your smallest unit it you can, as there are plenty of options for dishwashers in all sizes.
- Additional storage space
Adding a closet or shed to your investment property offers your tenants that extra space where they can store their seasonal gear. Tenants who enjoy outdoor activities like camping or snow sports especially look for extra storage space for their gear.
Offering this extra space saves tenants in storage unit rental money, so they’re willing to pay a little extra a month for the square footage, if they can tell that they’d have somewhere to keep their bulkier items.
- Pets allowed
More and more people are adopting pets, especially now during the pandemic, pets allowed is an essential part of owning a rental these days. When allowing pets, be sure to be clear about the rules of the property, and set up a fair pet damage deposit.
- Security and Safety
This amenity is especially important for landlords who rent out multi-family buildings. Be sure to offer your tenants peace when they live at your apartment building by making sure your building is easy for them to access, but hard to strangers to get in.
Install a call box, and make sure they know not to let people in who they don’t know. Make sure you are getting all the keys back from former tenants by creating a move-out system that ensures you have everything.
For those who own single-family homes, or units that have doors to the outside, change the locks between tenants.
- Natural Lighting
Show off the natural light in your marketing photos. Take photos during the day when the light is best in the unit and keep all the blinds and curtains open so renters who are looking for their next place will see that your property has plenty of natural light.
If you don’t have natural light, consider upgrading your current lights to LED bulbs so the place shines bright. Another great way to open the space is to paint your walls with a warm white color.