Property managers watch trends like rent rates and apartment demand with great interest, but property management software company Appfolio has an eye on trending tenant wish lists in 2017. At a glance, keeping renters happy in the current market is going to take some flexibility as changing demographics send trends in two different directions.
Here are a few seemingly contradictory trends that will send property managers’ heads spinning:
- Young singles and the elderly demand multifamily. We expect Millennials to come knocking, but don’t be surprised when older Americans eschew senior living and opt for the appeal of urban living. These odd neighbors will need walkable communities, the latest tech, pretty landscaping, and plenty of common-wall insulation.
- Luxury and affordability are all the rage. If you own an older community in need of rehab, consider including a few high-end perks like a rock-climbing wall, classy common areas, and workout facilities to include infinity pools. Or, on the flipside, keep your complex luxury-free and affordable for those who can’t foot the bill for those high-dollar amenities your competitors offer. Either way, your occupancy rate will thank you.
- Green your property and go high-tech. Use your lease agreement to mandate a tenant recycling program, enjoy tax credits for all those energy-efficient windows you’re installing, and install super-fast wifi and offices for telecommuters. Renters want to feel like you’re meeting their needs for sustainability and connectedness.
- Offer big living in tiny spaces. The tiny home craze has people rethinking square footage. The smaller the apartment, the more popular it’s becoming as the minimalist movement takes hold. Entertaining guests is moving to common areas, so that’s all the more reason to put some thought and some high-end finishes into those spaces.
The first step in meeting the needs of your tenants is knowing your audience. A great way to find out what improvements would best serve your renters is a community survey. Be sure you send out a report with the results to follow up. Your tenants will appreciate your time and attention—maybe even more than that rock climbing wall.