What do tenants really want? In an age of Rentvestors and increasing property development throughout the nation, this is the main question every landlord and property investor should aim to understand. Times and tenant tastes have changed and the rental market has no choice but to change with it. Therefore, what is it that the savvy tenant of 2016 is really looking for?
The Online Search
Lets start from the beginning. And I mean the real beginning – the online search. Tenants look for properties that stand out. Therefore, professional photography of a property is a must. There is nothing worse than starting your house hunt online and browsing through an endless sea of subpar and unprofessional property photos. Many tenants in 2016 are also Landlords, therefore, the rental hunt should be treated the same as a sales hunt. No excuse for bad advertising. Tenants want to see photos of each room within a property, including any outdoor/common area facilities, so they get a good sense of what is on offer and how the property presents. Everyone is time poor and making a short list of properties to inspect from the online presentation is a must. Quality over quantity.
Queen size bedrooms
Tenants love bedroom space. Over 10 years of leasing properties, Luke Spence from Beller Group says the most commonly asked questions from tenants is ‘will this room fit a queen size bed and bedside tables?’ If you are purchasing a new property, or looking to purchase another investment, pay particular attention to the size of the bedrooms. Tenants love bedroom space. Pay attention to the design and the layout of the bedrooms – whether it be within an apartment, townhouse or house. It doesn’t matter. Make sure there is space! A good size bedroom is the make or break for most tenants and it can be the difference between a short term vacancy period and a long term vacancy period.
What is your walk score? If you have purchased within a city fringe suburb, ensure you highlight the walking score. To find out the walk score of your property (or suburb), simply do a google search. It takes less than 2 minutes. Tenants love knowing what they can walk too and how central they are to supermarkets, transport, cafes, restaurants and schools. Again, we are all time poor. So, what takes you 2 minutes to research saves your tenants the time in having to do it. Highlighting the walk score on advertisements and leasing packs is a point of difference. Make it easy for your tenants to understand how central they are to everything!
Technology is life in 2016. Therefore, if you can offer NBN connectivity or high speed internet access, do it. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want high speed internet access. Being connected is a must and tenants will structure their property search to areas that can offer high speed internet. In saying this, if purchasing an off-the-plan property, pay attention to what is required upon settlement to make the connectivity of internet for tenants easy and stress free. This may mean providing tenants with information on the preferred internet provider for the development, or having a phone line pre-installed from the main distribution frame.
Slowly becoming a luxury within any capital city in Australia. Provide your tenants with a car parking space. Whether this is on the property title, or you have leased a spot within the same building (from a neighbour), it will add value to your property. Tenants often enjoy catching public transport to work if they are located in the CBD, however, on the weekends they still want to use their cars which they have stored in their garage space Monday – Friday. If the car space is a stacker, this is fine, just try to offer the appeal of an off street car parking spot!
No one has time for dishes. Dishwashers are now a non-negotiable for almost all tenants. Dishwashers are inexpensive and you can source them easily. As long as your kitchen layout allows for the installation of a dishwasher, install one. Tenants have this on their ‘must have’ list and are not willing to compromise on this anymore.
Air-conditioning and heating
Much like dishwashers, this is another 2016 ‘must have’. If you don’t offer some form of heating or cooling, you may be facing a longer vacancy period than your neighbours that do. Again, easily sourced and relatively inexpensive. Offer this to the tenant. It will only add appeal and interest to your property.
We could go on and on about what tenants want. However, highlighting the top few picks should assist any Landlord better understand what tenants of 2016 really want.
Author: At 28 years of age Luke Spence, Business Development Manager at Beller Group, has been described by his peers as a ‘rising star’ in the real estate industry. Belle Property’s Property Manager of the Year in 2011 and LEASED Magazine’s Young Achiever of the Year in 2012 Luke is young, hungry and focused on understanding the ever-changing property market. Now, with more than eight years in the real estate sector, accompanied by a Bachelor of Business Management and two real estate awards under his belt, Luke is utilising his skills to grow and nurture Beller Real Estate’s extensive client database.