What Renters Care About: Upgrades for Rental Properties You Shouldn’t Ignore
Here’s a little secret for you. Understanding what your renters actually care about (not what you think they care about) is the key to building amenities that will pull in more people. The goal here is to make the most out of your money so you attract new renters without destroying your budget.
Instead of playing the guessing game, let our experts at LeasingKC give you a helping hand. We have the inside scoop on all things apartments, condos, townhomes, and other rental properties you need to see your renter count grow.
Why are rental property upgrades important?
At the end of the day, rental upgrades make your facility more attractive and appealing. You’re probably well aware of the competition, and oftentimes, properties in the same area for the same price offer the same things. Basically, you want to stand above the crowd.
First, upgrades can help you with your marketing plans and converting leads to leases. When you’re able to promote all the great things your units and facilities have, it gives you an honest leg up (no one likes over exaggerations for the sake of sales). Plus, it helps you with tours. A tour is a first impression, and if a potential renter steps into an upgraded apartment, they’re more likely to be impressed.
Second, upgrades are a great way to retain the current renters you have. We all know how important it is to find new renters, but that’s not to say you should ignore the ones you already have. Renter retention allows you to save more money since you won’t have to worry about prepping the unit for another person. It also ensures that your building stays as full as possible.
So obviously, upgrading your rental property comes with a lot of benefits, but those benefits only come if you know which upgrades would best serve your renters. Alright, alright… let’s go ahead and talk about what your renters actually care about and a few general tips.
Don’t spend unnecessary money on community areas
When managers think of amenities that could draw future renters in, they often focus solely on community areas. These are places like game rooms, pools, and computer areas. While all that is great, renters nowadays care more about their actual apartment than outside perks.
So when you’re thinking about upgrading your rental properties, consider the apartments themselves instead of getting another hockey table for the clubhouse. Keep in mind we’re not saying you should get rid of those amenities; you just may want to change your perspective.
Here are a few apartment upgrades you should 100% consider:
- Switch out carpet for hardwood or laminate flooring
- Upgrade to stainless steel appliances
- Opt for granite countertops
- Smart AC units and lights (app controllable)
Focus on convenience and lifestyle rather than “perks”
Everyone loves perks, but at the end of the day, people live in your apartments—it’s not a vacation. People are looking for a place that will make their lives easier. You can always send out a poll to your current renters to discover which amenities they’d like to see. This will give you more insight into what you’re missing and what you’re doing well on.
If you’re stuck on ideas, here are a few apartment upgrades we’ve found can really make a difference.
Amp up your package security
If you have a common room where packages are dropped off, that could be a major concern for future renters. No one likes the idea that someone else could steal their packages (think about how you would feel). Instead of a general package room, try out package lockers with text alerts and their own codes. While these kinds of lockers require less labor and are more secure, they are also more expensive. So just make sure it’s in budget before you get started.
Consider Uber and Lyft services
Think about adding designated parking for Ubers, Lyfts, and other transportation services in front of your clubhouse. Many times, renters feel more comfortable having someone pick them up at common areas rather than their specific apartment. Again, this is all about convenience and lifestyle. You’d be surprised how this simple upgrade could really improve your renter satisfaction.
Make sure you have online automations
There are some basics in today’s world that renters expect. These basics include online rent payments, online maintenance requests, and other automations. People are busy, and they want to do things on their own time, rather than having to always go to the office (that’s what we’d call a hassle). Honestly, you should already be doing this, so if you’re not, go ahead and get the ball rolling.
Don’t ignore your budget
Upgrading your property may sound appealing, but you also want to consider your budget. All properties have different budgets, so not everyone is going to be able to add the same things. As a manager, you should prioritize what is most important for your buildings.
Of course you can reach out to current renters, but you can also talk with staff. The people who give daily tours have direct insight into what potential buyers are looking for, what turns them away from the property, and the types of questions they ask. With this information, you can plan your upgrades from most important to least important to maximize your budget.
Learn more about upgrades for rental properties with LeasingKC.
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