What type of tenant are you trying to attract? Higher-end, luxury-loving people who demand the best? Outdoor types? Young families or professional singles? While the Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against any group based on race, religion, family status and other factors, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your rental property stand out from the crowd so that your target market wants to live there.
For example, if your property is conducive to families with children, with playgrounds and three-bedroom units, you may not see as many single renters applying for leases. On the other hand, if you want to attract professionals (single or otherwise), you’ll want to provide amenities that they prefer, such as high-speed wireless Internet, online rent payment and maintenance requests, and flexible pet policies. They also may be looking for a little more character than a typical apartment offers. Features like hardwood floors, bright spaces, exposed brick and rafters, stylish appliances and modern lighting go a long way to attracting this crowd. Young professionals like to live in hip, cool—but not necessarily luxurious—spaces.
Obviously, if you want to attract a higher-end tenant, you’ll need to invest in luxury touches, such as marble in the bathrooms, quality fixtures, swimming pools, fireplaces, workout centers and beautiful landscaping. Give them plenty of room to park their cars, and storage for their skis, bikes, and other outdoor toys. Then respond to their requests for maintenance or other services as quickly as possible.
Think about whom you want to attract to your rental properties. Then think about what they want. Deliver it, and you could see vacancy rates dropping, and rents increasing.