Although the Millennial generation is sometimes mis-understood as being lazy and entitled, the truth is that for the most part, this primary target market for rental properties simply wants to live well — and not necessarily large and luxurious like many members of the generations that came directly before them.
This is great news for landlords and property management companies who wish to keep vacancies low and demand high in units and residences that do not fall into the category of posh and palatial. To follow are 6 easy-to-actualize amenities that can make modestly sized and appointed spaces more comfortable, functional and attractive to prospective tenants.
This isn’t really an amenity per se, but it is one of the most critical factors in ensuring the rent ability of a property. So in between renters, be sure to take the time and effort to ensure the place looks like Mr. Clean was the previous tenant.
- Hardwood, laminate or tile flooring is much easier to keep clean than carpet. But if the unit is carpeted, professional cleaning will produce the best results.
- Check all grout and caulking between tiles and around windows to ensure that it is free of mould or stains. If stains won’t come out or if grout / caulking is missing, take the time to replace it.
- If it takes more than Mr. Clean’s “Magic Eraser” to get walls looking spotless and pristine, then you need to repaint. There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make a space look and smell new. Be sure to choose a neutral colour like light tan or grey that coordinates well with existing flooring and cabinetry.
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Of course most everyone would love top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances (Millennials prefer to cook and entertain at home as opposed to eating out), but budget does not always accommodate this wish. At minimum, ensure that all appliances are in good working order and are the same colour, even if they are not from the same manufacturer. Also try purchasing “scratch and dent” appliances. Often you’ll find that the imperfections in price reduced appliances are minimal or even hidden from view. Black appliances can be a good alternative to stainless steel in modern kitchens, as they typically cost less, but have a premium appearance. And last but not least, even if space is limited, move heaven and earth, and maybe some cabinets to provide a dishwasher. You might think that this just a nice to have, but trust someone who has lived without a dishwasher — it’s a necessity!
If existing plumbing will allow it, offering the convenience of in unit laundry can be a huge draw. So much so, that you can even charge a premium for rent by providing this highly sought after amenity. Apartment sized and stackable appliances will be necessary in smaller spaces, but will still be much desired and appreciated by tenants. If in-unit laundry is not feasible, then providing a safe and clean on-site laundry facility is a must. Lugging all of your clothes to and from public Laundromats is only cute and potentially romantic in movies.
Plenty of Light (or not)
The amount and quality of light in a rental unit has a huge impact on how people feel about that space. Of course expansive windows that let in plenty of natural light are ideal, but not a cheap or easy renovation if they do not already exist. A simple trick to bring more natural light into a space is to place a large mirror opposite to a window. You can also position standing lamps in dark corners to make a room appear more open and welcoming. Ironically, after ensuring that a space has plenty of light, installing dimmer switches is a nice touch that allows residents to adjust the lighting according to their mood and what the situation calls for.
Even with the Millennial minimalist trend, finding a rental property that meets the average person’s storage needs can still present a bit of a challenge. Create the best impression working with the storage space your unit offers, by painting the inside of closets to make them look clean and fresh and by installing smart closet storage systems.
Again, this is not necessarily an amenity, but it is a top priority on almost any renter’s list. If the parking lots and corridors on your properties are not already well lit, be sure to address this issue. Adding surveillance cameras with signs is also a great security feature that will make tenants feel reassured.
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