According to the 2018 Buildium Renter’s Report, a majority of the 22 million new households expected to form by 2030 will be renters. The number of Americans who choose the renter experience over buying is expected to increase exponentially, and is currently nearing the highest historical rate of all time: 37%, set in 1965.

What can landlords and property managers learn from the information gathered in the Renter’s Report? This article will focus on what the report discovered as it relates to the renter experience, and which criteria directly affected a property’s ability to charge more for rent.

First, let’s address the neighborhood. Of the top five neighborhood characteristics that justify higher rents, safety tops the list. 66% of all respondents suggested that a safe neighborhood is the most important factor in choosing where to rent. Landlords would be wise to pay attention to this, and either provide or upgrade their existing security systems to meet renter’s expectations.

40% of respondents said they’d be more interested in a unit that is already equipped with smart cameras or a smart security system. Technology has advanced such to the point where the cost of installation of smart (Internet-enabled) security systems is negligible. And yet, once installed, the monthly increase in lease payments easily justifies whatever the amount.

Narrowing our consideration to building amenities that justify a higher rent, we discover that high-speed Internet attracted more than half of respondents. This was true across all age demographics. And while the FCC prohibits exclusive cable deals within apartment buildings, it may be wise to offer specially negotiated package pricing that your tenants can opt into.

Our biggest surprise came when we put the microscope to the individual unit amenities that most attracted the current batch of renters. Topping the list of desired elements was in-home washer and dryer. And while we certainly see how in-home laundry would make the top-5 list… the fact that it trumped central air conditioning completely blew us away!

Word to the wise landlords and property managers: the demographics of renters today are rapidly shifting, and it’s a brave new world for those who wish to heed the feedback and meet the needs of those who are increasingly demanding more for their rental dollars.

Legacy Properties-PM stands ready and willing to serve you, and all of your rental property needs. Whether you are a landlord or a prospective renter, we’ve got you covered. Feel free to contact us at any time.

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