Tomorrow’s Trends in Housing – What Amenities Will the Next Tenant Look for When Renting?
By Cassandre Juste & Brian Davis
Every prospective tenant looks for certain fundamentals in a new home: location, rent, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms are important to everyone. But the amenities are what determine whether the tenant will fall in love with a home – people make decisions with emotions, then justify them with logic. For a tenant deciding between two rental homes, a spacious walk-in closet or gleaming countertops may be the deciding factor, so it is critical to understand the evolving demands of the local rental market.
In today’s market, nothing catches a tenant’s attention like great textures. A contrast between materials such as tile, stainless steel and granite will act as an eye catching feature for a possible tenant. Ceramic or marble floor tiles can also be used to add a high-end feel to a rental unit. Marble countertops are a luxurious (albeit expensive) feature, however, granite, quartz, porcelain or even synthetic stone can be less costly alternatives. These luxury touches combine particularly well with fireplaces, and while chimneys are expensive to install for wood fireplaces, gas fireplaces are far less expensive to install (these can be purchased and installed for as little as $500).
Spacious walk-in closets are also a very popular feature in homes and apartments. Besides the space, having organizational features such as shelves and drawers in a closet can attract tenants. Likewise, because privacy is sometimes a limited resource in apartment units, a balcony or terrace can give your tenants a private space where they can relax and enjoy the outdoors (without taking the trip up the hall, down the stairs, and through the lobby).
Another feature growing increasingly popular is the media room or entertainment center, as an informal room for relaxation separate from the more formal living room. Formal dining rooms are not currently en vogue, due to their limited functionality, which makes them ripe for eventually becoming a status symbol for those wealthy enough to afford a room that is only useful for formal sit-down dinners.
Tenants also love pools, hot tubs, spas, saunas and the like. Patios, decks and rooftop terraces also remain extremely popular, and take on epic desirability when combined (imagine a hot tub on a rooftop deck overlooking the cityscape – potential tenants would swoon).
For larger multi-family properties, an on-site fitness center proves an attractive community feature. When prospective tenants see a fitness center in the rental community, they can justify paying more rent by telling themselves they can cancel their gym membership, or will suddenly start working out because of the convenience (they probably will not, but that is between them and their waistline).
While luxury amenities are excellent enticers, it is important to remember the basic amenities that tenants want as well. According to ApartmentGuide.com, a laundry washer and dryer inside of a unit was one of the most searched-for amenities last year. After a washer and dryer were central air conditioning, allowing pets, a dishwasher and cable-ready units. Amenities geared towards convenience are basic but essential to most tenants.