In the age of COVID-19, media rooms and party basements are on the out as sought-after home features. To attract tenants, owners of rental properties must adjust to changed priorities.
The pandemic has fundamentally altered the rental market. Many people deferred buying first-time homes because of the crisis and economic uncertainty, giving a boost to the market. In other areas, such as San Francisco, rental values plummeted by as much as 20%, as renters moved out of cities and to more open spaces.
Adjusting your real estate strategy and outfitting your property with desirable features is the best way to thrive in the current renter’s market. Most times, minor changes and small investments can significantly increase your rental value.
Here are five features of properties that apartment dwellers look for in 2020 on the search for a new home.
1 – Home Office Spaces
With the rise of remote work during the pandemic lockdowns, having a dedicated home office space makes peoples’ lives so much easier.
Proper lighting, internet access, a spacious desk, and an ergonomic office chair. These are basic requirements for an efficient space to work from home. Throw enough power outlets, a shelf, and sufficient distance to noisy apartment areas into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Investing in outfitting part of your property to serve as a home office is worth it. Even with pandemic restrictions easing, many companies say they will keep remote work an option, at least in part.
2 – Fast Internet
For those working from home, fast internet is indispensable. Invest in a high-bandwidth internet access in your property, and it will turn into a magnet for professionals working remotely.
In certain areas, this will be more difficult than in others. It could even require getting a dedicated line. In the past, this might have been too expensive – but with maintenance costs decreasing, and renters willing to pay a premium for reliable, fast internet, it will be worth it.
3 – Established Appliances
Outfitting your apartment with appliances – from a dishwasher to a dryer – is a minor investment that pays off big time.
Surveys show that renters consider it a major plus point when a potential new home comes already equipped with household devices. It saves them lots of hassle when moving between places.
Amid a pandemic, finding an apartment and coordinating the move is tough enough without having to worry about measuring the space for a fridge or waiting for a washing machine delivery.
4 – Kitchen Upgrades
Anyone who’s forayed into social media over the past few months knows people are dining out less and cooking at home more. Millions of sour-dough selfies are a testament to that.
This means upgrading your rental property’s kitchen is a major winner. Put in a modern stove top, improve counter space, and add space with a smart storage solution. These tweaks are not expensive. But they can make all the difference for a brand-new hobby cook looking to rent.
Plus: It’s a good investment for the future. The eat-at-home trend is likely to continue, with dining out carrying a virus risk and a higher price tag in economically uncertain times.
5 – Energy Efficiency
Ecological considerations are becoming ever more important for potential tenants. Additionally, thanks to COVID-19, they are spending much more time in their homes rather than in offices, at the gym, coffee shops, or other community spaces.
Consequently, increasing your rental property’s energy efficiency has a double benefit for renters: A clear green conscience, and lower power bills.
Add better insulation. Exchange old power-gobbling appliances for more efficient modern ones. Upgrade your property’s heating system and air conditioning to something more eco-friendly. Maybe even stick some solar panels onto the roof. These are critical investments for the future.
Pro Tip: Make Inquiries With Realtors in Your Area
Finally, note that the exact features people search for vary by area. In a small city apartment, a home office corner may clinch the deal for potential tenants. A house in a storm-prone rural town could soar in value if you add an emergency generator in the basement.
If anyone knows what the top desirable bullet points in any listing near you are, it’s real estate agents. Browse property pages and filter for your area, or find trustworthy realtors in listings and rankings online, and reach out to them.
In most cases, they’ll be happy to give you an inside scoop – especially with a potential collaboration in mind.