Los Angeles has a wonderful variety of homes to fit any taste and lifestyle. Queen Anne, Italianate, bungalow, ranch and craftsman houses all can be found in this sprawling city, and residents have their pick of beautiful and diverse architectural styles.
A home’s style is important for appearances, but even more important for providing comfort and enjoyment to residents with different lifestyles. When managing properties, the architectural attributes and amenities of a home should enhance the tenant’s needs for the best fit.
Matching Properties to Tenants
It’s important to get a strong match with your renter’s lifestyle habits and needs so you can build and sustain a good rental relationship. A retired couple who wants and needs convenience and comfort will be searching for different things in a rental property than a young, active family with kids and pets. A single professional or pair of professionals may be looking for more style in high-profile architecture than the previous types of tenants.
Adapting Properties to Tenant Wants and Needs
Beth Clymer of Buildium.com, says the No. 1 thing most tenants want and look for in a potential rental property is square footage. She recommends property managers show off as spacious a floor plan as possible. If construction is not in the budget, staging and decorating to make the floor plan as open and attractive is the best way to go.
Clymer also recommends minor adjustments to architecture to open up a dim or smaller space. A great way to do this is to upgrade to larger windows or add on a sunroom.
Helping Them Get More for Their Money
Clymer explains that adding extras in the rental arrangement attracts all kinds of tenants and keeps them placated. Adding high-speed Internet access, discounted sessions at a local gym or high-end appliances that make daily life easier can make up for a place with less square footage or a home that is further distance from the nearby beach or downtown area.
Citing the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and Kingsley Associates Survey, Clymer notes that extras like ceiling fans and granite countertops are also very important to tenants. She also notes that window shutters help tenants save money, making them feel good about being energy efficient. No matter who is renting from you, saving them money provides you a good return on investment in the long run.
Tradeoffs Can Pay Off
Clymer reports that offering extras may be necessary to attract tenants to an “ugly” property, such as one next to a cemetery or one that is safe and structurally sound but not as attractive as neighboring properties.
Further tradeoffs may be required to get tenants into problem properties. Offering an attractive lower monthly rent may be just the thing to keep the property rented if it has an ugly feature that can’t be addressed right away. Or, you may offer to upgrade the bath and shower in exchange for putting off a more costly fix of an unattractive feature such as an uneven floor or unsightly kitchen cabinets.
Whatever style of property you manage, it’s important to know your prospective tenant’s lifestyle needs. Ask questions while showing the property or survey existing tenants to find out what they want in a rental property. This information will guide you in the direction you need to go when it comes to making property improvements that will attract and keep great tenants.
Have a prosperous week! _Trevor