Know what prospective tenants want to make successful investment
In the 1970s, communal living conjured up pictures of hippies, living together in a remote location and enjoying the excesses of the age of free love. Today, communal living is something entirely different. It is about creating a sense of place and community. Old-style, traditional values in a modern, fast-paced world.
In this article, you’ll learn what it is that today’s tenants want from their home. It should help you make a better choice when deciding which property to buy as a long-term investment. It’s knowledge that could help you identify the best property investment opportunities for long-term success.
Who wants community most?
In a 2016 survey conducted by LSL, more than 50% of tenants said that communal space was important. Two-thirds said they would participate in community activities. There are three stages of tenancy:
1. Young, professional, independent
These tenants want to own in the future and are new to renting. They are more likely to want shorter tenancies (up to two years) to allow for flexibility and new relationships and want to live near work and play.
2. In between
This group of people are a little older and have probably started a family. They are more realistic about costs of renting and buying. These renters are more concerned about providing a safe and open environment for their children, and the least community-minded of the three stages of tenancy.
3. Silver-haired renters
It is the group most happy to be renting, and least likely to buy in the future. Aged 55 and over, the kids have grown and flown. They may be renting because of a change in circumstances, or lower income. For these, renting is a long-term solution.
What do tenants really want from their home?
There are many similarities between the tenant stages, but also some key differences. For example, younger tenants are more likely to need furniture provided, while older tenants are likely to have their own.
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For all tenants, the condition of the property and quality of the landlord are considered the most important factors when choosing a home to rent. Independent landlords are viewed as most unreliable. Properties managed by a professional investment property management company are more highly regarded.
High on a tenant’s wish list is location. Proximity to work, leisure and transport are important for most groups, but particularly the young and the silver-haired. Other factors on the tenant wish list include:
- Low maintenance
- Communal space
- Value for money
How popular is communal space?
Almost 6 in 10 tenants see communal space as important in some way. This is particularly true of young renters and the silver-haired renters. Shared gardens are important for all demographics, and especially the in-between group with young children.
What communal facilities do tenants look for in a property?
There is a range of facilities and amenities that tenants now expect in their rented home. These range from concierge services through to high-speed broadband. Many tenants would pay for these additional services, though the silver-haired renter is most likely to want services included in their rental charge. The most desired services for which tenants would pay more are:
- High-speed broadband
- Satellite or cable television
- House cleaning services
Community events are popular
Many tenants find community events appealing. These are often arranged within the group of residents and include weekend barbecues and social evenings in community areas. Outdoor games and video games are especially important to younger residents and those with children.
Residents want to live where there is a sense of community
It’s clear that people want to live where there is a sense of community. They want to know their neighbours, participate in communal activities, and feel ‘at home’ with their surroundings. When this happens, people are far more likely to stay longer as your tenant.
Developers have recognised this shift in social and renting attitudes. New build developments are being built where people want to live, and designed to create a sense of place with the amenities and facilities desired by both homeowners and tenants.
When tenants begin looking for a new home, they tend to follow a set process:
- Location – near work and play
- Sense of community
- Type of property
- Length of tenancy and quality of landlord
To make the best investment decision, an investor should buy the right type of property, on the right development, in the best location, and then ensure that they benefit from the very best investment property management.
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