How to Attract Senior Renters
You know you can’t specifically target any specific age or demographic when you market your rental. It’s discriminatory and illegal. You’re also not allowed to refuse or favor any specific group of people during the application and selection process.
That being said, some properties can be great options for senior renters, and some neighborhoods attract specific demographics. Rental properties are sometimes located in age-restricted (55 and up) communities. If you know your property would be a great fit for a senior renter, here’s how to attract good tenants.
Take Better Marketing Photos
The photos you take of your rental property matter because they help people imagine themselves living in a property. If your property is easily accessible or offers features that people with disabilities or seniors want, they need to see those features in the pictures. And remember, sometimes it’s a child or family member doing the rental search for their relative. If they can’t imagine their parent or grandparent living in the space, they’re not going to view it or fill out an application.
Make the Application Process Simple
It’s a myth that all seniors are confused by technology or unwilling to get on a computer. Plenty of older people are online and Googling their way to a new rental home. When they find your rental property, they should be able to get the information they need and apply in a few easy clicks or in as little time as possible. If the process is difficult, they’ll click away and keep looking for another home -- just like anyone else online.
Promote the Open Spaces in Your Rental
There is always a possibility that any tenant you rent to may need, at some point, help with mobility -- walkers, canes, wheelchairs, etc. Seniors, especially, are aware that they may get hurt or need help as they continue to age. If your rental has an open floor plan, market that as a key benefit. Some key features include open living room and kitchens, wide hallways and doorways and anything else that makes moving around easier.
Think About Safety
A few small changes to a property make it safer for anyone to use, especially the elderly who may live alone. Non-slip surfaces in bathtubs, walk-in showers, tub rails, and higher toilet seats are all options when you’re redoing bathrooms. Consider lowering any shelving in closets and changing out doors that are difficult to open or close. These small touches won’t go unnoticed by a senior renter or their family member and the cost is minimal compared to other renovations.
This won’t work for every property, but if you’ve got the budget, take a look at how you can make a property more accessible overall. Anything you can do to open up a space and modernize a property will command a higher rent and attract more potential tenants. Look at how steep the steps are leading into a property. In a two-story property, can a bedroom be positioned on the first floor? Can you remodel the bathroom and put in a shower instead of a tub?
Look at your rental property through the eyes of someone older or as a family member who wants a good, solid home for their elderly loved one. From that perspective, you may be surprised at the small things you can do to attract a senior renter. When it’s time to upgrade or renovate an older rental, think about how you can make the space more accessible and open. And always, always market your rental to play up it’s best features and use great photos to get positive attention. If you do that, you’ll attract the best possible tenants and reduce your vacancies over time.
Does this sound like a lot of work? Work with a professional property management team who can make your property shine online and help you find and keep great tenants. Contact us at ERA American Real Estate today!