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  • Writer's pictureKeith Wood

What Renters Care About Most

High quality tenants take care of their home, pay their rent on time, and help you achieve your financial goals. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make sure that your rental property catered to those types of tenants and attracted long-term renters?

At the end of August, Buildium, a property management system for real estate professionals, released its first-ever survey of tenants, the 2016 American Renters Survey. It was conducted in June 2016, and 900 tenants participated. The results are worth paying attention to if you want to know what renters are looking for and how to make your property competitive.

Online Payment Options

We can pay for almost anything online these days - taxes, driver’s license renewal, insurance, and even our groceries. It should come as no surprise that your renters want to pay their rent online, too. The survey showed that 37 percent of tenants currently use online payment systems, but 50 percent don’t have that option. Overall 59 percent of tenants surveyed said they want to be able to pay their rent online.

Online payments take the hassle out of remembering to write a check and drop it off or mail it in. Payment portals can also reduce the amount of late payments you receive. If you work with a property management company, make sure they have this option for your tenants.

Good Neighborhoods

Buyers aren’t the only people who care about the neighborhood they live in. Over 70 percent of renters said that location and neighborhood are a major factor in deciding where to live. Many times, they’re raising families or want to some day and knowing they have access to a safe place to live and good schools is important.

The amount of rent you can get for your property isn’t just based on the condition or size of the home. Where the property located is also important. If you’re looking for rental properties to invest in, make sure you choose properties in established neighborhoods or up-and-coming neighborhoods so you’re offering rentals that good tenants want.

Amenities Included in the Rent

Tenants are willing to pay more in their rent if amenities are already included. Internet, water, and an in-unit washer and dryer are just a few of the amenities tenants mentioned in the survey. They also appreciated the walkability of a neighborhood, pet-friendly properties, green spaces or a yard, and recycling options. Most of those surveyed already had access to those amenities, but they said they’d be willing to pay higher rent for access to a fitness center, pool, more storage space, and security access to the neighborhood or property.

Of course, you probably can’t put in a pool or add a storage shed to your rental property simply to increase the rent price. But keep these things in mind when you’re looking for ways to improve your property in between tenants and for added incentives to lure good tenants.

Giving tenants options for easy payment, making sure they have a good neighborhood to live in, and offering amenities that make the property more attractive are excellent ways to attract the kind of renter you want over the long-term. Good tenants pay on-time and stay in properties longer while also taking care of the rental. Give them what they want, and you’ll be rewarded with better tenants and less stress.

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