Are you managing a luxury rental? Knowing what well-heeled renters want in an apartment will help you keep your occupancy rates high.
Profile of the luxury renter
The majority of luxury renters are individuals who can afford to own a home, but rent by choice. These tend to be empty-nesters from the baby boomer generation and double-income millennial households who are drawn to the lifestyle luxury apartments offer.
These empty-nesters want to downsize from single-family residences but they don’t necessarily want to give up the comfort and convenience of living in a good home. Millennials for their part are putting off their first home purchase – that is, if they intend to buy a house at all.
The growing demand for luxury rentals has spurred an increase in new upscale rental apartment stock. In a report by RENTCafé, an apartment search website, over 75 percent of rental multi-family developments constructed in 2015 were categorized as high-end, up from 63 percent in 2012.
What they want from a luxury rental
- Green features – They’re willing to pay a premium for green features such as energy-efficient appliances, low-flow toilets, recycling, sustainable energy sources, and more. Baby boomers ranked the importance of energy-efficient appliances 8.5 out of 10 in a 2014 survey by J Turner Research, while millennials are perceived to be the generation that is most concerned with sustainability.
- Home office capability – They don’t mind paying extra for a home office. This should ideally be a separate room with excellent lighting, high-speed internet, equipment, furnishings and temperature controls, among other features. Luxury renters want to be able to work and conduct business from the comfort of their own home.
- Pet-friendly environment – They want to bring their pets along and they’re looking for a rental that will give their furry companions enough indoor and outdoor space to roam. Despite the fact that most pet-friendly housing units charge a separate deposit for four-legged residents, a nationwide research study by FIREPAW, Inc. found that tenants stayed in pet-friendly rentals longer than those who lived in apartments prohibiting pets – an average of 46 months, to be more precise, as opposed to 18 months for those in housing units with a no-pets policy.
- Bike storage – Bicycle transit allows apartment dwellers to make the most of their urban locale and as such, bike rooms have become an important amenity. Luxury renters want more than hanging bike racks; they want security cameras, secure access, equipment lockers, air pumps, and perhaps a stunning view. Some luxury apartment buildings offer “bike kitchens” that have vending machines for patch kits and tubes.
How to attract luxury renters
You can attract and retain luxury renters by being active in your local community. Host events and offer tenant promotions to distinguish yourself in a crowded rental market.
More importantly, you need to distinguish your luxury apartment from extended stay hotels and lower-end properties by marketing its remarkable features and the lifestyle it presents.
You can also throw in value added services like weekly housekeeping, parking, or a partnership with a fitness center. Offer flexible lease terms to accommodate a broad range of luxury renters, from transients to those in need of long-term arrangements.