Did you know that adjusting or tweaking some areas of your home will change the target market you will attract? Whether there’s a buzz about a low Vacancy Rate or if the properties are taking a little longer to rent in a slower Rental Market, it’s great to know what prospective tenants are looking for to meet their requirements, and what you can do to attract a quality tenant, in any market. Meeting the market will cut down your vacancy period and number of days on the rental market. Let’s take a look at some topics we often hear from the rental market.
Houses vs. Units
The age old question. Units or apartments generally attract a smaller group – such as singles, couples, families with one or two small children or those looking to downsize. The river-front apartment trend on Victoria parade is great for attracting executives, there’s a current demand for this type of apartment to be furnished. Units and apartments generally don’t allow pets unless they are individually fenced, this can sometimes make them more difficult to rent, depending on the market at the time.
Air Conditioning and Ceiling Fans
Air conditioning is something most tenants look out for these days, especially in our hot Central Queensland summers! Air conditioning in the living areas and main bedroom is a great starting point, but air conditioning in each bedroom is increasingly targeting families both with younger children and older children, and singles looking to share their accommodation as housemates who want their individual private spaces air conditioned. Don’t forget that ceiling fans are equally as important as air conditioners, as most people are conscious of their electricity bills and prefer not to run air conditioners 24/7. Ceiling fans will usually suffice over the cooler months and can be a deal breaker to some tenants if not installed.
Security and Protection
We are often asked about security screens. Security screens are increasingly becoming something that is a non-negotiable feature for a number of tenants and this number will continue to rise. Those who are negotiable on security screens still prefer at least fly screens throughout, as mosquitoes and flies can interfere with comfortable living.
A functional kitchen is usually at the top of the prospective tenant’s list and can be a make or break feature. A dishwasher has become an important and increasingly expected feature, and a gas stove top is often met with an excited squeal from those who love to cook.
Bathrooms and Powder Rooms
A bathroom including a shower without a step up will be a suitable feature for the elderly or disabled, whilst a bathtub will attract families or those who love to relax in some bubbles with a great book! The depth of the bathtub counts – if you’re thinking of catering for a family, a more shallow bathtub will get the tick of approval from Mum’s back. In a double storey home with the bedrooms upstairs, a powder room will suffice to accommodate the downstairs living areas, no need for a full bathroom with shower downstairs.
For the Love of Media
Movie buffs and gamers love a good media room! As do families, as sometimes the media room can double as a second living area or family room. Construction tip, if you’re thinking of a new build or a media room extension, ensure the room can be closed off or is far enough away to not be heard by others. You’ll lose the effect of a media room if the living room TV can be heard from the media room, or vice versa.
Nursery or Impromptu Walk-In Robe?
Some older homes tend to have a smaller sun room off the main bedroom. This type of room can be marketed to an expecting couple of family with babies or young children, but I’ve also seen a trend of this type of room being turned into a fabulous walk-in robe and shoe closet!
Fencing and Privacy
Erecting a good, secure fence is important to tenants with pets and children. We will always recommend installing a fence as this is something that is on most tenant’s list of non-negotiables.
Yard and Gardens
There are two types of people in this world, gardeners and non-gardeners. A low maintenance yard and garden will attract a busy tenant, those who work a lot and don’t have much spare time to tend to the yard and gardens. And on the other end of the scale here, a high maintenance yard and garden will attract a green-thumbed tenant who takes pride in their home. Either way, it’s always good to keep in the back of your mind a possible negotiation of including the lawn and garden maintenance in the rent if your prospective tenant doesn’t have time for yard maintenance, as this can be a great way to sweeten the deal.
Sheds and Extra Outdoor Space
A shed is usually snapped up fairly quickly by boys with hobbies that require more room. Storage for cars, boats, trailers, caravans, woodwork, trophy admiration, or just the dog house; homes with sheds will usually take the least amount of time to rent when compared with a similar property without a shed.
Pools Aren’t Just a Hole in the Ground You Pour Money Into
Growing up, we had a backyard pool. My Dad was always adamant that it was a hole in the ground he poured money into, so when he moved, he built a house without a pool. And a few years later, he built another backyard pool. To a lot of people, a pool is a bonus feature and will attract tenants who love entertaining or relaxing. Singles, couples, families… Most people, in general, love pools. A pool would have to be the most popular bonus feature of a rental property, and similar to a shed, those with pools usually take the least amount of time to rent when compared with a similar property without a pool. Having said that though, some tenants will shy away from a pool as it can seem like a hassle to maintain, so I will always recommend my landlords to include the pool maintenance in the rent, as this will not only ensure the pool is maintained regularly by a professional, but it will usually also be a relief for a tenant who has no clue on how to care for a pool.
Listing, Showing and Leasing
A dedicated Leasing Team is a real advantage in any market. Specialists in their field, Leasing Consultants are on the ground and in the know when it comes to the demographics they are marketing to. They have the advantage of being immersed in the market on a daily basis, and they will be constantly qualifying and matching each and every prospective tenant they come into contact with. Ensuring you have a good agent with a Leasing Team working for you will give your property maximum exposure to the broad and diverse range of prospective tenants and is essential in minimising your vacancy period in the rental market.
Above All, Present It Well!
A well-presented home will always attract a good quality tenant across every range of the market. Do those little things – painting, fly screen mesh, new ceiling fans and other low-cost, small touch ups before advertising so you’re hitting the market with your best foot forward.
So there you have it, the type of property you present to the market will have an impact on who your prospective tenants will be. Tweaking some little things can change your target dramatically! If you need any tips or guidance through any property management process, my 15 years experience may be just what you need. Give me a call, I’d love to chat with you.
0476 815 970
Business Development Manager
Setting a successful rental price for your property is a balance we can help you with.