4 Amenities That Drive Rentals and ROI

by Steffi Cook | Published: Oct 6, 2020

What goes into making a rental property feel like a home for your tenants? For many, a rental equipped with the most desirable house amenities can make the difference between a temporary residency and a long-term arrangement.

For landlords and property owners, the benefits of rentals that boast competitive amenities reach far beyond the satisfaction of their tenants. They’re a highly valuable investment that can sharply increase your demand and maximize your returns over the rental’s lifespan. 

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing rental properties or add a new location to your portfolio, here are a few creative rental house amenities you may not have previously considered that will give you the best return on your investment.

Preparing for the investment

If landlords and property managers think of amenities as investments, they also likely understand that these features involve some level of upfront costs. Even the smallest improvements can quickly exceed your budget, so having a backup plan for financing is an important first step.

For some landlords and property managers, this means looking into unique ways to finance the upgrades they want — or need — to make. Home equity loans, which provide a single large payout for funding your rental improvements projects, is one route some property owners may take. Others have found crowdsourcing campaigns are equally effective for acquiring initial capital among their personal network of family and friends. 

Regardless of how you decide to front any costs for your amenity renovation projects, it’s important to keep a close eye on how much you’re spending to ensure that the boost to your rental’s value is worth the time and resources invested. With some amenities bringing more value to your rentals than others, determining just how much to put in is entirely contingent on the specific types of amenities you’re including and their projected added value.

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the most in-demand rental house amenities that today’s renters are looking for during their search for the ideal living space.

Smart technology

A woman is using a touchpad on her kitchen wall and her phone to control the features of her home.

In a time where technology plays an increasingly important role in our personal lives, smart home installations help property managers attract a tech-savvy renter base. In fact, recent surveys have discovered that today’s renters value emerging domestic technologies over more traditional perks, like a communal grill or gym area. 

Smart home solutions cover a wide spectrum of technology, including everything from high-speed internet to intuitive heating and cooling systems. Opting for a few key smart living features allows you to invest and advertise these amenities, with the potential for additional improvements down the line. 

Compared to other personal technology — such as smartphones, computers or tablets — smart home providers are new enough on the market that they have little to no brand visibility among their consumers. This means that you can save by investing in the most cost-effective option without losing renters to brand loyalty in the process.

Pet accommodations

A young couple with their dog. The man is holding the dog in his lap.

Not only is a pet-friendly environment relatively low in its upfront costs, but it can also vastly expand your pool of interested renters. Although over 80% of tenants have trouble finding rentals that will accept their furry companions, only about half of all housing is pet-friendly, leaving you with a relatively large, untapped market for filling your properties and increasing your return on each lease. 

There are a few key steps to keep in mind as you transition to a pet-friendly environment. First, it’s important to gauge the interest among your current neighbors, who may prefer to live in a pet-free community or want animals of their own. Pet-friendly rental house amenities often require landlords to consider applications on a case-by-case basis to ensure that each pet is docile, friendly and well-trained. Finally, adding a refundable pet deposit to your lease agreement can help you protect your properties in the event of any pet-related damage.

As with any change to your house amenities package, remember to weigh both the pros and cons that are associated with implementing pet-friendly policies. 

Privacy

A young woman lies in bed using her pillow to block loud noise by covering her ears.

Although homeowners and tenants value their personal space at home, privacy becomes much more of a concern for those living in communities where they share a wall with their neighbors such as townhomes and condos. Living between others becomes infinitely more enticing when you can ensure your renters that you’ve designed the space with their privacy in mind. 

To minimize sounds from noisy neighbors, soundproofing has become a highly valued amenity for renters who are in close quarters with one another. Property owners should investigate non-invasive soundproofing material to get started, which is designed to dampen unwanted sounds without having to tear down the walls.

For renters living next to a busy street or on the ground-level, privacy means adequate shielding from the outside world and any errant eyes that may peer into their room. Top-down window blinds are a must-have for these kinds of spaces, since they allow your renters to let in natural lighting without fully sacrificing their privacy to the outside world. 

Accessibility

A person in a wheelchair uses a ramp to enter a rental home.

As you seek out new property listings or renovate your existing ones, remember to always consider the accessibility of your rentals. Outlined by requirements from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), your rental properties should already meet a certain standard of tenant accessibility, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go above and beyond to provide accommodating spaces for your renters and their guests. Accessibility is particularly important for landlords who want to accommodate their elderly tenants.

Home accessibility can manifest itself in a wide array of renovation projects. Larger projects, such as building out an elevator, might not currently be feasible on your budget. Focusing on a smaller scale, such as offering cabinetry that’s lower to the ground or installing a ramp near the entry, can make a huge difference and become a key priority for potential tenants.

Find the right house amenities for your rental property

Finding the best rental house amenities for your home will require some research. You’ll need to find out what potential renters in your market are looking for and then set a budget. However, if you’re not sure where to start, begin with these four projects. You’ll likely find a potential renter who loves the new amenities just as much as you’ll love the ROI from adding them to your property.

For further reading, review our other tips for small investments that can yield a big impact on your ROI.

Categories: Landlords

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