Drawing in quality renters is one part business savvy, one part relationship building, and one part simply having what they are looking for in a home. So, what is it that they are looking for? The changing needs of Albertans are clearly reflected in the shifting trends we see in desirable rental property upgrades. Meeting these needs is key to attracting great tenants as well as justifying reasonable rental increases. In this article, we are going to discuss the top five rental upgrades trending for this brand-new year.
Energy Efficient Appliances
More and more people are becoming mindful of their energy output. Shifting to a more eco-friendly lifestyle seems a natural next step for most Canadians. While solar panels and electric car plugins may not be realistic upgrades for rental properties, energy-efficient appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines are within reach. Newer models with the ENERGY STAR label, even if they aren’t top of the line, will save money on utility bills, last longer, and work more efficiently than their traditional counterparts.
In keeping with the eco-friendly trends, renters are falling madly in love with natural accents and organic materials. Just look at the surge in houseplants over the course of the lockdowns. As a result, wood and stone finishes are growing in popularity. The good news for property owners is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on solid hardwood or other natural materials. Alternatives like vinyl flooring mimic the look of wood or stone while remaining durable, long-lasting, and easy to care for.
Even as COVID cases go down, vaccine rates rise, and businesses open their doors to the public, many employees are choosing to do their work from home. What this means for property owners is that prospective renters aren’t just looking for a place to lay their heads at night. They are looking for a home as well as a workspace. Add in the sudden increase of stay-at-home hobbies like crocheting and jewelry making, multi-use areas have suddenly become a necessity. Design experts suggest implementing extra storage and open concept rooms for renters to use and adjust as they need.
Remember all those houseplants we mentioned earlier? They won’t be able to survive without natural lighting. Wherever possible, consider bigger windows or intentionally-placed skylights to brighten up the unit without more electrical fixtures. This isn’t just for the plants, however, humans benefit from soaking up Vitamin D just as much. If you can’t cut out another window, fake it by implementing a few strategic design choices that maximize natural light like lighter window dressings.
The previous four trends may seem like an homage to the past, but this one is absolutely a leap into the future. As smart technology is developed and improved, more tenants are adding it to their list of “wants”. This can be in the form of lighting, security, or even entertainment. The best part about this trend is that you can start small and expand the smart tech in your home little by little. Devices can be integrated into an already established hub or home system relatively easily, giving you the flexibility to add as much or as little as you’d like.
There are some trends not worth investing in, like shag carpets or millennial pink, whereas others, like the ones above, can increase the value of your unit for years to come. We know because rental property management is our business. If you’re a current landlord, or an aspiring one, our team of property management experts can help you get the best out of your property. Contact us today to get started.