Great news for leasing agents and property owners: the demand for rental properties is projected to remain strong throughout 2020, according to the National Apartment Association. But even in a strong market, learning more about industry trends and renter preferences is a great way to increase interest in properties and boost retention rates for maximum profit and renter satisfaction.
From adopting the latest tech-savvy amenities to offering furnished apartments, there are several simple steps property owners and leasing agents can take to increase renter interest and sign more leases. To help jumpstart your strategy, we’ve rounded up seven 2020 rental trends you need to know about.
More renters are seeking out technological amenities in 2020. This includes features like online rent payments and landlord communication, which are convenient for both tenants and landlords. Connectivity is important to renters in today’s market. In fact, research suggests that over 90 percent of renters are looking for reliable cell reception and high-speed internet access.
Tech amenities can also increase the value of an apartment or rental unit. Some of the top tech features renters are seeking offer enhanced security and energy efficiency. Examples include:
- Digital locks
- Smart video monitoring
- Smart thermostats and lights
- Free Wi-Fi
- Phone, tablet, and computer charging stations
- High-tech fitness centers
Rewards Beyond Rental Discounts
Predictably, affordability remains a driving force in the 2020 rental market. But in addition to rental discounts, renters are looking to save money in other ways. Adding eco-friendly incentives and other digital rewards to lease packages can help property owners attract new renters and increase tenant retention rates.
Offering tenants digital rewards like e-gift cards, along with installing updated appliances, offering free Wi-Fi and outfitting your apartment community with eco-friendly incentives like free solar power can make rental properties more attractive. Average incentive budgets range from $500 to $1,000 for each tenant.
Providing a Personal Touch
When renters are unhappy with the management of their apartment or rental property, they typically find a new place to rent. Unhappy renters are also likely to let others know about bad rental experiences via online reviews and word of mouth.
This underscores the importance of providing high-quality property management services to increase renter interest and retain existing tenants. Additionally, research on 2020 rental trends reveals that renters are drawn to properties that have high-quality management with a personal touch. This means that you should consider offering in-person tours with a community representative instead of virtual tours of rental properties.
Demand is on the rise for furnished apartments. Renters in 2020 crave the convenience of moving in without feeling weighed down by having to transport their own furniture in and out of the unit. Furnished apartments simplify the move-in process for renters. Millennials, Generation Z and empty nesters are all opting to rent in 2020 instead of taking on the responsibility of property ownership. And they are willing to pay extra for the ability to feel at home from the moment they turn the key.
Leasing agents can offer set furnishings or allow renters to pick and choose pieces from a collection for a more personal touch. Furniture rental through services like CORT makes it possible to easily switch up the look of a property between tenants, allowing you to stay on top of current trends and give renters exactly what they’re looking for.
According to a recent survey conducted by Apartments.com, approximately 90 percent of renters have pets. These renters are looking for properties that aren’t just pet-friendly, but also provide pet-related amenities. This creates an opportunity to increase revenue for leasing agents and property owners because pet-friendly rentals have average prices up to 30 percent higher than those that don’t allow pets.
Additionally, pet fees and deposits can protect you from any pet-related damage to a property. Renters in 2020 are looking for the following pet amenities and services:
- On-site pet washing facilities
- On-site pet walking/pet sitting services
- Designated dog parks & dog runs
Thinking Beyond Millennials
Move over millennials. Generation Z will be taking over as the most prominent age group in the U.S. working population within the next decade. They’ve grown up with technology and expect high-end amenities. Servitas, a student housing development firm, reports that luxury community amenities are a growing trend in student housing.
When they transition out of school, it’s likely that Gen Z renters will expect similar high-end amenities. To attract and retain Gen Z renters, consider including community amenities like:
- Infinity-edge pools
- Yoga rooms
- Outdoor media walls
Tips for Increasing Your Closing Ratio
Are you concerned about the number of deals you’re closing compared to the number of leads you’re generating? Although there’s no one sure-fire method to improve your closing ratio, here are a few effective strategies to try.
Rental trends for 2020 reveal that renters are looking for more personalized services than ever before. Ask prospective tenants questions about the specific features they’re looking for or details they need to make a decision so you can provide value from the get-go.
Giving your prospects an insider’s view can help them feel more connected to the rental property. For example, you may want to schedule a meeting with your maintenance crew so prospective tenants can learn more about how the property is kept up. This not only provides another way to answer possible questions but also helps you develop strong relationships with rental prospects.
Having a clear idea of what renters are seeking out is the key to leveraging 2020 rental trends to your advantage — boosting interest in rental properties and ultimately increasing your closing ratio. Thinking about furnishing your rentals? Whether you want to choose furnishings or let new tenants pick and choose what they like best, CORT Furniture Rental has your furniture rental needs covered.