One of the struggles of being a landlord is ensuring your property is prepared to attract tenants. As with any business, ensuring your customers' needs are being met is a sure path to success. What are tenants looking for? It partly depends on traits that might initially seem unique across age groups.
- Are you looking to attract baby boomers, Generation Z, or those in between?
- Which generation should you try to attract—and does it matter?
Obviously, you want your property to appeal to a wide variety of tenants so that you are able to rent it out quickly any time you are between renters. Let's take a look at what amenities and features appeal to different age groups—and how they are surprisingly universal.
Renting to Baby Boomers
The youngest baby boomers are looking at retirement soon. As a generation, they've seen the world completely change around them. Baby boomers who don't own a house right now are looking for a home that is going to be accessible for them as they age—something that won't be too much to handle as they get up there in years. Properties without stairs or massive lawns will be appealing. If you do have an expansive amount of yard on your rental property, consider adding in a lawn-care clause to your lease that rolls the cost of maintenance into the rent.
Even if mowing the lawn doesn't sound appealing, boomers are still extremely active: they're looking for the same access to cultural hotspots and technology as the younger generations. Restaurants, theatres, museums—baby boomers have the time and desire to seek these out and make the most of their golden years. Purchasing a rental property that is relatively close to the culture in Ashburn—while still being far away enough to be peaceful—is ideal.
Appealing to Generation X
The generation squeezed in between the oft-discussed baby boomers and millennials is Generation X. This generation is commonly known as the "cynical generation," and as such are happy to pick up and move when an opportunity presents itself—instead of being tied to a mortgage. This generation was either just getting ready to buy a house or upgrade when the market tanked, leaving them with a bad taste in their mouths.
Generation X is looking for an opportunity to live comfortably without the fear of losing everything like so many of their peers did in the housing market crash. This generation is looking to rent a home similar to what they would buy—getting all of the benefits of homeownership—without any of the long term risks.
Millennials or "Gen Y"
Read the news on pretty much any day, and you'll hear about the latest thing millennials are "killing"—with homeownership being one of them. Some traits that define the millennial renter include:
- The freedom to be mobile—particularly for travel.
- A desire for low-maintenance, low-investment homes.
- A need for pet-friendly properties.
Millennials, as a generation, saw their parents lose everything and are very wary of owning real estate. At the same time, they grew up with technology and globalization—something no generation before them did. This combination of low risk and high mobility lead to a generation that loves renting, but won't "stick it out" with a rental home that doesn't meet their needs.
As a generation, they prioritize pets over children and are marrying later than any generation before them. Millennials need the option to have pets—they will find other options when pets aren't allowed. Opting for pets will help you find a larger tenant pool faster.
This group also wants smart home options: installing a smart thermostat and doorbell are perks that millennials will appreciate more than aesthetic upgrades. They prefer hard flooring over carpet and want to be close to cultural hotspots—just like boomers. Many millennials are entering parenthood as well: homes near good schools, playgrounds, and child-friendly spaces are a priority to this group.
What Attracts Generation Z?
The oldest members of this generation are just graduating college or getting ready to leave their parents' homes and enter the rental market. Just entering their 20's, this generation has never known a world unconnected. They expect the best in technology and amenities because they are used to being surrounded by them. This generation is the most likely of the bunch to have roommates, so housing options that allow for shared and separate spaces are ideal.
If you want to purchase rental properties that will appeal to this new generation, look for high-quality homes in Ashburn close to highly-connected areas with great walk scores and access to restaurants, museums, hip bars, and social hangouts. Generation Z is already the largest generation out there—even ahead of millennials—so preparing to meet their renting needs is smart positioning. Much of what they're looking for in a home—proximity, convenience, and technology—appeal across the board, making it easy to market your rental property in Ashburn.
Is Your Property Ready to Attract Tenants?
No matter what generation you rent to, some things remain constant: renters want clean, safe, and functioning homes. If you're a landlord that prefers to purchase high-quality properties, you should have no problem finding great tenants for your rental properties in Ashburn.
If you are ready to work with a property management company in Ashburn that also prioritizes quality, reach out to the expert property managers at RentSimple. We know how to integrate your rental property into a system that works, whether it's your first property or an entire portfolio. At RentSimple, we understand that the needs of landlords and investors are diversifying as rapidly as their tenant base. We use technology to make the lives of our clients, staff, and tenants better by offering modern property management. Contact us to learn more!