Despite the fact that stocks begin to rise three to six months before economic recovery, the real estate market hasn’t taken much of a hit thanks to the pandemic. If you have available units to fill, chances are good that there are a number of prospective tenants waiting to find suitable housing.
But before you approve the first person to apply for an available unit, you might want to consider who your ideal renter is. Although 5.5 million U.S. couples live together unmarried (and you can’t legally ask about their marital status during the rental application process), it may pay off to focus on families if you’re looking to fill your vacant units. Despite the fact that some property owners are hesitant to rent to families with young kids, the reality is that these tenants are often in a better position to pay higher rent costs and do so on a consistent basis. They’re also more willing to stay in one place for longer than the average single tenant. All of this means a steady income stream for you — so it’s worth considering whether you should market specifically to families.
If you’ve determined that your property could conceivably be a good match for people with kids, you’ll need to then figure out how to appeal to those prospective tenants. Here are just a few tips to help you effectively market your rental properties to families.
Make Kid-Friendly Upgrades
Making sure an apartment is kid-friendly doesn’t mean you have to paint the walls pink or decorate everything with a popular cartoon character. Instead, you should think about the housing features that will make parents’ lives easier. Whether that means adding a closet to an office to create another bedroom or putting in a bit of work to make a play area, those nominal changes can make all the difference for many parents. Keep in mind that adding extra storage and closet organizers can help, too. Of course, having a washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher will be music to any parent’s ears. Even flooring materials can entice parents, as carpet and tile can be preferable to cold concrete or scratch-prone hardwood. Do some research into the features that can help parents keep everything clean and organized to make sure the design has a positive impact. And don’t discount the power of pets. If you have pet-friendly units, that can do wonders for families who are on the fence. Even if you require them to pay a pet deposit or add a little bit onto their monthly rent, many families will be willing to add those costs on so they can bring a furry friend home for their kids.
Prioritize Safety and Security
In addition to adding convenience to your units, you should also think about making some upgrades that can help bolster security and safety. These might include adding a home security system, kid-safe door stoppers, backyard fences, patio railings, or pool safety gates, as well as removing rocks and debris from your landscaping. Don’t forget deadbolt locks, fire extinguishers and alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and landscape lighting. Something as simple as adding electrical outlet covers can help parents keep their children safe and show how thoughtful you are as a landlord.
Highlight Perks For Parents
You’ll also need to think beyond your immediate property and think about how you can grab parents’ attention by leveraging your location. You can effectively market your rental property by highlighting the surrounding neighborhood. If the unit is located in a walkable area with very little traffic, that’s a huge bonus for many families. The same can be said for having good schools in the area. Nationwide, there are around 33,619 private schools, but many parents who rent their homes are more interested in the public school districts that are close by and how those schools can help their kids succeed. You should also be sure to emphasize daycare centers, local parks, playgrounds, and entertainment facilities within close proximity. In the end, many families will be willing to make slight compromises on the apartment itself if it’s in an area they love.
Although many property owners will shy away from renting to families when they can, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity for a steady stream of income. If you want to fill vacant units with families, it helps to consider what they’re really looking for and how you can make their lives easier. With these tips in mind, you can make some basic upgrades and market your units effectively to reduce the risk of vacancies and to create long-lasting relationships with superb tenants.