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Home · Property Management · Latest News : Here’s How To Start Catering To Boomer Renters — And Why It’s A Must

When we talk about renting, we often make the assumption that it’s a young person’s game. The accepted narrative of American life is that you rent until you’ve got enough money for a down payment, then you buy a home and you’re a homeowner until you die.

The reality is different — and has been for a while.

For decades now, aging adults have been selling their homes and moving into assisted living facilities or nursing homes as they come to need help with daily living activities. In the last few years, though, an important shift has happened: Aging baby boomers in peak health are ditching their houses for rental properties in unprecedented numbers.

Since 2015, the tax code has changed, making homeownership less advantageous from a tax perspective — one more push toward renting for those waffling as they downsize. Crucially, boomers turning to rental properties tend to be wealthier than younger renters — after all, they’ve had much longer to grow their assets. That can be very good news for landlords.

What Boomer Renters Want

Whether you’re looking to keep properties full or expand your rental portfolio, a shift toward boomers renting could have a major impact on your revenue. Here are a few ways to tweak your offerings to appeal to the boomer demographic.

• Emphasize your maintenance services. Moving to a rental means boomers are freed from lawn mowing, appliance repair, worrying about plumbing issues and the many other headaches that come with owning a home. While younger renters may take these services for granted, emphasizing the extent to which you maintain the property and speed with which you respond when something goes wrong can help win over a renter who has owned a home.

• Highlight your building’s security. Especially as they enter retirement, boomer renters may be looking forward to traveling more. Whether they’re out of town to visit grandkids, staying in a second home or seeing the world, they’ll be happy to know the lights will be on and you’ll be mowing the lawn for however long they’re gone.

• Err on the side of luxury. Anecdotal evidence suggests boomers who are shifting to rentals prefer properties with more amenities. And even for those looking for a simpler home, keep in mind that, if they’ve owned a home in the past, they’re likely used to having their own laundry and parking in a covered garage. Your properties will better appeal to the boomer demographic when they include in-unit washer-dryers and covered parking nearby.

• Offer subtle, elegant support features. Boomer renters likely want to find a long-term home, which is good news for everyone. You can help make that a reality by offering support features in your properties that will enable them (and their visiting friends) to remain independent for years: hand bars in the shower, excellent lighting in all areas, lever door handles rather than knobs, non-slip tape on indoor and outdoor stairs and elevators or chairlifts when possible. Realistically, you’re probably not going to add an elevator to an existing building. But if you’re looking at buying an elevator building or a unit in a building with an elevator, remember that it can be a major boon for older renters.

• Highlight your location. While suburban locations have seen an increase in boomer renters in the last few years, almost a third of rental applicants in urban areas are over 60. Calling out the proximity of your property to must-haves like grocery stores, gyms and shopping districts can emphasize the property’s appeal. And if the property is near public transit, be sure to mention as much: older renters will appreciate the ability to get around if they choose to stop driving at night, in bad weather or completely.

For the next 11 years, 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day. While many of them will opt to stay in their current homes, trends suggest that a sizable group will be looking for comfortable places to rent. As you consider your next property acquisition, keeping this group in mind could yield significant rewards.

 

Source: forbes.com

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