For rental owners, a crucial element of promoting and leasing property often comes down to a need to know what a potential tenant is looking for in a unit. As a bustling millennial population and energized baby boomer generation increasingly prefer to rent property over owning, tastes for certain amenities over others continue to change. At the recent National Multifamily Housing Council Research Forum held in Denver, multifamily operator Greystar suggested a number of simple and some unconventional amenities and unit improvements that tenants are increasingly requesting.

Have A Pool? Consider Fitness Classes

Just because a swimming pool doesn’t have year-round appeal does not meant tenants dislike having them. Quinn Eddins, assistant director of research at Greystar tells National Real Estate Investor magazine swimming pools are one of the most desirable amenities. Further noting that even when weather does not permit its use, “[tenants] appreciate it more when they can” use it at their own convenience later.

But Greystar takes it a lot further, suggesting that adding community spaces and classes to use the space may create a lot of perceived value. However, owners must understand that some potential renters will be indifferent or even against community building options. as further noted by Greystar:

“When it comes to choosing which types of amenities to include, different groups of renters may have different preferences.” explains Bendix Anderson of National Real Estate Investor Magazine, “For example, as a group, renters have neutral feelings about the inclusion of dog parks in their apartment communities… But certain renters place a high value on pet-friendly features.”

Inside Units: Less Is Actually More

In addition to a number of suggestions for outdoor amenities, Greystar provided a list of ideal interior improvements as well. Top features for inside the unit included a number of common topics including “in-unit washers and dryers, balconies, hardwood floors and stainless-steel appliances” said the Greystar survey. Another unique suggestion was taking steps to soundproof the walls of the unit with Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage Inc. suggesting that it “has universal appeal” for tenants as they seek a place to live.

Finally, the article concludes by suggesting that many tenants would be willing to forego many common amenities if it lead to a reduction in overall rent. “Rent savings are becoming increasingly important in the class-B product sector, where budgets are becoming more stretched,” Willett notes in his National Real Estate Investor Magazine interview “Apartment owners sometimes can boost revenues by leaving out amenities that would drive up rents.”

Read the full National Real Estate Investor article HERE