One thing is for certain in the rental property business: there is always a way to make more money.  If you are a landlord, you may be wondering how you can step up your game to compete in your area. Times are changing, and the new generation of renters have different ideals in mind when it comes to renting. Here is a list of simple things you can do to make more out of your rental business in 2017.

Open Up Your Space

Millennials make up the largest portion of renters in the United States at this time. If you want to attract this subset of the population, you’ll need to cater to their wishes. The current trend is to go for more open floor plan, which allow for even a small space to seem much larger.  This trend is due in part to the trend of converting formal industrial spaces like factories into giant lofts divided by moveable walls that are left to the renter’s imagination.  You may not own a large industrial space, but you can do small-scale renovations to create more space.  For example, a popular option is to create an open kitchen.  Does the kitchen in your rental property have hanging cabinets above the counter?  If it blocks the view of the living room and dining area, knock those cabinets out and instead hanging pendant lamps.  This creates more accessibility and flow throughout the space.

 

Consider an Indoor Washer and Dryer

Nothing will catch the eye of a renter more than convenience.  Even in 2017, many rental properties still feature community washers and dryers, or the tenants must seek offsite laundering.  However, this long-standing tradition is beginning to change. Stackable washers and dryers have made laundering in a small space simpler and more affordable.  Typically, the washer and dryer are a portion of the size of standard size models, and the dryer stacks on top of the washer.  Stack a washer and dryer in the linen closet and you will turn the heads of renters in no time.

Go Green

The Millennial generation is more environmentally conscious than ever, and will likely find a property more appealing if it shows features that save energy.  Fortunately, these features pay off for both of you—not only will Millennials be more likely to apply for your property, but you (and they) will ultimately save more money by doing so.  Consider implementing energy efficient lighting fixtures, water-saving faucets, and even water-saving dishwashers.  If you really want to make an impression, install solar panels onto the property.  Solar panels have become increasingly more affordable, and estimates show that in some sunny cities, you can actually find yourself saving much more money over the years.  You can raise the rent prices to supplement the costs in the meantime.

Another increasingly popular option is to install natural landscaping.  For many states experiencing droughts, the days of lush green lawns and rose beds are a thing of the past.  As mentioned above, Millennials are conscious of how their daily lifestyle affects the environment, and yards are no exception.  Out are the unnatural flower beds, and in is natural landscaping.  Embrace your climate’s natural landscape by hiring a landscaper (or using your impressively green thumb) to plant natural flora.  It may seem foreign at first, however, these natives will fit comfortably right at home.  Just search xeriscape gardening, as the practice is called.  Is your property in a desert climate?  Fear not! Gorgeous succulents, cacti, and other drought resistant plants come in surprisingly vibrant and complimentary colors that please the eye.  

Provide a Sense of Culture and Community

With the younger generation estimated to not get married until their early to mid-thirties, more people are renting longer.  This is good news for you.  It also means that these renters are likely to have somewhat more disposable income to spend on themselves.  As a whole, there is a trend for Millennials to gravitate toward cultural and communal environments.  Investigate whether your property is within walking, biking, or transit distance of niche environments with small bookstores, breweries, eateries, and more.  If you are not near such a place, conspire with other landlords in the area to host monthly events such as outdoor movies and barbecues.  Create inclusive events that allow families and singles alike to enjoy themselves.

As you select from a range of candidates, be sure to practice due diligence with credit and criminal checks. Use a service like Transunion SmartMove to ensure your applicants are a well-suited fit for your rental property. A little extra effort at the onset can save you a great deal of headaches down the road.