When most people think of the word amenities, they think big. Pools, garages, and fitness areas may be on the top of this list. However, this thinking completely ignores some smaller, very useful, hidden property amenities. An amenity is “a desirable or useful feature or facility of a building or place” (Oxford Dictionary). Nowhere does the definition say large or substantial, so go ahead and let prospective renters know exactly what they will be getting. Don’t have anything on this list? Consider installing some of these inexpensive features.
1. Bike Racks
This is number one on the list because of the commute by bicycle boom. People are starting new lifestyles where they will rely on their bicycles more than their cars. Advertising that you have bike racks available might prove to prospective tenants you care about this healthy living choice. Want to really pamper this demographic? Provide free covered bicycle parking. It can be tough to store a bicycle in a small apartment, and let’s face it, you don’t want their dirty bikes in your units. Bike racks will keep their bikes out.
2. Wash Station
An outdoor wash station is a great, low cost, amenity. Some car owners will definitely take advantage of the ability to clean their cars without taking it to a car wash. Others will use it to wash their bicycles – next to the newly installed bike racks. A surprising amount of people will give their dog a bath. Definitely advertise wash stations. Also, it will be a good idea to invest in a timed shut off valve (water shuts off after 5 minutes, or can be manually turned off) to save water.
3. Tenant Portal
No, not a portal that will transport you from one magical place to another. An online portal to submit maintenance requests, pay rent online, and send messages. Millennials look to the internet to solve all of their problems. Whether that’s paying rent online or asking a leasing question, they will want to do it all from the palm of their hand. Tenants will be more apt to leave negative feedback if you have an outdated maintenance request system. Plus, a web portal will help you organize all of your information.
4. Electronic Devices
This continues on about what millennials are looking for in their housing. Instant feedback devices such as electronic locks or keypads are increasingly important. The perceived value that goes along with new electronics will raise your property’s desirability. More devices to consider are smart thermostats. Most systems will include features to help you monitor the status of your units remotely.
5. Outdoor Area
Whether you’re renting a single home or a large apartment complex, advertising your outdoor space is important. You won’t need a playground or tennis court. Simply designate an area with grills, picnic tables, and a fire pit. If you’re in the city, you might be able to convert the roof of your building into a communal garden with great views. This will also help build a community feel and retain those good tenants.