Improvements Landlords Should Invest in to Keep Vacancy Rates Low

Investing in the right property amenities is crucial for keeping renters engaged, satisfied, and more likely to renew their lease. By offering amenities that are both profitable and desired by residents, landlords can create a positive living experience that encourages long-term tenancy.


Invest in High Speed Internet

Investing in high-speed internet and cable bundles is a strategy that can help landlords decrease their vacancy rate and attract more tenants. This approach is based on the fact that a significant percentage of renters consider high-speed internet a top priority when choosing a rental property.

According to the 2022 NMHC Renter Preferences Survey, 89% of renters expressed interest in having high-speed internet included in their rental package. This statistic highlights the strong demand for reliable and fast internet access among potential tenants. In fact, only a few other amenities such as in-unit washers and dryers, air conditioning, and soundproof walls ranked higher in the survey.

Recognizing this trend, many multifamily apartments, homeowners associations (HOAs), and condo communities have started implementing bulk packages for internet and cable services. This approach allows property management offices to form revenue sharing agreements with internet and cable providers. Under these agreements, the property management office receives a portion of each sale made to the residents.

The benefit for residents is that they can enjoy high-speed internet and television services at a rate lower than the market rate. This provides them with a convenient and cost-effective solution, making the rental property more attractive. By offering this bundled amenity, landlords can differentiate their properties from competitors and potentially increase tenant retention rates.

It is important to note that recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules have restricted certain revenue sharing agreements between broadband providers and property management offices. Landlords should educate themselves on the specific regulations and requirements before pursuing a bulk package scenario. By staying informed, landlords can ensure compliance and explore alternative options to provide high-speed internet and cable services to their tenants.

Overall, investing in high-speed internet and cable bundles addresses the growing demand for reliable internet access among renters. By offering this amenity, landlords can enhance their property’s appeal, decrease vacancy rates, and potentially increase tenant satisfaction and retention.

Invest in Intelligent Amenities

The NMHC Renter Preference Survey sheds light on the smart amenities that renters desire the most. Understanding these preferences can guide landlords in providing the right features to attract and retain tenants. Here are some of the most desired smart amenities.

1. Smart Thermostats: Smart thermostats are highly sought after by renters, making them a profitable investment for landlords. These devices allow residents to control and adjust the temperature remotely, resulting in energy savings and lower utility bills. By outfitting properties with smart thermostats, landlords can command higher rental rates while providing convenience and cost-effectiveness to tenants.

2. Leak Detection: Water leaks can cause significant damage and financial loss. By implementing leak detection systems, landlords and residents can detect leaks early on, reducing the risk of water damage. Integrated property management programs like Yardi Breeze Premier provide comprehensive solutions that automatically track expenses, monitor consumption, and identify leaks. This proactive approach saves money, preserves the property, and enhances overall tenant satisfaction.

3. Smart Security Alarm System: Safety is a top priority for renters, and a smart security alarm system provides peace of mind. With Wi-Fi accessibility, residents can monitor their property remotely and feel secure even when away from home. Investing in a smart security system demonstrates a commitment to tenant safety and can increase tenant confidence and satisfaction.

4. Video Doorbell: A video doorbell is another smart amenity that enhances security. Residents can easily identify who is at the front door, whether it’s a delivery person or someone unfamiliar. This feature adds an extra layer of protection and convenience for tenants, contributing to their overall satisfaction and sense of security.

5. Smart Lights: Rising electricity costs motivate both landlords and residents to adopt energy-saving measures. Smart lights equipped with motion sensors or timers can automatically turn off when a room is unoccupied, reducing energy consumption and saving money. This simple yet effective technology benefits both residents and the building’s energy efficiency.

6. Dynamic Glass Windows: Dynamic glass windows offer numerous advantages. They filter harmful UV rays, provide better insulation throughout the year, and often include a tinting feature that allows natural light while reducing glare. These energy-efficient windows improve the overall comfort of living spaces while saving on heating and cooling costs. Implementing dynamic glass windows demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and can attract eco-conscious tenants.

7. Keyless Smart Locks: Traditional keys can be misplaced or lost, leading to replacement costs and inconvenience for both landlords and residents. Keyless smart locks eliminate the need for physical keys, enhancing building security and reducing the risk of unauthorized access. Regular maintenance, such as battery replacement and inspections, can be easily managed through property management software, ensuring the locks remain reliable and functional.

8. Voice Assistant Integration: Voice assistants like Google Home and Alexa have gained popularity, and integrating them with other smart technologies in the property can enhance the resident experience. Seamless integration with amenities such as thermostats and lights allows tenants to control various aspects of their living space using voice commands. This feature adds convenience and can appeal to tech-savvy renters.

By incorporating these smart amenities, landlords can differentiate their properties, attract tech-savvy tenants, and increase tenant satisfaction. Prioritizing features that enhance convenience, safety, energy efficiency, and cost savings aligns with renters’ preferences in the increasingly connected and smart-driven world.

Invest in EV Charging Stations

As the shift toward electric vehicles (EVs) continues to gain momentum, landlords are recognizing the importance of investing in EV charging stations as a forward-thinking amenity for their properties. With a federal ban on gas-powered vehicle production set for 2035 and similar laws in place, the demand for plug-in hybrids and EVs is expected to grow significantly. Here are some benefits and options for landlords considering this investment.

1. Meeting Future Demand: By installing EV charging stations, landlords can proactively address the anticipated increase in EV ownership. Offering this amenity demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and aligns with the evolving transportation needs of residents. With more people transitioning to electric vehicles, properties equipped with charging stations are likely to attract a larger pool of potential tenants.

2. Enhanced Tenant Satisfaction: Providing EV charging stations as an optional amenity adds value for residents who own electric vehicles. Tenants no longer need to rely solely on public charging infrastructure, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming. Instead, they can conveniently charge their vehicles at their own residences. This convenience contributes to tenant satisfaction and can even help with tenant retention.

3. Revenue Opportunities: Landlords have the option to partner with service providers that specialize in EV charging station installation and management. These service providers can handle the installation, maintenance, and billing processes. In such arrangements, residents pay a fee to use the charging stations, providing a potential revenue stream for landlords. This revenue can help offset the initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs associated with the charging infrastructure.

4. Attracting Environmentally Conscious Tenants: As sustainability becomes a priority for many individuals, properties with EV charging stations are likely to appeal to environmentally conscious renters. Offering this amenity demonstrates a commitment to reducing carbon emissions and supporting cleaner transportation options. It can attract tenants who prioritize eco-friendly living and align with their values.

5. Adapting to Local Regulations: Some regions, such as California, have implemented regulations that require new construction and certain renovations to include EV charging infrastructure. By proactively investing in EV charging stations, landlords can ensure compliance with local regulations and avoid potential fines or delays in property development.

6. Accessing Professional Services: Numerous companies specialize in EV charging station installation and management. These service providers have expertise in selecting the appropriate charging equipment, ensuring compliance with safety standards, and managing ongoing maintenance. Partnering with these professionals can streamline the installation process and provide landlords with peace of mind.

When considering EV charging stations, landlords should assess the demand within their target market and the potential benefits for their properties. Factors such as property location, tenant demographics, and local regulations should be taken into account. Conducting a cost-benefit analysis and exploring partnership opportunities with experienced service providers can help landlords make informed decisions about investing in EV charging infrastructure.

Overall, investing in EV charging stations positions landlords as leaders in sustainability, attracts environmentally conscious tenants, enhances tenant satisfaction, and potentially generates additional revenue. By embracing this emerging technology, landlords can adapt to the evolving needs of their residents and stay ahead in a changing transportation landscape.

Invest in Providing Additional Storage Options

Investing in additional storage options for tenants can provide landlords with several benefits, both financially and in terms of tenant satisfaction. Here are some of the advantages of offering onsite storage.

1. Increased Revenue Potential: Onsite storage offers landlords an opportunity to generate additional income. By providing storage spaces as an optional amenity, landlords can charge a monthly fee to tenants who require extra storage. This can contribute to increased cash flow and potentially boost the property’s profitability. The cost of implementing storage options is typically minimal compared to the potential revenue generated.

2. Tenant Retention: Offering onsite storage can help retain tenants who may otherwise seek larger living spaces due to a lack of storage. Many renters accumulate belongings over time, and without adequate storage, their apartments can become cluttered and less functional. By providing additional storage options, landlords can offer a solution to tenants’ space constraints and increase the likelihood of retaining them for longer lease terms.

3. Improved Tenant Satisfaction: Providing convenient and accessible storage options demonstrates a commitment to meeting tenants’ needs and enhancing their living experience. It offers a practical solution for storing seasonal items, bicycles, sporting equipment, or other bulky belongings that may not fit comfortably in the apartment. Tenants appreciate the convenience and value of having onsite storage readily available, leading to higher tenant satisfaction and potentially positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

4. Competitive Advantage: Onsite storage can give landlords a competitive edge in the rental market. It differentiates the property from others that may lack this amenity, making it more appealing to potential tenants. When prospective renters compare properties, the availability of onsite storage can be a decisive factor in their decision-making process. By investing in storage options, landlords can attract a broader range of tenants and increase the property’s desirability.

5. Reduced Clutter and Maintenance Issues: When tenants have access to convenient storage options, their living spaces tend to be neater and less cluttered. This can lead to fewer maintenance issues related to cramped living areas and potential damage caused by improper storage of belongings. A well-organized living environment promotes a sense of order and cleanliness, benefiting both tenants and property owners.

6. Flexibility and Adaptability: Onsite storage can be a flexible amenity that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of tenants. Landlords can offer a variety of storage options, including lockers, closets, or larger storage units, depending on the available space and tenant preferences. This adaptability allows landlords to cater to the diverse storage requirements of different tenants, further enhancing tenant satisfaction.

By investing in additional storage options, landlords can tap into a profitable amenity while simultaneously addressing a common need for renters. It increases the property’s appeal, improves tenant satisfaction, and reduces the likelihood of tenants seeking larger living spaces solely for storage purposes. Implementing onsite storage is a cost-effective way for landlords to optimize their property’s profitability and create a positive living experience for tenants.

Additional Parking Options

Investing in additional parking options for tenants can offer several benefits for landlords, both in terms of financial gains and tenant satisfaction. Here are some advantages of providing extra parking.

1. Increased Revenue Potential: Additional parking spaces can be a lucrative source of revenue for landlords. By offering extra parking options, landlords can charge a separate fee for each parking space, providing an opportunity to generate additional income. This can contribute to increased cash flow and potentially boost the property’s profitability. Renting out parking spaces can be particularly profitable in areas with limited parking availability or high demand for parking.

2. Enhanced Tenant Satisfaction: Providing ample parking options shows that landlords understand and value their tenants’ needs. Many renters consider parking availability as a crucial factor when choosing a place to live. By offering additional parking, landlords can cater to the needs of tenants who own multiple vehicles, have valuable or vintage cars, or simply require a dedicated parking spot. This provision of convenient and accessible parking spaces can significantly improve tenant satisfaction and contribute to higher tenant retention rates.

3. Competitive Advantage: In the multifamily rental market, offering extra parking options can give landlords a competitive edge. As dedicated parking is not always guaranteed in many rental properties, the availability of additional parking spaces can make a property stand out from the competition. It can attract a broader range of prospective tenants, including those who highly prioritize parking convenience and are willing to pay extra for it. By investing in additional parking, landlords can differentiate their property and increase its desirability in the market.

4. Flexibility in Pricing: Providing optional parking allows landlords to offer flexibility in pricing. Some tenants may prefer to include the cost of a parking space in their rent, while others may prefer to pay for parking separately. By giving tenants the choice, landlords can cater to individual preferences and optimize the rental income. This flexibility also ensures that tenants who do not require parking spaces do not have to bear the cost, providing a fair and customizable pricing structure.

5. Vehicle Security and Protection: Extra parking options contribute to improved vehicle security and protection. Dedicated parking spaces provide a designated area for tenants to park their vehicles, reducing the risk of theft, damage, or vandalism. This added layer of security enhances tenant peace of mind and fosters a safer living environment. Moreover, tenants with valuable or vintage vehicles can be assured that their prized possessions are well-protected, leading to increased tenant satisfaction.

6. Improved Neighborhood Aesthetics: Insufficient parking can lead to a cluttered and chaotic neighborhood appearance, with vehicles parked haphazardly on the streets. By providing additional parking options, landlords can contribute to the aesthetics and cleanliness of the neighborhood. Dedicated parking spaces help organize vehicles, maintain clear pathways, and reduce congestion on the streets. This benefits not only tenants but also the overall appeal and desirability of the property.

Investing in additional parking options is a strategic move for landlords to optimize their property’s profitability, attract tenants, and improve tenant satisfaction. By catering to the diverse parking needs of tenants and offering flexibility in pricing, landlords can capitalize on the demand for parking convenience and enhance the overall tenant experience.

Invest in Recreational Activities

Investing in recreational options for tenants on the property can offer numerous benefits for landlords, fostering community engagement, enhancing the tenant experience, and even generating additional income. Here are some advantages of providing tenants with recreational amenities.

1. Community Building and Tenant Engagement: Offering recreational options on the property creates opportunities for residents to interact and engage with one another. Activities such as basketball, tennis, and pickleball tournaments bring tenants together in a fun and competitive environment. These events foster a sense of community, encourage social interactions, and strengthen the relationships among residents. By providing recreational amenities, landlords can cultivate a vibrant and connected community within their property.

2. Improved Tenant Satisfaction and Retention: Access to recreational options enhances the overall tenant experience, leading to higher levels of satisfaction. Providing amenities like basketball, tennis, and pickleball courts adds value to the rental property, making it more appealing to prospective tenants. Additionally, tenants who actively participate in recreational activities on-site are more likely to feel a sense of attachment to their community, which can contribute to increased tenant retention rates.

3. Differentiation and Competitive Advantage: Offering recreational amenities sets your property apart from competitors in the rental market. Tenants are increasingly seeking properties that offer a range of amenities to enhance their lifestyle. By investing in recreational options, landlords can differentiate their property and attract a broader pool of prospective tenants. The availability of on-site recreational amenities can be a decisive factor for tenants when choosing between similar rental properties.

4. Additional Income Opportunities: While some recreational amenities may be offered free of charge, landlords can also explore revenue-generating opportunities. Hosting tournaments or events with a small buy-in for each team allows landlords to capitalize on residents’ recreational interests and generate additional income for the property. This income can be reinvested in improving the recreational facilities or used to fund other property enhancements, benefiting both landlords and tenants.

5. Health and Well-being Benefits: Recreation and physical activity contribute to improved health and well-being for tenants. Access to facilities like basketball, tennis, and pickleball courts encourages tenants to engage in regular exercise, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle. These amenities can help create a positive living environment that prioritizes the well-being of residents.

6. Positive Property Image and Appeal: A property that offers a range of recreational amenities is perceived as desirable and forward-thinking. It demonstrates that landlords are invested in providing a high-quality living experience for their tenants. This positive image can attract tenants who prioritize a balanced lifestyle and are willing to pay a premium for access to recreational facilities.

By investing in recreational options and leveraging them for tenant engagement and community building, landlords can create a dynamic and vibrant living environment that appeals to a wide range of tenants. These amenities enhance the tenant experience, contribute to tenant satisfaction and retention, and can even generate additional income. Moreover, they position the property as an attractive choice in a competitive rental market, fostering a sense of pride and attachment among residents.