Why Location Matters to a Renter (and what property managers should do about it)

What You Should Know About Renting to Millennials
May 29, 2018
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Why Location Matters to a Renter (and what property managers should do about it)

Location, location, location … it’s one of the top amenities tenants consider when looking for an apartment to rent. These days, online marketplaces such as Zillow and Trulia make it easier than ever before to filter searches for apartments by location. Renters often enter the names of neighborhoods, districts, or boroughs, rather than zip codes.   

Given the ease of apartment hunting, it’s important for property managers to think about why location matters to a renter so that they stand out from other properties in the area. Just like homeowners, renters consider an area’s cost of living and its proximity to their workplace before they sign on the dotted line. In addition, renters want to feel at-home where they live and be part of a community, and thus often rent in areas that fit their personality and lifestyle.  

What should property managers do about location?  

Property managers have little control over how a city’s development may affect their properties. For example, nearby highway construction could temporarily jam traffic. Once the expansions are complete, however, residents could enjoy easier access to and from the community.     

Property managers have even less control over renters’ location preferences, life circumstances, or income levels. For example, some renters may be willing to pay top dollar to live in trendy, bustling locations, while others scatter to remote locations that offer a quieter lifestyle and, in some cases, lower rent.   

But with a smart strategy, you as a property manager can emphasize the very best your location has to offer and thereby optimize how potential renters encounter your properties. You may even convert a few diehard dwellers of other communities to your community’s way of life.

Are your properties smack dab in the middle of a major city? Play up the easy access to international airports, universities, cultural attractions, and fine dining, which, for some renters, might outweigh a city’s traffic congestion, pollution, and other drawbacks.  

Are your properties on the outskirts of a small town? What a remote setting may lack in access to conveniences, it makes up for in charm, a sense of community, and even beautiful, natural scenery.  

Popular tourist destinations are often crowded and expensive, especially during peak seasons, and locals can feel overrun. If your properties are near a tourist destination, you can attract local signees by offering coupons or season passes for the numerous activities that people from afar travel a long way to enjoy. You can also play up the professional opportunities that the tourist industry provides.  

Communities in the suburbs are usually touted as safe, clean, quiet, and close to good school zones. Emphasize the family-friendly atmosphere and any logistical perks, such as quick access to expressways or bus-routes.  

Urban core communities are on the rise and tend to attract movers and shakers, artists, academics, entrepreneurs, and young executives. An urban core is especially popular when it’s walkable or navigable by public transportation, eliminating, for an increasing number of people, the need to own a car.

What other factors define a location?

The size of the city is not the only factor to consider when attracting renters to your property’s location. Gain a more comprehensive understanding of context by surveying your current residents to find out more about them and why they chose to rent at your property. Also, conduct some research online and ask Google the questions a potential resident, who’s searching apartments by location, might ask. Questions might include:  

  • Is this property near a college, historical district, or a suburb?  
  • Is it an up-and-coming neighborhood? What attracts other renters to this place?  
  • Is this a well-established neighborhood? What keeps renters here year after year?
  • Are there new zoning laws, or increases or decreases in crime, or other political happenings that would have an impact on my experience living here?  
  • Is there any construction nearby? Are any new businesses opening?  
  • Who lives here? Are there families, retirees, millennials, or college students?  
  • Is there anything fun to do nearby? What is within walking distance?

Next, use the answers to strategize a marketing and advertising campaign that offers more and stands out from other properties in your location. Tailor your web and print efforts to highlight what’s most attractive about your location. Display photos of any unique décor or recent upgrades and renovations, as well as a screenshot of a Google map highlighting your properties’ location in proximity to nearby attractions. And of course, keep up your efforts to foster a sense of community among current residents, by planning events and communicating with them regularly.  

City changes

At the same time that you promote your apartment community’s location as a top amenity, it’s important to remember that many neighborhoods in your city may still be in a state of transition. For instance, fancy new buildings can spruce up a previously run-down area and attract hip urbanites, but the existing infrastructure may not adequately support growing populations.  

After doing some research into changes in your city, create a few strategies for how your apartment community can capitalize on these changes. Because millennials tend to care about civic and socio-political issues, apartments that are involved in city affairs may appeal to the growing number of millennial renters. What can your apartment community do to give back to the city and show support for neighboring communities? Can you encourage participation in local elections and city planning, as well as lobby for city improvements? Are there any nearby businesses, charities, and organizations that would partner with your apartment community to make your city an even better place to live?

How have you promoted the best that your location has to offer? Share your comments here.

Before you go, click here to read related posts on Resident Appreciation Ideas to Strengthen Your Apartment Community and What You Should Know About Renting to Millennials.  

 

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