The hot housing market is beginning to cool off in many areas except one: the build-to-rent sector. It’s set to deliver an 81%1 increase in units this year compared to 2021. And single-family rents are up by more than 13%2 year-over-year, showing no signs of slowing down. From value to high-end homes, large or small, builders have been finding lots of success3 with all types of rentals.
The majority of people renting are choosing to do so for different reasons4, with some wanting to wait until marriage to buy, and others simply renting until they find a location they love. These renters span different age groups5, ranging from millennials to baby boomers looking to downsize. This also means that they may have different preferences than those looking for a long-term home. With higher-income tenants6 driving up demand, new amenities and design features are more important than ever. Here are three ways to attract their attention and stand out from the competition:
A large share of build-to-rent tenants are professionals7 working from home and will need a home office or space for one in their next place. The pandemic sparked the rise of remote work, and it has only continued to rise in popularity. In fact, 58%8 of Americans were offered the opportunity to work from home at least one day per week, and of those with the ability, 87%9 take it.
To create a productive space for at-home workers, start by incorporating lots of natural light10, and maybe even a view, if available. There will also need to be ample space for a desk, comfy chair, and lots of storage space11 to keep important documents organized and clutter to a minimum. For smaller spaces, a home office can fit just about anywhere12, like in a bedroom or living area, to provide more value to tenants.
Smart Home Technology
Homes are only getting smarter, with a growing number of consumers beginning to expect smart technology in their next place. The demand is unprecedented13, which makes it a great way to create a rental that stands out against the competition. The most-wanted smart home features include:
When it comes to smart appliances, you’ll want to include those that offer smart features that improve life at home. The Maytag® Smart Front Load Washer with Extra Power and 24-Hr Fresh Hold® option and the matching Maytag® Smart Front Load Electric Dryer with Extra Power and Advanced Moisture Sensing Plus, for example, can both be controlled remotely from a smartphone, allowing users to efficiently manage laundry from wherever they are.
Long-Lasting Features and Finishes
When designing a space that will see many tenants come and go, it’s important to add elements that will resist wear and tear to keep maintenance to a minimum. Throughout the home, it’s best to minimize the use of carpet and instead use a heavy-duty material such as laminate faux wood flooring17. Quartz or granite countertops18 are also a hot commodity for buyers, providing an attractive finish that will last.
Appliances with a stainless steel finish are highly sought-after19 — and for good reason. The Whirlpool® Fingerprint Resistant Dishwasher with 3rd Rack & Large Capacity, for example, has an easy-to-clean exterior that resists fingerprints and smudges. Plus, it has an extra rack so renters can load more and run less. When looking at refrigerators, the Whirlpool® 36-inch Wide Counter Depth 4 Door Refrigerator comes in a fingerprint-resistant stainless finish to keep smudges to a minimum. The four doors also create a highly organized fridge to streamline mealtime.
14 Green Builder COGNITION Smart Data 2022 Forecast