5 Things Every BTR Property Owner Needs in the Toolkit
Submitted by Laura Shepherd on 13/05/2021 - Senior Marketing Manager
1. Virtual Tours
Even before COVID-19, virtual tours were trending. But today, this is more in-demand than ever. It’s also an amazing inbound marketing opportunity to not only find new residents but hook them with properties that exceed their expectations.
Adding virtual tours to your repertoire can make a huge difference, particularly since roughly one in five residents prefer touring Build to Rent housing units on their own. This versatile tool lets prospective renters tour when they want to and from anywhere. It also gives them the ability to practice social distancing while visiting potential spaces on their own terms and with limited distractions. Virtual tours are set to play an increasingly important role for property owners and managers in our post-COVID world.
2. Technology Integration
Technology touches just about every part of our lives, and residents expect their Build to Rent housing options to have some of the latest and greatest. Some of the most in-demand tech includes the ability to apply for rentals and pay for rent online. It’s also important for residents to have access to a portal for important communications as well as communicating with landlords through text or email.
And that’s not all renters are looking for. Other top tech residents want includes:
- Secure high-speed wireless Internet with ample bandwidth for streaming, gaming, and making video calls
- Smart home tech, including smart locks, automated lighting, and smart thermostats
- Reliable cell phone connectivity, including 5G, which is particularly important with many people working from home
3. Upgrades Galore
When you want to attract renters, particularly in today’s competitive market, upgrades might be the secret weapon you’ve been looking for. Today’s residents are super savvy, especially in this post-COVID world we’re all living in. Now, people are looking for more square footage or at least optimized square footage that provides enough room to work and live as needed. Other in-demand upgrades include private outdoor spaces and areas designed for package deliveries — including secure storage areas and lockers.
Upgraded appliances and in-unit amenities like free Wi-Fi, free cable, and in-wall USB charging ports are hot. But even hotter? Concierge services, which could include:
- Laundry pick-up/drop off
- Pet walking/grooming
- Meal delivery
- Personalised services and events scheduled with local businesses
4. Furniture for the Win
First-time renters, empty nesters, savvy professionals — furnished apartments appeal to all sorts of potential residents. There’s a huge draw to ownership-free living and the simplicity that it offers. For starters, furnished apartments make moving a breeze. The heavy lifting is already done and all residents have to do is personalize their space and hang their hats.
For property owners and leasing managers, it’s another effective tool to help attract and keep residents. It helps prospective residents better envision themselves living in the space before they rent it. Furnished apartments typically rent for around 30 percent more than unfurnished apartments. Better yet, they often sport less wear and tear.
And when you partner with Roomservice by CORT, any wear and tear on the furnishings are easily taken care of since the servicing is handled by us. It’s also seamless to upgrade between residents, to opt-in or opt-out on your terms to best meet the needs of your residents and your business model. There’s real power in access over ownership and furniture flexibility, giving you the ability to quickly meet the demand of your residents while allowing Roomservice by CORT to take care of all the heavy lifting.
5. Social Spaces
Property owners are increasingly finding that community is one of the new in-demand amenities. Residents crave the ability to form social connections in authentic ways, which is one of the reasons that including social spaces is so important. Before COVID-19, many of the spaces that renters wanted most included areas set-up for working, state-of-the-art fitness spaces that offer more than just machinery (think pilates, yoga, and barre), and areas set aside for crafting or creating music, writing, and art.
Post-COVID, property owners, and Build to Rent housing managers have to rethink shared spaces to make sure they allow residents to feel and be safe. For some, that means adding moveable furniture to make physical distancing easier. For others, it’s upgrading existing spaces by adding personal cabanas to decks and patios or integrating apps to reserve special-use rooms and fitness areas.