Gadgets to attract millenial tenants

21 Replies

I'm under contract to purchase some smaller multi's in rapidly changing neighborhoods.   Next door to these properties on 1 side can be a 700k new build, and next door on the other side could be a boarding house.  Occasionally you may have the homeless guy zig zagging down the sidewalk pushing his shopping cart next to the lady jogging with her baby in a stroller.  I'm looking for ideas on how to attract and retain younger, quality tenants.  Has anyone done the nest thermostats or ring door bells in a rental?  Any good suggestions for good outside lighting?  Any other strategies or ideas we could include while rehabbing these units?  Thanks for the collaboration!

Originally posted by @Bryan A. :

I'm under contract to purchase some smaller multi's in rapidly changing neighborhoods.   Next door to these properties on 1 side can be a 700k new build, and next door on the other side could be a boarding house.  Occasionally you may have the homeless guy zig zagging down the sidewalk pushing his shopping cart next to the lady jogging with her baby in a stroller.  I'm looking for ideas on how to attract and retain younger, quality tenants.  Has anyone done the nest thermostats or ring door bells in a rental?  Any good suggestions for good outside lighting?  Any other strategies or ideas we could include while rehabbing these units?  Thanks for the collaboration!

I have a Ring door bell and the thing goes off line randomly and has had battery issues, all in less than one year of ownership. You don't want to deal with support calls over troubles with electronic gadgets. I would make sure the units have modern appliances including dishwashers and modern color schemes. Advertise for rent in Facebook or using other social media. Use electronic rent payment like Cozy. 

If you want to attract good tenants, you want:

- clean, safe housing in a safe neigborhood;

- basic amenities that people have come to view as standard;

- priced at an attractive rate.

That's really about it. We don't have any gadgets or gizmos on any of our units and we rent to a lot of college-aged tenants - in fact, I'm not sure we have any tenants right now over the age of 30. No one wants a fancy gizmo in a dangerous neighborhood. 

Ours all want good sized shower stalls with glass doors, stainless appliances, coffee stations, a pantry, solid entry doors & opt for security systems with WiFi cameras. An ensuite washer dryer is a big plus. The kids we currently have also seem to like their 65-80inch smart TV's with WiFi that enables heavy streaming.

For millennials all they really need is a overstuffed couch and a web connection for their adult toys.

I believe they make their income as professional bloggers.

They don't cook, go out to shop or engage in personal contact with others so there is very little in the way of necessities. Maybe a front door camera/intercom on wifi so they do not have to get up to answer the door.

Millennials care most about the location and the proximity to amenities like parks, shopping centers, restaurants, nightlife, etc. Integrating technology with your properties is a great idea, but you have to take into consideration that some people just won't take care of it and they might even take it with them when they move out. Keep it simple and renovate them just how you would any other rental unit (paint, appliances, hard wood floors) basic things that you can get from Home Depot. 

How about keypad door locks?  I'm planning to go keyless by putting Schlage keypads on both exterior doors (and no keyed lock on patio slider).  I have one and have not had to change the battery more than once in a couple of years or so.

If the neighborhood is sketchy you could put those metal mesh security doors on at least the rear...females might like them at both entrances so you can open the door but be locked in.

be mindful in a C- / D neighborhood, that fancy gadgets and gizmos may draw the attention of the neighborhood miscreants because they know when a board-up is being worked on that new items are being added inside...sounds like a great security system is needed and make a friend with a nosey neighbor, leave your card with contact info on it to keep you in the know of potential shady goings-on with the property.  my coin.

kudos,

Mary 

Don't see how adding a Nest - with voice capabilities, Schlage keyless deadbolt, and maybe even a few outlets with USB ports would hurt. You can market it as a smart apartment and possibly get higher rents. 

My wife's parents just completed a three unit in a transitional neighborhood and are getting higher rents and younger tenants.

@Joe Splitrock , can the Ring door bell be hardwired in? Or is there always a battery component to it?  I appreciate your ideas.

@JD Martin , any landlord has the obligation to provide safe, clean housing.  I'm looking to do a little better, but thanks.

@Pat L. , how do you handle the wifi camera security system?  Do you install cameras and tell them they can hook it up to their wifi?  

@Noel Challenger , agree, location is numero uno. Besides that though, I believe there is a finish level that can separate your units apart.  

@Ann D. , I appreciate it.  I considered keyless locks but I don't know if that's going to be as much of a draw as a security doorbell so you can see who's knocking on your door at night or when Amazon has dropped off a package.  Also, all my units are master keyed already, and I don't want to mess with that system :)  Agree on the battery life however - I put them on my office 4 year ago, and just changed the battery a few months back for the first time!  

@Marian Smith , thanks for the suggestions.  I'm going to give each unit a private, fenced in rear patio area.  I don't know if I'd call it sketchy- transitioning maybe. 

@Mary B. , thanks for your thoughts.  Perhaps I was harsh.  This is an awesome neighborhood.  I've invested here before, and actually lived there about 8 years ago.  But it still has some rough edges to it in some peoples minds.  I've contemplated hardwiring for security,but it seems most systems are wireless these days anyways.  Thoughts on that?  

@Tim Puffer , thanks for the comments.  Nice ideas.  Did your in laws add any other unique features?

@Bryan A. mine is hard wired, but it still has a battery. I guess the hard wire trickle charges the battery but for some reason occasionally it needs to be removed and plugged into USB for a deep charge. Removing it takes a special screw driver. Not hard, but it is easy to lose the screwdriver. To get the most out of the doorbell, you need to subscribe to a service which is around $100 per year. The service will go down every couple months and the doorbell just randomly loses connectivity for a day. 

I can just see tenants complaining about some of these things. Even if it is only a few 30 minute phone calls, why add the potential hassle.

Heated toilet seats with bidet. Can find on amazon.

@Joe Splitrock , that's good to know.  I assumed it was all hardwired in.  I'll have to look into this more in depth.  Agreed, I want this to be an amenity- not a hassle :)

@Evan Torrens , funny enough.  you can add towel warmers in the bathroom for not much cost.  I am considering this.  LOL

Hey @Bryan A.

A couple ideas for you that wont break your bank

• Smart, touch screen thermostats - for whatever reason this is something people definitely take notice of

• Indoor adjustable lights

• Key Fab or Digital Key Pad Entry

• Bright color paint - closer to the white end of the spectrum

Other than the smart thermostats (depending on price) and paint schemes, I think everything else listed here would be a hassle. 

Check if any cable providers in your area are offering gigabit internet - that is a huge plus that will require no maintenance once upgraded.

@Joe Splitrock , as a test, I installed a  Ring doorbell at my house this past weekend.  It has no battery components- everything hardwired.  It is the Ring Doorbell Pro.  If the main complaints are limited to battery life, I think I'm going to give these a whirl and report back.

Originally posted by @Bryan A. :

@Joe Splitrock, as a test, I installed a  Ring doorbell at my house this past weekend.  It has no battery components- everything hardwired.  It is the Ring Doorbell Pro.  If the main complaints are limited to battery life, I think I'm going to give these a whirl and report back.

I was going to get the Ring Pro but at the time I got mine, people complained on Amazon that the Pro needed a supplemental power supply installed. The way I understood the issue is that most standard power supply transformers for doorbells don't put out enough power. Sounds like it works fine for you. No battery is the way to go if you can. 

Still I would advise as part of tenant proofing your property to limit installing anything unnecessary that can break. Even the battery operated thermostats I have generate calls when the batteries go bad. Most tenants are completely helpless. 

@Bryan A. No amenity that is easy to install is going to lure a potential tenant, no matter how trendy it is. Learned that unless you make justify an increase in price, the additional just isn’t worth it.

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