The idea of potential tenants is typically that of young people who’ve just moved into town to search for jobs and have a place to call home. While this is mostly the case, demand for apartments has also risen among seniors of 55 years and above. Many have attributed this to the decline in home ownership due to the Great Recession. Foreclosures have seen middle-age to older adults downsize into apartments. Here are some tips to make your apartments appealing to senior tenants:
- Improve on Accessibility
Seniors are on the look for apartments that are easy to navigate in, even as they grow old. This means that they will not pass on homes with multi-level entrances and long driveways as they are difficult to traverse.
To improve accessibility, you could situate the parking near the entrance to the apartments. As for the walkways, ensure that they are level, including the path itself. Now, brand front porches and raised decks may make apartments aesthetic, but they are not as appealing to older adults. Instead, they opt for apartments with outdoor patios that are level with the other adjacent indoor rooms. You could also set up a ramp (ADA-compliant) if you have space. This will be a magnet for tenants who are looking for a place they can live in for long. Additionally, it also appeals to disabled residents. Lastly, you can widen the doorways to cater for residents who may be constrained when using a walker or wheelchair. Making the doorways 36” is required for access by wheelchairs though 42” is more like it.
- Rent that is Inclusive of all Utilities
Seniors are looking for places whose rent includes all the utilities such as gas, electricity, heat, hot water, cable, and internet as well as laundry and parking. This is because such a demographic is comprised of people who were formerly homeowners and don’t want to be bogged down by the associated maintenance or upkeep. This is probably what made them opt for apartments in the first place. Therefore, they don’t want to be bothered with tasks such as snow removal, yard work or other strenuous jobs and will go for apartments that have these included in the rent.
- Guest Rooms
Since Baby Boomer homeowners were used to hosting their friends and loved ones in their home, when they downsize, they don’t expect this to change. Therefore, their chief concern is if the apartment has room for others to stay in when they visit. As such, property with a second or third bedroom is what this demographic of Americans need.
- Better Lighting
Lighting to older people is not merely a preference- it is a safety measure. For this reason, you can invest in motion-sensor lights to light up hallways, driveways, entryways and other areas that may be frequented by old people. This will cut on the need to fumble while searching for a switch in the dark. Also, you can include more light switches and reduce the trips that are needed to switch a light on or off.
- Social Space
As older adults live extensive lives beyond retirement, and they are keen on remaining social. To appeal to them, create spaces that they can use to gather with their family and friends or with other residents. In the unit, you could go for combined living areas or kitchen which can offer places great for entertaining seniors.
Many landlords are keen to have a piece of this market demographic pie and that’s why it’s important for you as a property owner to become aware of what appeals to them. If you are looking to have your property managed, look no further. At lapmg, we offer property management services and leave you to other pursuits. Check us out here.