Tips to Attract Families to Your Rental Property

It may be the American dream to own your own home but, when home values can barely keep up with inflation, the dream is out of reach for many families. This would explain why roughly one-third of households in America rent and don’t buy their homes, according to the national Multi-Housing Council. As an owner or manager of a rental property, you know there’s no perfect tenant—but attracting families to your property often leads to long-term renters. Many times families want to find a place to settle into, if not for the long haul, at least for a number of years while the kids are in school. If your rentals do fine attracting the single crowd, employ these simple strategies to improve your property’s appeal to families. Invest in Some Construction Many times a family’s deciding factor between properties is space. Not just square footage, but accommodating everyone with a little space to call his or her own. Building an additional bedroom or expanding an existing one can make your rentals more attractive to families. Bathrooms are often an issue with families as well. Add a second or third bathroom to increase a rental’s appeal to families. Supply Neighborhood Info What the surrounding area has to offer can make a particular rental more attractive to a family. Always have information on hand that demonstrates how renting from you will benefit a family. Get informative printouts from local schools and the area school district. Design your own hand-outs that list nearby points of interest, such as how to find the local public library, number and location of community parks, shopping and dining facilities close by and greenway areas for jogging and biking. All are enjoyable features that help attract families. Provide Amenities They’ll Value Even if the local community doesn’t have a lot to offer beyond close proximity to schools, you can provide amenities that encourage families to choose your property. Swimming pools, game rooms and play areas appeal to families. One or more of these features are typically on-site for multiple-family dwellings, and they enhance single-family properties, too. Install high-quality playground equipment such as a heavy-duty swing set, slides and a merry-go-round in the back or side yard of a single-family home (make sure to secure them with concrete footings). Convert extra space in the garage or basement into a cable- and Internet-ready game room. You don’t have to equip this room entirely, but it’s easy to find foosball and pool tables at reasonable prices online and in secondhand shops. Landlord Beware Just because it’s a family who wants to rent from you doesn’t mean that there won’t be problems. First impressions can be deceiving, so even though you want to attract families to rent your properties, you should still perform background and credit checks as usual. It’s also helpful to obtain rent collection information from a landlord’s association to help ensure you don’t come up against renters who tend to pay all their bills but skip out on rent.