Gen-Xer’s are those born between 1960 – 1981. They comprise one of the most mobile workforces in our country. Why? Experts say that on-the-go Gen-Xer’s are on the look out for career advancement opportunities and are willing to go the distance to find them. They are anxious to build new networks and restless to learn new skills.
That leads us to the point of this
- Boston, MA - Unique neighborhoods, a collegiate scene and a start-up hotbed make this city attractive to the young-ins. post – where are the young people living, working and renting? This article on the Realtor.com website lists the top cities where Gen-X and Gen-Y youth are living, playing, working and renting. Does your corporate rental property appeal to them?
- Chicago, IL – This thriving city of 3 million may be cold and windy, but it bears the moniker of Fortune Magazine’s “Best City for Business.”
- Denver, CO - A picturesque city coupled with outdoor living, fanatic sports teams and steady business opps makes 35 and younger folks flock in droves to the Mile High City.
- Minneapolis, MN - A solid economy and strong culture make Minneapolis an “it” place for young professionals.
- Portland, OR – Portland’s economy is healthy due to a broad manufacturing, distribution, wholesale and retail trade base. Plus, its scenic rivers and stunning mountains make you feel all tingly inside.
- San Francisco, CA - Always a mecca for the young and vibrant, the Bay City offers diverse cultural and ethnic neighborhoods and a dynamic work environment that appeal to youth.
- Seattle, WA – Despite the rainy forecasts, Seattle boasts a cultural scene like none other and even placed on the “30 Great Cities to Start Out In” list.
- Washington, DC - Young politicos love the cultural, political and diverse scene offered by our nation’s capital, making it attractive to today’s young workers.
Five tips to making your furnished rental property more appealing to young professionals:
- Be digital. Utilize the latest technology throughout, including high-speed Internet, Wi-fi and charging stations.
- Incorporate “green” components into your property. Gen-X and Gen-Y are one of the most eco-conscious generations around.
- Offer a “student discount.” Young professionals are continually taking advantage of career and educational advancement opportunities - offer a discount to attract young professionals to your property.
- Be responsive. This generation is used to instant gratification. Respond to your tenant inquiries quickly and thoroughly. This digital generation may move on to the next property in a matter of minutes while you’re figuring out how to text them back.
- Get good visuals. Young professionals wants to see a home that speaks their language – it’s important to them. Tell a story about your property through good visuals. Use Obeo to help create the images you desire to appeal to young professionals.
It seems like “accidental” landlords are the norm today. These are homeowners who want to move but can’t sell or don’t want to sell their homes at a loss in this tough housing marketing.
The problem is many of these individuals aren’t the “normal” landlords that spend years honing their property management craft; rather, they have little to no experience in preparing, marketing and managing a rental property.
If you’re new to this landlord business, here are three key tips on how you can turn your accident into a success:
Be different. There are a lot of accidental landlords out there today renting their property as a traditional, 12-month unfurnished rentals. Competition is fierce. If you want to stand out, consider marketing your property differently, maybe as a short-term, furnished corporate rental instead. Not only will you attract high quality renters (like traveling business professionals), but you’ll command one-third more rent! And you won’t be stuck in a long-term lease should you no longer want to be a landlord and want to try and sell your home instead.
Always be marketing. If you want to find a tenant, you need to market yourself year-round. That said, don’t get caught up with free posting sites that are time consuming and attract the wrong kinds of tenants. On the flip side, don’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money on classified newspaper ads that limit you to a specific geography only. The best way to reach the most potential tenants is marketing through a reputable rental site that advertises your property to the right kinds of tenants all over the world.
Try renting out your property yourself or “by owner”. There are a ton of reputable online sources that can help you rent out your property yourself. For example, if you’re interested in offering your house as a furnished rental property, visit CorporateHousingbyOwner.com. There is a 50+ page Handbook that helps landlords understand how to properly furnish and market their homes to the thousands of individuals seeking short-term furnished housing.
We’re continuing our blog series to share key findings from the 2011 “By Owner” Corporate Housing Report, an annual survey sponsored by CHBO to better understand the “by owner” rental marketplace. The latest report was released in January 2012 based on 2011 trends.
An essential difference between the standard corporate housing industry and the “by owner” segment of the corporate housing industry is the size of property that’s rented – and more specifically, the number of bedrooms.
From our annual “By Owner” survey, we learned that properties run by private owners are generally larger in size and bedroom count than the typical, business-to-business lodging that full-service, corporate housing companies provide.
Here are specific stats on the “bedroom counts” of typical “by owner” corporate rental properties:
- 23% of “by owner” landlords offer properties with only one bedroom.
- 41% offer properties with two bedrooms.
- 32% offer rental properties that include three bedrooms or more.
- 13% offer rental properties with four bedrooms or more.
While still the largest majority of corporate rentals are 1-2 bedroom counts, it’s worth noting the large number of 3, 4 and more bedroom properties. Such flexible lodging options are virtually non-existent among the full-service corporate housing companies.
More Single Family Homes: Further, while the majority of “typical” corporate housing consists of furnished, one-bedroom apartments, we know that “by owner” landlords are often helping travelers meet their increasingly diverse needs by offering a wider range of property types. In fact, 31.6% of the properties accounted for in this survey were single-family homes. This type of property is traditionally not found through corporate housing companies.
Located in the Suburban Areas: The survey also found that the highest numbers of private corporate rentals are located in suburban areas on residential streets (43%), followed by outer urban areas (22%) and central urban areas (20%). This geographic diversity is also relatively unheard of through traditional corporate housing companies and is relatively unique to the “by owner” segment.
Learn more about these findings by downloading the report yourself at http://www.corporatehousingbyowner.com/corporate-housing/2011chboreport.
Ashley Halligan, an analyst at Software Advice, provides us with some rental property management software reviews and strategies for 2012. Many of these tips can be applied to corporate housing rental property landlords and managers too.
A 2011 SatisFacts study estimated the average cost of a rental property turnover adds up to $3900. After days lost to vacancy, repairs, standard maintenance, professional cleaning and marketing, the overall cost of turnover can sometimes equal several months of rental income. Encouraging lease renewal is a cost-saving focus that all property managers should have strategies for. After conducting interviews with leading industry experts, we’ve gathered three strategies to encourage lease renewal, lessen resident turnover and, subsequently, save significantly over time.
BEGIN WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE
Perhaps it seems redundant to give emphasis to customer service, but another SatisFacts study shows 54 percent of resident turnover is a direct result of avoidable circumstance. Some residents left because they felt customer service was not satisfactory while others felt management wasn’t responsive following maintenance requests.
Doug Miller, Founder and President of SatisFacts Research, suggests focusing first on “exceptional service.”
“The marketing fluff is nice, but only if accompanied by exceptional service,” says Miller. And what determines exceptional service? Miller believes it’s sincerely meeting residents’ needs and not assuming you know what they want. This also includes courteousness and professionalism; promptness of responsiveness; and, follow-up on completed service requests.
FOCUS ON VALUE
Value can be perceived beyond monetary savings; by focusing on residents perceived value, longevity can become more secure. According to Jen Piccotti, Vice President of Education and Consulting at SatisFacts, value is defined as how easy it is to be a resident.
“The way residents see it, [value] is defined as how easy it is to be a resident in this community for the price I’m paying,” says Piccotti. “Staff can gain huge amounts of loyalty by thinking in terms of making life easier, less stressful and more convenient for their residents on a daily basis.”
THOUGHTFUL PERKS & GESTURES
Gables Residential offers a handful of incentives to residents. They offer the Gables Great Rewards Program which rewards residents for tenure. Additionally, Gables hosts social events to infuse a sense of community in their communities. Some properties offer electronic vehicle charging stations and, of course, pet-friendly policies are always helpful in maintaining retention.
Retention strategies do not have to be a hefty investment; a sense of thoughtfulness and creativity go a long way. Lynette Hegeman, Vice President of Marketing at Gables Residential, explains, “Integration doesn’t always mean you have to spend a lot of money. It’s about innovation.”
Overall, a clear sense of commitment to residents will make a lasting impression when it comes time to renew a lease or seek housing elsewhere. Hegeman suggests that the smallest gestures can really make or break a tenant’s perception, “It can be as simple as handing out newspapers or coffee in the morning.”
Read the original story here.
With Thanksgiving, we have entered the official start of the holiday season. Is your home or investment property currently on the market for sale? Have you noticed a slowing of showings or interest now that the weather is turning and people are busy with holiday plans?
This is typical for the time of year and does not mean your property won’t eventually sell. However, you may want to reconsider selling your home during this seasonal time.
A strategy to consider instead is delaying the sales process and renting out your property as a corporate rental until the busy home buying tides starts again in the spring.
Doing so can benefit you in many ways, including:
- Corporate rental leases are month-to-month, so a renter wouldn’t tie up your home in a 12 month long lease. Once the holidays pass, you can begin to re-market your property for sale more strategically.
- You would be able to cover your mortgage through the holiday months without worry of being in the “red.” Let’s face it, the holidays can be an expensive time and carrying a mortgage on a home that is vacant can be tough no matter how much money you make.
- You could still keep your home listed “For Sale” during the holiday season. A corporate housing renter may not mind if a Realtor brings someone in for showings, on occasion.
- You would attract a quality renter who will likely care for your home as their own. Corporate housing renters include individuals on extended vacations, traveling business executives, sports and entertainment professionals, military families and traveling medical professionals.
Remember, CHBO can help you quickly find a quality renter through its active and vibrant marketplace that connects homeowners offering short-term, furnished housing with potential tenants in need.
According to the real estate website Trulia, buying was cheaper than renting in 74% of the country’s 50 largest cities in July 2011 . Experts say it may be cheaper to buy than rent for a number of reasons:
- Rock bottom interest rates. In early Aug. 2011, a 30 year fixed was just 4.19%!
- Home ownership comes with tax perks that renters don’t get to enjoy – you get to deduct your mortgage interest as a homeowner. You don’t get to deduct your rental fees as a renter.
- Low prices – it’s a buyers market and prices are lower than low. If you can afford to buy, consider doing so because it will force you to save your money in a safe investment – your home!
So does this mean you should rent or buy right now?
The answer to this question is, “It depends.” Can you afford to buy? Do you have enough for a 20% down payment? Do you plan to stay in the home at least seven years? Can you afford closing costs and home ownership costs? Do you feel secure in your job or in the job market of where you want to buy?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you should consider buying. If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you might want to consider renting until you are more financially and emotionally secure.
How does this relate to corporate housing? We (at CHBO) always recommend that individuals rent first, buy later. Renting allows someone to learn about a city, neighborhood and to get their feet wet before locking themselves into a permanent residence where it’s unlikely they’ll get out of the house any time soon, even if they tried. Mobility is severely limited in tough job and housing markets – so be sure before you buy, period.
However, with the uncertainty of the economy, housing and job market, renting might make more sense for someone new to the housing market or the person willing to relocate for work. Renting provides a greater flexibility than buying, as you’re only tied to a short term lease. Plus there are limited upfront costs associated with renting.