Do You Know What the 55+ Crowd Is Looking For? (Part 1)

If you are the owner and or property manager of a large apartment complex, are you doing anything to attract the 55+ crowd? With the demand for rental apartments in the “senior” demographic expected to continue rising in the foreseeable future, if you are not doing your part to market towards this segment of the rental market, you could be losing out on some top-quality renters.

Keep in mind that the wants and needs of the 55+ crowd are different from those in the 65+ crowd, as they are to the 75+ age group. To make matters even more challenging, the 55+ age group is even more diverse among itself. Despite all their differences, there are a few things they have in common, at least where the rental properties they are interested in are concerned. Here are a few of these items for you to consider:

All-Inclusive Rents

Those in the 55+ group want to pay one bill that covers rent, all utilities including power, heat, water, cable TV, internet, trash, sewer, parking fees, and possibly even laundry service.  Most of this group have been homeowners and now want a home where they are not responsible for any maintenance, this is one of the most common reasons given for downsizing into a small apartment from a large house.

Ground Floor Living Spaces

According to the latest studies, approximately 40% of all homes being built today have a master suite located on the first floor. It is one of the first things Baby Boomers ask for in a new construction. Many are planning for the time when they can no longer make the trip up and down the stairs.

About That Bathroom

If you are upgrading your current rental units, be sure to install grab rails in the bath, shower, and next to the toilet. You might want to install one of the new comfort-height toilets that are designed to make getting on and off the toilet a little easier. Perhaps installing a walk-in tub or shower to make staying clean easier.

About Accessibility

The last thing most seniors want is to have to walk a long way from their car to their apartment. Be sure to provide your senior residents with parking that is close to their building. Make sure all paths and walks are smooth and level, keep patios at the same level. A raised deck might look great from the street, but to many seniors, it represents a formidable challenge. Be sure to have ADA compliant ramps installed and consider widening doorways to 42 inches instead of the standard 36 inches. This will make getting around in a wheelchair easier.

This is part one of a two-part series designed to help property owners and managers gain a better understanding of what the 55+ renter is looking for. This is a growing group with very specific expectations in the apartments they might consider renting. Continued in Part 2.