The 55+ group or young seniors is one of the fastest growing segments of the rental market. While you might think this segment of the market should be no different than any other segment, you would be very wrong. Which could also be the reason why you are not attracting these highly valuable and stable group.
Bear in mind, this is one of the most diverse groups of renters you are ever likely to come across. On top of this, the needs of those aged 65 are going to be different than those of a 55-year-old or of a 75-year-old. The good news is that despite this, there are a few things all age groups over 55 have in common.
They Want Accessibility
- Closer in parking
- Smooth, easy to navigate concrete pathways.
- No raised decks, they might look great, but level patios are far easier for seniors to navigate.
- ADA compliant ramps, bathrooms, and facilities. This will help draw in a much larger section of the disabled community.
- Think about widening the doorways in your properties to accommodate wheelchairs. Most need at least 36 inches, but if you go out to 42 inches, your handicapped tenants will love you.
Consider All-Inclusive Rents
Today’s senior renter (those aged 55 and up) has voiced a vested interest in renting a home that includes all utilities in the rent. This includes electricity, gas, heat, hot water, cable TV, internet, parking, and of course laundry. After years of taking care of everything, often as homeowners, today’s 55 plus renter wants simplicity. They no longer want to mow the lawns, take care of the gardens, worry about the pool, or any other arduous tasks. To put it bluntly, they want to make one payment and get on with enjoying life.
Convenient First Floor Living
As the baby boomers are hitting senior citizen status, simple things like getting up and down the stairs can be challenging. This leads to more of them looking for first floor amenities including bedrooms and bathrooms. Of course, the bathrooms need to have grab bars for the tub and the toilet. You might consider installing a comfort-height toilet, designed to make it easier for seniors to get on and off the toilet. You should consider adding a walk-in shower with a bench-seat or a walk-in tub with a sealing door.
Room for Visitors
Many of your new tenants have become used to hosting guests such as family and good friends. After spending years hosting guests in their homes, many worry that by downsizing, they won’t have room for guests. Because of this, they look for rental properties with at least two, and often three bedrooms and a second bathroom. This allows them to entertain and even enjoy long term guests.
These are among the many things you need to keep in mindif you plan to take advantage of this rapidly growing segment of the rental market. You must also understand, that the vast majority of the upgrades your rental units might need if you really want to tap into this very lucrative market.