The evolution of rental property

The year is 2001. Its 6:45pm on a Thursday evening and I’m doing what most leasing managers were doing at this time of night: sitting on the phone with The Age classifieds. Why? To place my listing ads for the coming weekend’s open for inspections. The process is mundane, to say the least. The conversation goes back and forth until we have explored every possible acronym which minimises the number of characters used. Hopefully, this time our marketing spend doesn’t blow out… again!

2BR, 1BTH, OPL, WC, 2CP, DLUG, SE were just a few of the common codes we used to attract the attention of the hunting renter. No digitally enhanced photographs, no floor plans, no walk-through videos, just 15 characters or less, a rental amount and the open time. As unassuming as its sounds, it was in most cases enough to draw the attention of those who were seeking a 2BR, 1BTH, 1CP, APT for $250pw!

Over the years, rental marketing naturally evolved to what it is today. Websites, apps, portals, interactive tours and sophisticated CRMs are now used by agents to market thousands of investment properties across the country. Marketing, copywriting, professional photography, furniture staging, even digital furniture are being used to lure the prospective renter to apply.

So with all these clever marketing strategies now in play, attracting a renter should be a piece of cake, right?

Not quite.

Like most things since 2001, the renter’s appetite and criteria have also evolved. Put simply, a property in a desirable location just isn’t enough, no matter how clever your marketing is. The sophisticated renter is seeking their next residential nirvana, where unsurpassed luxury design and amenities have become an established benchmark for their next home.

Take apartment living for instance. Many of us thought design peaked when architects and developers began introducing features such as security entrance, pools and gyms. Fast forward twenty years and we are now living among some of the most incredibly designed buildings which offer a collection of amenities such as libraries, cinemas, saunas and wellness centres. These amenities are themselves becoming standard inclusions as the bar is perpetually raised higher.

A-class projects are being designed to supersede their predecessors at a rate that almost feels like daily. In effect, developers are offering investors and homeowners a choice of owning real estate in luxury vertical villages which continue to refine what premium investors, tenants and homeowners expect. B-class and C-class projects will, unfortunately, become less and less desirable to these premium renters as they simply lack a point of difference.

Our research tells us that not only are many renters wanting these luxuries, but they are also willing to pay a premium for them. The renter is no longer the single occupant that has chosen apartment living to avoid garden maintenance. The renter is a fitness junkie that sees the value of having access to state-of-the-art gym facilities at their doorstep. The renter is a young family that sees the value of playing in private pools, central parks and gardens that can be utilised daily. The renter is a business powerhouse that sees the incredible value and efficiency of co-working spaces and meeting room facilities. The renter is the entertainer that sees the value of having access to private dining rooms, rooftop bars, providores, delis and gourmet grocers within a minute’s walk.

When looking at your next investment property, amenity simply can’t be overlooked. As the creative minds of architects and developers continue to produce world-class lifestyles they will continue to entice and attract premium occupants’ attention, as well as their wallets.

After all, who doesn’t want a rooftop running track!

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