If you own an investment property it's quite likely you'll need to take a closer look at what you offer this year - and maybe even 'up your game'. For according to research released this week, there's a new breed of renter who may want more than you're offering!
According to McCrindle Research, we are seeing a marked change in the type of people looking to rent homes. Whereas previously, you could moreorless split renters into those saving to buy their own home, and those who couldn't afford to buy their own home, we now have 'choice renters'.
Where once renting was described as 'dead money', that is not necessarily so these days. Indeed, some Australians live in rented accommodation - and own one or more investment properties, which they rent out!
Others choose to rent because they wish to spend several months a year overseas and don't want the responsibility of owning a home.
In their Renter of the Future Report, commissioned by Optus to discover the attitudes, behaviours and technology trends of Australian renters, it seems that 3 in 10 renters are 'choice renters'.
The great Australian dream of owning your own house is, it seems, not the dream of choice for everyone these days. Rather than renting being a necessity, people are actively choosing it, even if they could afford to buy a property.
30% of Australians rent - that's more than own their own home outright. According to the report they are twice as likely to be living in medium and high density housing than the average Australian, are years younger, and move more frequently - on average every 1.8 years.
Choice renters are also tech-savvy. The study said, "Renters comprise nearly a third of Australian households. For the modern Aussie renter technology underpins and has become completely fused with their lifestyle. This group is among the first to jump onto new technologies, keeping abreast of the latest trends and, where possible, the latest devices. Accessing the internet quickly from their new rental property is a must for them."
When asked why they choose to rent, the reasons given were the ability to change locations easily (38%); easier to upsize or downsize as needed (24%), and flexibility to travel for extended periods of time (18%).
But here's where the list gets more demanding for landlords! When asked to name their top five lifestyle features in a rental property, they said parking (38%), pet-friendly (32%), cable internet (31%), strong mobile signal (25%), and the number of power points in a room (22%).
Nearly a third of respondents said the most annoying thing about moving into a new rental home was the length of time it takes to connect to the Internet.
By no stretch of the imagination can you say renters will replace buyers. of course, they won't! And there will continue to be those who only rent because they cannot afford to buy.
But increasingly, we will see choice renters and they will have a very clear picture of what they expect from a rental property. And it's quite likely they'll pay for it, too! So, if you're a landlord, take a good look at your investment property, and what it offers a potential choice renter. For a small outlay, you could make the property very attractive to this new breed of renter.