In any real estate market, real estate investors keep their ears to the ground to detect what renters are looking for when searching for their new residence. Some may say that in a tight rental market it’s not that important to cater to the whims of the renting public but even in that instance, a property with the right features will command more rent compared to the house next door.

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And in the slow times, providing what tenants want will help keep the property rented compared to a bare-bones offering. What are some of the things you can do to please prospective tenants?

When you first purchased your rental, one of the features of the property is simply where your unit is located. Is the home near needed transportation? Good schools in the area? Perhaps near a shopping or business district that provides easy commute? You can have all the desirable features you want, but location is tops on the list.

The number one feature of a home for a buyer is the kitchen. And the very same applies to your tenants. Today’s renters want stainless steel appliances, dual sinks if possible and a large food prep area. If stainless is out of your budget, at least make sure the appliances match in color and appearance. And if your unit doesn’t have a dishwasher, put one in.

What about parking, does your unit provide a garage or a parking canopy? Parking is a perk for a renter, just as it is with any home owner. If your unit is in a condominium building, make sure your unit has an assigned space or construct an off-street parking area next to your home.

Finally, pay extra for a quality interior paint job and a thorough cleaning. Nothing smells “new” like a fresh coat of paint and can remove the memory of previous tenants. The tenant “trends” are usually nothing more than what a property owner enjoys and if you think an upgrade or remodel for your property is something you’d like to have in your own home, if it’s in the budget, go ahead and do it. You’ll recover the costs with higher rents, shorter marketing periods or both.