Why Make Improvements for Remote Working and WFH Tenants?
More people are working from home (WFH), and the number is likely to grow. As a rental property owner, if you make your property more attractive to remote working and WFH tenants, they are more likely to choose to rent your property than anyone else’s, and are more likely to renew their lease, thus reducing vacancies. The improvements may also enable you to raise the rent to cover the costs of improvements and to attract your preferred tenant.
Many tenants look for an efficient and convenient workplace as well as a comfortable and pleasant home. Many suggested improvements deliver both.
The number and type of improvements you can make obviously depends on the individual property. A one bedroom apartment offers fewer options than a three bedroom house, so please look at this list from two perspectives:
- Does your property lend itself to the idea?
- Can you play with the basic idea and come up with something that you can use?
The 10 Improvements to Consider
The Property Itself
- Repaint the walls in the “office area” so they are pleasant, calming, and bland. If the tenant attends Zoom or similar meetings, having a plain background makes sense.
- Keep the HVAC well maintained. Efficient WFH all day demands comfort in the workplace.
- Add shelving so frequently-used items and reference materials are always to hand.
- If you have designated a bedroom as the home office, and if it has a walk-in closet, add shelving that will take both clothes and, say, letter-size and legal-size files. Even if the next tenant does not work from home, useful and well-designed shelving is always a plus. Children’s toys will be kept tidy and safe just as easily as files and clothing.
- Fix a magnetic or regular dry-erase whiteboard and pinboard to the office wall. If the room is used as a bedroom, a child will happily use both for fun or schoolwork.
- Offering a partially-furnished property adds rental value. Buying a pre-owned desk and executive chair looks good, adds to a tenant’s sense of importance, and is comfortable to sit at all day.
- Provide inexpensive filing cabinets and bookshelves. Give the tenant permission to modify the spacing by rearranging the shelves.
Computer and WiFi
- Provide fast internet and a powerful WiFi router. You could even make it a dual band router and WiFi extender to make it easy to access fast internet service from anywhere in the property. Again, if the tenant does not WFH, many play computer games and watch films on their computer,
- Provide a big external monitor to make multi-screen use easy and efficient. It can be removed if not needed, but if it is wanted, it is the sort of extra that delivers the “wow factor.”
- We live in the Battery Age: laptops, tablets, phones, etc. So providing a charging accessory in the home office will send both a message about the property’s unique potential, and will enable a higher rent charge.
Stand out from your competition, and charge a higher rent. These improvements matter to remote working and WFH tenants. They also make a traditional home more attractive. Office furniture and technology equipment can be easily removed if not wanted.