Understanding Renters’ Evolving Preferences: Opportunities for Orlando Property Owners 

Renters’ preferences will evolve every few years, and as an Orlando property management company, it is of utmost importance for us to stay well-informed about current trends and preferences.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a shift in the lifestyles people want to lead. According to a research report by Buildium, single-family renters are looking for a more comfortable and quiet life. This means that young families are looking to live within their means and are willing to wait longer to save money to purchase a home.

Buildium’s report shows that the items listed below are the most desirable amenities and characteristics for renters:

Safe Neighborhood 

On the top of the list of desirable amenities is a safe neighborhood. People want to prioritize the safety of themselves and their families, finding a residential area they feel comfortable in. A safe neighborhood is subjective; each person’s idea of a safe neighborhood may be based on different criteria. There has been a general shift in the desire to live in a quiet neighborhood as opposed to a large city. Suburban areas outside cities like Downtown Orlando have become increasingly attractive to single-family renters. 

Is Orlando Safe?

It is crucial to remember that Orlando is a major tourist destination in the United States and globally. In 2022, Orlando was ranked the number one visited destination in the country, with 74 million visitors in just one year. With the high volume of people in Orlando at any given time, the crime reports may show that the crime rate is high. However, this is only the case for some Orlando areas. Where there are more people, there will be more crime. When purchasing an investment rental property or looking for a place to live, it is essential to consider that areas like Disney World will be higher in crime than residential areas that only bring in a few short-term tourists or a high volume of visitors daily.

Orlando is almost 120 sq miles, consisting of four counties. There is more to Orlando than Disney World and tourist attractions; Orlando has many highly sought-after neighborhoods and safe areas to reside. The best way to get a feel for the area’s level of safety is to research crime reports. One resource that can assist in crime-level research in Orlando is the Orlando Government website which provides access to records such as active calls for service, unsolved cases, and missing person reports. 

As experienced Orlando property managers, we are familiar with areas clients deem safe and desirable. The top five areas we recommend buying a rental property in Orlando, Florida, are:

  1. Lake Nona
  2. Winter Park
  3. College Park
  4. Baldwin Park
  5. Curry Ford West 

These areas attract single-family long-term renters. The rent rate is higher in these areas than others , which also allows for appreciation of your property.

Air Conditioning and Washer and Dryer

Air Conditioning 

We all know how hot it can be in Florida, especially in the summer months. Living without air conditioning is nearly impossible. Although Florida does not have a law that requires it, we strongly suggest landlords provide working AC to their tenants. Living without AC is undesirable and can be dangerous. Since most rental homeowners provide AC, your property is unlikely to be rented if you do not. Providing AC to your renters is almost a given. Still, it is essential to remember that you may also be liable for necessary AC maintenance during your renters’ lease term.

It is common in lease agreements that tenants may have the right to withhold rent payments, with written notice, if the AC stops functioning and goes without being fixed for seven days. It is crucial to repair the AC in a timely manner to avoid conflict and a bad relationship with the tenant. As a property owner, you must provide a comfortable living environment to ensure your tenants’ well-being and keep a good tenant-landlord relationship.

In-Unit Washer and Dryer

Providing tenants with a washer and dryer is not a requirement in Florida either, but it is also highly recommended. An in-unit washer and dryer provide convenience and comfortable living, and most tenants will expect it. Missing appliances like a washer and dryer may be a deal breaker for some tenants, steering them away from your property and choosing one that does have them in the unit.

Option To Have a Pet

As a rental property owner, you might ask yourself, “Should I allow Pets in my rental property?“. Well, did you know more than 70% of Renters nationwide own a pet? Pretty surprising, right? The American Pet Products Association (APPA) reports that 68% of all U.S. households own a pet, equating to 89 million dogs and 94 million cats. In addition, according to Pawlicy, 56% of all Florida households own a pet. That’s a lot of furry friends and pet owners who need a “roof” over their heads.

Most pet owners looking to relocate will not sacrifice their pets to live in a pet-free rental property. People consider their pets family, and it is important to acknowledge that as a rental property owner. Accepting pets in your house may be a personal conflict if you are not an animal person, however, you must recognize potential tenants’ preferences and loyalty to their pets. Some renters may not have a pet when they move in but are looking to get one; these people will find comfort in the option to have one if they choose to do so.

Along with a larger tenant prospect pool and increased tenant retention and satisfaction, rental property owners who allow pets will likely earn more money than those who do not. For example, our Orlando property management clients receive an additional pet rent of $25.00 per pet for Pet Rent. Tenants also expect to pay higher rental rates for pet-friendly single-family home rentals.

Parking

Parking can be a primary concern in a city like Orlando, where only some things are within walking distance. A rental home that does not come with enough parking space will be a deterrent for tenants who have one or more cars. Competing for parking will be difficult and may even cause conflict. 

If a tenant is paying rent, they want to know there will be somewhere to park whenever necessary. According to PadSplit, Additional parking spaces will be highly beneficial and increase your rental income and property value in the long run.

In conclusion, property managers must adapt to the changing preferences of renters. Buildium’s research highlights the importance of understanding current trends. Renters prioritize safe neighborhoods, seeking quieter residential areas. When considering Orlando, a popular tourist destination, it’s crucial to research crime rates in specific neighborhoods. 

To meet renter expectations, amenities like air conditioning and in-unit washer and dryer have become essential. Additionally, allowing pets in rental properties can significantly expand the potential tenant pool and increase tenant satisfaction and retention. Lastly, addressing parking concerns is vital in a city like Orlando to provide convenience for tenants.

Orlando Property Manager Summary 

By staying informed about evolving renter preferences and catering to their needs, property managers can ensure the success and profitability of their rental properties in the Orlando rental market.

At The Listing Real Estate Management, we can ensure that renters’ preferences are top of mind for our property managers. When advising a client or potential tenant on a location decision, we consider the current trends in renter preferences and how preferences could evolve. Our expertise can significantly help you whether you are a first-time property investor, potential renter, or seasoned investor.

Contact us at The Listing Real Estate Management, your boutique property manager, if you are looking for a property manager who can assist you in making a sound and profitable investment decision in the Orlando area.

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