We all know that curb appeal is important to attract prospective buyers and renters to your property. But what one typically thinks of as being effective curb appeal may no longer be as valuable.
Traditionally, in order to create the most marketable curb appeal was to have the landscaping and interior of the property as clean as possible without any clutter. The more space a property had the better.
While those things still hold water in many markets, the newer generations of renters in college or beginning their first try at the real world, desire technology and technological accessibility.
The article, “Wanted To Rent: Technology-Friendly Apartments, ” written by Broderick Perkins and published February 28, 2007 in Realty Times, explains how Internet hookups and good cell phone reception are become a more important quality for today’s renter than a cascading water fountain in the front of the property.
“More and more often renters want a wireless community just as much as they want a garden community, according to the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) survey of 1,000 renters. ’” “‘In the future, apartment properties may be ‘branded’ as much for the quality of their Internet services as they are today for their curb appeal, ’ said David Cardwell, NMHC's vice president of capital Markets and technology. ”
Other than reliable Internet connection, renters desire good cell phone reception. The landline is becoming a thing of the past but many older apartments are surrounded by concrete or other materials that are not conducive to good cell phone reception. “Emergency planners suggest having one (landline) in case of an emergency that could render cell phones inoperable, but only 58 percent of apartment homes have a landline and only 38 percent consider it their primary phone, the NMHC survey said. ”
More renters live a transient lifestyle, moving one place to another a couple times a year. They are on the go and need a phone that can go with them. Setting up telephone service every time they move is a hassle that does not have to be dealt with using a cell phone. “However, 88 percent of those surveyed (renters) had a mobile phone, compared to 74 percent of all households. ”
But good cell phone reception is not just a luxury anymore; it is now becoming a requirement. Many renters decide to leave their apartment once the lease is up and sometimes even break the lease if the cell phone reception is poor.
“The widespread use of cell phones poses new challenges for apartment owners whose structures block cell reception or are in a particular service provider's dead spot, " said Cardwell. ” Technological curb appeal will continue to become more important to renters as their lives become more dependent on them.
“Virtually all, 94 percent of those surveyed, said they didn't choose their current rental because of technology amenities, but they also said high-speed Internet, good cell phone reception and a choice of service providers could be important factors in selecting their next home. ” If you are a landlord or even just renting out a room, trim the hedges, make sure the walls are painted but also have the rooms ready for Internet access and cable.
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