There are different things tenants look for in a rental -- affordability, convenience, and amenities, to name a few. But here's another aspect that tends to rank high on tenants' lists: safety.
If your goal is to attract a steady stream of tenants to your building, then you may need to prepare to invest in safety features that will help the people who live there feel more secure. Here are a few to put on your list.
1. Exterior lighting
Proper lighting could be just the thing that prevents falls around your property. Not only does that protect you from liability but it's something that can also make your tenants feel safer. Solid lighting makes it less appealing for criminals to attempt to access your building, and that's a good way to deter theft.
2. Security cameras
Some tenants actually don't like the idea of security cameras on the premises because they feel they're being monitored. But you may be surprised at how many tenants appreciate that added layer of protection. If you make it clear that you have a security system in place, criminals may be less likely to target your building. Security cameras may also appeal to single renters, parents with young children, and seniors who choose to reside in your building.
3. A doorman
A doorman isn't just there to funnel food delivery orders, collect packages, and alert residents as to when their guests have arrived. A doorman can also stop intruders from entering the building. And also, the presence of a person manning the entryway could serve as a source of comfort for renters who work late hours and don't like the idea of fiddling with their keys alone in a lobby.
4. Window locks and guards
In some areas, and under certain circumstances, window locks or guards are mandatory. For example, landlords are often required to install them when there's a child 10 years old or younger living in a unit. But the reality is that window guards and locks are safer for everyone involved, and they're also a good way to deter thieves. Keep in mind that residents of higher floors aren't necessarily immune to break-ins given that those units often have fireplace access.
5. Electronic locks
Your tenants need a way to access not just their individual units but your building in general. But rather than stick to traditional locks, it pays to invest in electronic locks -- ones that can be opened using a code rather than a key. That way, tenants won't risk getting locked out of their homes when they drop their keys or lose their handbags. Furthermore, with electronic locks, tenants won't have to worry about criminals following them home, stealing their keys, and causing a world of damage.
The more secure your building is, the easier a time you're likely to have filling up the apartments you have available for rent. Added security features can also help make the case for charging a premium, the same way you'll generally get away with higher rent if your building is loaded with amenities, like a swimming pool or gym.
If you're not sure which safety features are most important in your area, talk to fellow local landlords and survey your current tenants. That way, you can really put your money to work.