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6 features tenants look for first

Date Posted: Feb, 2016

By Rich Harvey, CEO, propertybuyer.com.au

When you're buying investment property in Sydney, there's so much to take in – including tenants' tastes. If you don't have a home that appeals to renters, the dream of positive cashflow property could be a little more difficult than if you keep them in mind.

But in 2016, what exactly do tenants want?

Tenants have their eyes on technology in 2016. Tenants have their eyes on technology in 2016.

Technology

Recently, McCrindle compiled survey results for Optus which dissected the attitudes and desires of Australian tenants. While a pet-friendly rental property was the most sought-after lifestyle feature, three of the top five results pertained to technology:

  • The number of power points in a property
  • Having a strong internet connection
  • Health mobile phone signals

Some quick renovations and picking a home that perhaps is soon to be (or already is) connected to the National Broadband Network could be ideal for attracting people to rent out an investment property.

Cooling

This is especially important over summer and autumn, when homes tend to overheat. Implementing air conditioning can make an investment property a hot piece of real estate for renters, even more so than fans or passive cooling design.

The ability to control the temperature with an air-con unit is something that many renters will pay a premium for. If installation costs and noise will work with your real estate, it's something to think about installing.

Security

Sydney's night life might not be as bustling since lock-out laws were introduced, but people still want security in central city residential areas. Internal entry to a unit rather than a door that faces the street, swipe card security and privacy can all factor into this.

If you're looking at investing in an inner-city apartment or perhaps a prestige unit in the eastern suburbs, look at the security features. Would you feel safe living there? If not, then perhaps tenants won't either. 

Bondi is an area targeted by many, many renters.Bondi is an area targeted by many, many renters.

Lifestyle areas

Most people, especially younger people, won't be able to afford to buy property in popular lifestyle areas like Bondi. That's why so many people rent here – 2011 Census data shows that 54.2 per cent of Bondi's population were tenants. 

Even if you pay a premium to secure an investment property in Sydney's eastern suburbs, tenant demand for it is likely to be high simply because of it's location. This is something to always factor in when you're working on a positive cashflow strategy

Car space

Parking can add as much as $100,000 to a property's value.

As of 2011, only 12.1 per cent of Greater Sydney households didn't have a car. If you're buying rental real estate here, especially in an area without adequate public transport infrastructure, then parking space is going to be a must. 

It's also a great way to add value as an investor. In Melbourne, Real Estate Institute of Victoria CEO Enzo Raimondo noted last year that parking can add as much as $100,000 to a property's value. 

Pet-friendliness

This was the most sought-after lifestyle feature among Australian renters, according to the McCrindle report. This could mean having backyard space for a cat or dog, the appropriate entrances and exits, or simply advertising that pets are welcome at a house.

RSPCA Australia reports that 63 per cent of households in the nation have a pet of some kind. As a property investor, opening up a home to these animals could see you greatly boost your tenant audience. 

Know the market

Understanding which tenants want to live in specific areas of Sydney and what they want in a property gets you ahead when it comes to positive cashflow property. As for finding the right real estate, a buyers' agent can be your key to unlocking the investment market. We know which homes will provide good yield, which ones will be in high demand and how they fit into your strategy.