The United Arab Emirates’ two biggest territories – Dubai and Abu Dhabi – attract so many expatriates looking to start anew in the city-states. This means that there are plenty of people looking for housing in the country, either permanently or temporarily.
This fact didn’t go unnoticed for long as more and more investors decided to dive into the property investment business to take a bite of this growing market. This means that the competition has become stiffer than ever, so you need to up your game to draw potential long-term tenants towards your rental property.
A wise investor once said, “Every dollar spent must justify itself.” Aside from the money you shell out for Dubai real estate to procure the income property itself, you must also weigh your options regarding added features and amenities.
Choose those that are worth the extra expense based on the following factors:
Higher average rental rate
Better “quality” tenants
To ensure that the investments you’re making are wise, here are eight of the most in-demand rental property features and amenities that many renters are looking for:
1. Outdoor Areas
In terms of outdoor spaces for rental properties, something is always better than nothing. While many renters like the idea of having indoor pools and fitness studios like what most apartment complexes have, a bigger population prefers areas that are actually located outside.
With many properties in city centers in the UAE located inside high-rise buildings, it is still possible to achieve this. How? Think patios, balconies, decks, and fenced-in yards.
2. Open Floor Plan
Whether they admit it or not, most tenants want as much space as they can get for the amount they can afford. If you cannot do anything about your rental property’s available floor area, you can choose to open up the floor plan to make it seem bigger than it actually is.
Choose properties without walls that separate rooms to make the flow more natural. A perfect example of this is an undivided living room and kitchen space. Many people believe that a floor plan like this enables you to better entertain guests as it extends the common area to where the food is prepared.
Parking is incredibly vital in a rental property, especially when it comes to attracting good tenants. Off-street parking is quite desirable because of the security it offers, not to mention the convenience of not having to walk far to get to the vehicle.
It will still depend on the location of your rental property, though. For instance, off-street parking is a bit more readily available for townhouses in suburban areas, while apartment complexes may have a common parking area within the building.
Of course, tenants will still prefer a property with a place to park in, even if it’s on the street, rather than having nowhere to park at all. Parking can be a bigger issue in more urbanized locations, so you should try to arrange for an alternative parking space in a nearby parking garage. However, parking more than five blocks away from your property could become a deal-breaker.
4. Free Internet
In this wired world, the Internet has become an amenity that most renters look for in a rental property. This is why offering free wireless Internet can help you attract more tenants and potentially boost your property’s rent value.
Plus, Wi-Fi is more affordable than other marketability-boosting features. With plenty of companies offering low monthly rates and cost-effective connectivity packages, you can easily have the Internet installed and, ultimately, fill in the vacancies a lot more quickly.
5. Centralized Air-Conditioning and Heating Features
Porch, a peer-to-peer home improvement network, talked to at least 1,000 people to determine what they value most in rental properties, and discovered several home amenities people can’t do without. Topping the list are air-conditioning and heating features, taking a whopping 79 percent share of the survey pie chart.
This isn’t surprising, though, considering that centralized air-conditioning and heating means better and more comfortable living. After all, who will shy away from a comfortable house?
Plus, it can also mean lower utility bills and less effort on the part of the tenant as they no longer need to install one upon moving.
6. “Smart” Updates
It is no secret that home updates raise the value of a real estate property, but did you know that they can also make a residential space for rent more appealing to tenants?
Smart features are particularly alluring to millennial tenants who love technology.
With the Internet of Things, devices can communicate with each other. From home security systems to temperature controls and motion-activated lights, having “smart” updates in your rental property means the technology can make your tenants’ lives easier.
And, like comfort, this is something people are willing to pay extra for.
7. Storage Space
Everyone needs to have somewhere to put their things in, be it clothing, holiday ornaments, or even a vacuum. This means that the need for enough storage space is another top amenity tenants would be seeking out in a rental property.
If your unit doesn’t already have adequate storage, consider adding another closet or some built-in cabinets in the bedrooms and kitchen. Simple hooks on otherwise unused corners could also work.
Remember that a relatively small room with a large closet is better than a big room with just a single, tiny dresser. If possible, add walk-in closets to impress potential tenants.
8. Safety and Security
Most people don’t take security lightly, so be sure to offer something to ease potential renters’ minds when advertising your rental unit. At the very least, reassure them that the locks are always changed during tenant transitions, and follow through with this promise.
It would also be best to install proper outdoor lighting around the property, wooden dowels for sliding glass doors, and deadbolt locks to reinforce potential entryways. Having an alarm system is also a welcome addition, or you can allow the tenant to add one if he wants to.
Boost Your Rental’s Appeal in the Market
Your real estate investment success depends on the property’s value, condition, location, and amenities. Make sure that you optimize the things you can control in a way that appeals to tenants, starting with the in-demand features listed in this article.