Brisbane landlords, Brisbane's rental market

What do tenants really want in their rental home?

Successful property investing, like any small business, relies on you having an intimate knowledge of your marketplace. If you own a residential investment in Brisbane’s inner-city we’ve just done a survey you’ll find really valuable, with more than 500 tenants telling us the features in a home they’ll pay more to have. Ranking them in importance. Telling us how they chose their location. What features they won’t pay more to have. This survey is one of the largest ever undertaken of inner-Brisbane tenants, and since we’ve been doing them since 2000 we’ve been able to take a look back at the last 15 years to identify key changes.

We’re all very aware of the large increase in supply of rental homes that’s coming to our inner-city suburbs. Brisbane’s new apartment completions will be at unprecedented levels over the next two years, so investors need to be prepared and ensure their property’s appeal to the tenant market is maximised. Here’s some of the insights from our latest survey with the most highly rated features:

Carparking: Given a list of lots of creature comforts like ensuites and airconditioners to choose from, the top concern for your tenants is a spot for at least one car off-street! Even back in the year 2000 our survey showed 79% rated this as important and in recent surveys (we do them every 2 years) the priority has risen. Carparking is getting harder to find on-street and your tenants are still fairly car-dependent.

Public transport: More than 60% say being close to buses, trains and ferries is essential to their choice of rental home. Says one respondent, “Work location varies and is unpredictable, so close to public transport options is essential.”

High speed internet: In a world that’s more connected online than ever before this mightn’t surprise. Tenants want a big, fat tube at their front door that gives them seamless downloads and this expectation is growing. If your property’s in an area that has access to fibre optics or higher capacity broadband you need your agent to promote the heck out of this in your rental ads! Netflix and other new media are only going to add to this demand (interestingly Foxtel cabling is dropping down the list of desired features).

Outdoor living space: This feature has been in our top 3 since the year 2000. Tenants love a balcony, terrace or other chance to get outside for relaxing and entertaining. Says one tenant, “This is Queensland after all!”

One last thought-starter for you: Writing ads for rental homes is often given short attention in real estate agencies. Tenant do shop on features and they do want easy to read and useful info in the ads. If the property’s close to a bus stop have your agent measure the distance (they can do it on www.translink.com.au). As one tenant said in our survey, “It’s great when this information is in the blurb on the rental ad”. It’s not rocket science but this simple marketing step may be overlooked by your property manager.

Which is more important – airconditioning in the living room or the main bedroom? What value do inner-Brisbane tenants put on storage space? What more can you do to stand out of the crowd with your investment? For the complete survey results, including the features in a home tenants won’t pay more to have, please contact Nathaniel Smith  from our Property Management team on bdm@beesnees.com.au or 07 3214 6899. We’d love to help!