Do You Have a Senior-Oriented Property?


Do You Have a Senior-Oriented Property?

Know yourself, and know your target tenant, and you will survive a thousand rentals.

While it’s true that seniors are more likely to own than rent at present, that trend may be changing. Estimates are that there will be some 2.2 million more senior renters by the end of the decade as the Baby Boomers age through — they’ll account for over half of overall rental growth according to a report by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

That means that attentive property managers should be thinking about the needs of this demographic. If you intend to market your property to senior renters, you’re going to have to advertise a little differently.

Emphasize Sustainability
Boomers are concerned about the Earth, and about how their life affects their environment — but they’re also largely concerned with how their environment affects their life. If you emphasize the health and environmental advantages of your property — along with the beneficial impact that has on utility prices — you can get their attention piqued.

Emphasize Community
If you have common rooms, emphasize the fact that they’re open for use by seniors’ friends and family as well as the residents themselves. This may mean you need to control access or have some form of oversight on-hand. Also, arranging the interior design of common spaces to encourage chatting and make for easy mobility will generate chances for residents to socialize with neighbors as well.

Allow for Aging in Place
As people are starting to live well past 65 without losing their get-up-and-go, there’s a grey area in the aging process that may last from a few months to several years, in which a senior can live semi-independently. To accommodate that, properties have been found renovating their bathrooms to make them larger and less slippery, replacing windows that require finger strength to unlock or open with more arthritis-friendly versions, and otherwise giving a senior every opportunity to continue living there (until such time as they require help with dressing, toileting, and so on.)

Get Positive about Seniors!
There’s a lot of negative stigma associated with ‘senior housing’. By offering a property that doesn’t come with the ‘ew’ of a nursing home but still caters to seniors’ basic needs, you can take advantage of that instinct. A vibrant, congenial ambiance can play up that effect as well, coming in direct contrast to the clinical sterility of your typical institution.

If the residents feel like your property has been designed to meet the needs of an active, forward-thinking population, you’ve won.

Consider Going Multigenerational
Multigenerational rental complexes offer the same kinds of amenities that make senior renters happy — but they allow renters of all ages to rent there. Most often, they have several buildings and reserve one or a few for senior renters, while the others are open. This kind of arrangement is somewhat new on the market, but it offers significant advantages. Seniors, as it turns out, don’t actually like being segregated because of their age, and as long as they have access to the amenities that are important to them, many appreciated being able to be close to other people — even younger ones.

With just a little attention, a senior-oriented property can be a significant asset. Just keep your eyes on what they want and don’t fall for the stereotypes, and you can profit from the aging of America.

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