Whether you're building a new apartment complex or have purchased an existing one, how you landscape it can go a long way toward making it appealing to renters. So, how can you maximize your landscape design to help keep good renters? Here is a handy guide.
Know Your Renters. First, consider what types of renters are your most common tenant pool. Is it families? Couples and singles who work extensively off-site? Is it retired persons? Looking at renter trends in the area and knowing your own marketing strategies should help you identify the types of people you want to appeal to. Then, you can begin to tailor your design to their interests and needs. If you have a lot of elderly renters, for example, you'd likely want to keep elevation changes to a minimum and make amenities or parking easily accessible. Families? Be sure you plan for hardy plants and grasses that can withstand trampling of children or pets having a good time.
Plan Amenities. With the knowledge of your renters' needs in hand, consider what people like them are looking for in their recreational time. Many single and young professional renters want outdoor entertainment spaces these days. At a minimum, this means offering outdoor grills or barbecue areas with plenty of built-in places to sit and eat. How about a round fire pit with simple and a low-maintenance seating area around it? You may also want to plan other amenities that appeal to various groups: a private dog park, individual garden plots, or an outdoor meeting space that can be rented.
Keep It Low Maintenance. While thinking about what will make tenants happy, don't forget to consider your own happiness. For most landlords, this means keeping the landscape service bill low and the effort needed minimal. Look for ways to landscape with native plants and shrubs to decrease water needs, and try to incorporate perennial plants in the design so that you aren't replacing all your color each year. Choose highly tolerant trees, such as varieties of myrtle or magnolia, if your weather changes regularly. Containers provide an easy way to add color to the space without adding unnecessary maintenance. Include lots of walkways so that tenants and guests don't walk all over your grass, and make those walkways well-lit all year round (try solar lighting for even less cost).
By following these few guidelines, you and a landscape designer like Elite Concrete Landscaping & Masonry can create a great space both for your renters and for you.