Storage Demands Present Opportunity For Rental Spaces in Highly Competitive Markets

Home and apartment rental continues to be a popular trend and is on the rise again in 2017. Of course, renters have numerous options when it comes to what type of living space they ultimately decide on. Individual demographic groups are going to have different demands when it comes to the real estate search.

Whether it’s an apartment, single-family, or multi-family home — location, amenities, size, and security are just a few of the factors that will come into play. But if there’s one thing that each and every renter has in common, it’s that they all need functional spaces to store their stuff.

In a study performed by ClosetMaid, 42% of potential customers said they are willing to pay more in rent for better storage spaces. And for apartments especially, a disadvantage lies in their inherent tendency to be smaller. Therefore, if builders can deliver on functional storage that renters can make practical use of, it may just tip the scale in favor of a signed lease.

Closet spaces are the second most considered home area that respondents are currently interested in purchasing home organization products for, following bedroom spaces.

Building closets into bedrooms and hallways without efficient shelving is no longer acceptable. A simple hang rod in the bedroom closet leaves tenants at a disadvantage in terms of space utilization. Upgrading to a more comprehensive and integrated closet storage system not only gives property owners the edge in a competitive market, but also fulfills a growing demand.

This willingness to pay a slightly higher rent is indicative of a preference for upgraded closets in general, which could be useful for property management companies and developers in highly competitive rental markets. Knowing this can help property owners capitalize on consumer demands, and lease out their units more quickly and effectively.

Improved, updated closets make life for residents easier, and thus make the slight inflation of their rent payments easier to accept. Ultimately, spaces that have built-in storage systems will cost significantly less than renting additional offsite storage units.

Buyers and renters alike all accumulate stuff — and arguably too much of it. So it is imperative to not only offer storage for long-term living arrangements but also in rentals that may only be occupied for a year or two. According to ClosetMaid, nearly 3/4 of responders (current renters) plan to move within the next three years — although 36% are planning to rent again. So deeming rentals as temporary living quarters and treating the storage spaces within as such would be a mistake.

Among the responders surveyed in the ClosetMaid study, for a third of those who are looking to purchase overall home improvement products, closet spaces are one of the most considered areas in the home that they are looking to upgrade. For that reason, it is important for builders and developers to put an emphasis on upgraded closets and shelving during the initial design and building process.

Offering functional closets in rentals is now a top priority for builders and developers. Renters typically look at multiple spaces before making their final decision, so a housing unit with abundant shelving and purposeful closets may just prove to be the winner.

This article originally appeared on Professional Builder.