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Latest essentials for rental properties since the pandemic examined by Upperkey
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Latest essentials for rental properties since the pandemic examined by Upperkey

There are several established routes to maximising revenue when it comes to making the most of rental properties. Every landlord and property manager would love to charge as high a rental fee as possible or is appropriate for their buildings and apartments.

To add an extra layer of marketability and desire, properties must have something unique and exclusive to charge a top-line figure. It’s often down to size, location, the quality of the fixtures, fittings, finishes, and furnishings, and the array of features we’ve become accustomed to while searching out equivalent 5-star stays.

By adding the appropriate elements and features to a property, it offers more value to its tenants. As well as increasing the financial value of the lease, it also makes the property far more attractive to the kinds of tenants you’d ideally love to place. If those ideal tenants can’t fault what’s on offer, who’s to say they won’t extend their stays in their new home-from-homes, further adding to the all-important profit?

UpperKey—the PropTech specialists and iRenters—have been monitoring the change in expectations through COVID

UpperKey operates as the original and first iRenter in London, managing high-end properties throughout most European capital cities, and is now breaking the US with its PropTech system and service.

As a digital property management and hospitality specialist, COVID wasn’t just something to contend with but to learn from.

CEO Johan Hajji, is no stranger to a crisis, having cut his teeth through the Subprime Crisis of 2008. As an engineer turned asset manager, he grew into corporate finance, utilising digital engineering methods to combat traditional process issues.

Through hard work and skilful application, UpperKey has become a thriving entity in PropTech and iRenting.

“We’ve made countless adjustments and upgrades to our process over time, including artificial intelligence and digital technology to streamline and simplify our product. It makes life easier for our teams and our tenants. With COVID forcing many businesses out of their comfort zones to seek out new ways of doing business, the whole industry has had to take the kind of steps we were leading the market with. It was a case of keep up or close your doors. Many had to close. We used our time to move into new domains and enhance our practices even further.”

Lifestyle ‘musts’ and consumer needs dictate the new layout of living spaces since COVID-19

 

“We provide apartments and properties for all kinds of tenants, always in high-quality, beautiful apartments. Whether our tenants are corporate business consultants or leisure tourists, the typical needs of the modern traveller have increased dramatically.”

Living in the biggest breakthrough era for technology, we all demand more. When renting a place to stay in another corner of the world, we now expect the same level of simplicity, functionality, and operation as we enjoy at home.

While technology takes the lead, designing a space to work for the modern traveller is just as essential

The standard common-sense solutions like wooden flooring over easy-wearing and soon-blemished carpets, simple neutral colours, a powerful shower and a spacious tub still stand. Yet, now, given the extended periods we’ve all spent working, playing, eating, and entertaining ourselves at home, what we expect from our living spaces has boomed.

Now, it’s a must to include the ‘what were once luxuries but now necessities’ into each perfect home-from-home to really make a rental property pop.

So, what do you need to keep those top-level corporates, the fussiest families, and tech-connected Millennials and Gen Z’ers happy?

High-performance Wi-Fi

We expect Wi-Fi from almost every holiday stay, whatever the location or level—if it’s a private suite, hotel room, or B&B. When it comes to the modern traveller, Wi-Fi isn’t merely a benefit but essential, and the reliability and speed match that of their home and office. Why? Because your rental apartment has become both home and office for many of your lessees.

The pandemic forced masses of employees, managers, and teams into remote working, and what we learned from the experience was that it was good!

It was a truly hands-on way to test a nervous bunch of business owners and managers and their emergency systems. It turns out it didn’t just help get them through; many businesses thrived, staff embraced the change, and it’s changing how we’re likely to operate moving forward.

All work and no digital play makes i-Jack a dull boy

Remote working has broadened its base far wider than the sales staff and consultants who regularly travel to meet commitments. Now, with remote working a truly viable option, staff members are switching locations and lifestyles to incorporate working from home—or wherever they land.

Working and playing in one environment means that each property’s Wi-Fi has to work flawlessly to cover every need. That’s having the highest success rates of getting online and staying online as possible, with all the bandwidth, speed, security, and connectivity you can muster.

Oh, and with all those devices to support, it’s worth including plenty of USB charging points throughout the sockets of your tech-soaked property.

A dedicated work-from-home space

Okay, you’ve sourced and installed your indestructible and secure Wi-Fi connection, but where will your tenant work? They won’t expect to manage their business from a dining table or sitting on the sofa. Instead, the modern tenant needs a dedicated workspace with the room and freedom to function.

Being able to separate the working space from leisure and living areas has huge psychological advantages for homeworkers. If they can’t make the differentiation, it’s harder to shake off the working day; a combined space will nag them of all the things they usually forget the minute they leave the office.

We see apartments with multiple bedrooms converting such a space into a dedicated office or work environment. Depending on the type of client you’re hoping to attract, it can include printers, projectors, spare screens, and any other tech to make online conferencing, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom events easier to implement.

A fully equipped kitchen and dining area

Once upon a time, the typical traveller or tourist enjoyed the chance to dine out at every opportunity. With a switch to suites and spacious accommodation over cramped hotel rooms, tenants now expect a space where they can cook and cater for themselves exactly as they would at home. That includes a dining area big enough to seat the full family, an array of guests, corporate partners or work teams.

Staying in—in your luxury rental—is the new going out, and that means having a kitchen and dining experience that includes everything any competent cook needs. They’ll expect a roomy fridge and freezer, a dishwasher, plenty of oven space, a microwave, food processor, mixer, juicer, blender, slow cooker, air fryer, and anything else that may enhance their experience. What about a water purifier? An ice maker? A cocktail machine or hot pot? And if you can hook them all up to a smart home app—all the better.

One final point—in our caffeine culture society, a jar of Nescafe left in the welcome basket won’t cut it in anyone’s book anymore. At the minimum, a high-street coffee pod machine should take its place, but an espresso option would be far more fitting in your ‘essentials’ environment.

Entertainment systems – including Smart TV with Netflix, etc.

When you finally flop down at the end of the day, you’ve got your favourite channels and platforms ready and waiting to help you unwind. Whether you’re a news junky, hooked on the soaps, reality TV, or you need the latest episodes of Netflix’ biggest titles, your rental has to cover it.

So, for your tenants’ home-from-home, they’ll need a suitably sized smart TV or a home cinema system to soak up all that entertainment; a Bluetooth music system to connect their Spotify or Apple Music playlists, as well as additional speakers in the bathroom and bedroom.

See Also

None of us seems to function without access to Amazon PrimeYouTubeNetflix, and Disney+ these days, so make sure your systems incorporate the apps and device connectivity that your tenants need to view them.

If they’re gamers, again, that unbreakable super-speed Wi-Fi is going to be at the top of their list, and they’re probably going to need a few more screens in other rooms.

With Millenial and Gen Z travellers making up a high percentage of modern tenants, using wireless and app-controlled systems managed from their phones will feel more attractive and beneficial to them.

Home fitness equipment

Given all we were allowed to do during the earlier lockdown periods was work, walk, run, or boost Netflix’s massive subscription numbers, exercise made a resurgence into our home lives. With gyms closed and left to our own devices, we got used to keeping fit closer to home—and often, in it.

If you can add a small home gym or exercise option, for example, sliding a rowing machine under the bed in the guest bedroom or installing a Peleton if you’ve got the luxury of space to play with, it could make all the difference.

Pet-friendly

The final feature from our list of new needs is to do with our furry family members. With more travellers relocating for longer spells, we’re more likely to take our pets with us. With a surge in newly acquired pets through lockdown, rental properties have seen a spike in demand for rentals that allow and cater for pets.

You’ll be able to charge more for a pet-friendly facility, yet it would be worth looking into your insurance cover to see what kind of impact accidental pet damage will have on your budget.

If you’re going down the pet-friendly route, make sure your contracts reflect it, get rid of any carpets, and avoid light coloured furniture!

Summing up…

We’re only seeing the beginning of the change tenants are likely to expect from their rentals in future. Adding features and facilities will continue to stay competitive over time.

At UpperKey, travellers can find the property that suits their needs, for their family, or their entire tech team.

Upperkey Founders : 

Benoit Lam @benoit__lam

Johan Hajji @HotelMarket20

 



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