Most apartment communities market to millennials, families, or middle-aged Americans. The one demographic that is often left out is the 55+ crowd. However, seniors need a place to live, too. Now, if you want to appeal to these renters, one thing that you need to know is that they are diverse, though there are a few things that they have in common, including what they prefer in their living spaces.
As seniors get older, they are looking for a place to call home that is easily accessible and easy to navigate. They don't want something that has a long driveway or unlevel sidewalks. To ensure that your property is appealing to the 55+ crowd, here are a few tips:
- Keep parking close to the apartment entrance.
- Make sure that sidewalks are as level as possible.
- Avoid raised decks; outdoor patios should be level with the connecting interior room.
- Consider widening doorways for some apartments so that wheelchairs/walkers can fit through.
- Install ADA-compliant ramps where the space allows, which will attract disabled residents of any age and seniors looking to age in place.
2. Inclusive Rent
Many older Americans are not looking to have multiple bills to pay each month. Instead, they prefer to have all of their bills lumped into a single payment: their rent. This may be because their deceased spouse used to manage the budget and they don't have the best financial skills, or they just want one less thing to have to worry about in their old age.
So, they are looking for somewhere they can rent where their rent includes all the utilities, such as electricity and/or gas, water, cable/internet, trash pickup, laundry, yard work, etc. If you can't include all of this in the rent, try to include as much as you can to appeal to the 55+ demographic.
3. Better Lighting
The older you get, the harder it becomes to see well, especially at night. While enhanced lighting is definitely a preference for older people, it is also a safety measure. Make sure that you have motion-sensor lights installed around entryways, driveways, and any other common areas. These types of lights will ensure that an older individual can make their way in the dark without fumbling and potentially hurting themselves.
Inside the apartment, ensure there are plenty of light switches that reduce the overall length and number of trips necessary to turn lights on and off. For example, consider having a light switch at both ends of a hallway and at varying locations in a room (living room, bedroom, etc.).
For additional ideas on how to attract the 55+ rental crowd to your apartment community, consider talking to a professional property management company.