What Tenants Want | A Guide for Property Managers

Learn what tenants want with this guide for property managers from Woodard Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis, Mo.

Whether you’re an apartment manager, property manager, or landlord, you've more than likely found yourself wondering, “what do tenants want?” We've done a bit of research, and found the top factors tenants take into consideration when renting a housing unit– we think the results may shock you a bit! Read on to learn more about what tenants want and the top five items renters look for before signing a lease.

Curb Appeal

What’s the first impression your building or units give off? If nothing immediately comes to mind, take a minute to really examine the exterior of the structure as you’re leaving the office today. Do your units give off a warm and welcoming feel, or do they look cold and generalized? Is anything visibly broken on your building, or in dire need of updating? If so, you may want to call on a professional to give the building a facelift. If the exterior of your space looks like a place you’d be happy (and proud) to call home, then give yourself a pat on the back – you've got the right idea!

Common Grounds

Not only do renters take pride in the appearance of their individual housing unit, but apparently they are just as concerned with the appearance of common areas as well. Think of it this way: would you eat at a restaurant with dirty tables and broken chairs, simply because the food was good? You might – but you wouldn't be happy about it, and you certainly wouldn't brag about it to your friends! The same rationale applies to common grounds at housing complexes. The upkeep of fitness centers, lobbies, hallways, and stairwells communicate a lot about how the management team views maintenance. Keep in mind, renters want to do more than occupy a space in your facility – they want to feel at home.

Security & Ample Parking

Consider this: more than 80% of a prospective tenant’s decision is made before they set foot inside your facility. If they get winded walking to the leasing office or have to park in a back-alley, you may want to reconsider your parking situation. Parking lots should be easily accessible, and feature more spaces than units to accommodate guests. Additionally, parking lots should be safe and secure. If you would worry about the safety of your vehicle if left overnight in your building’s parking lot, ask yourself why. You may want to consider installing a few surveillance cameras or bring security guards to patrol the area on a regular basis. Trust us - your renters will thank you for it!

Overall Apartment Appeal

When factoring in the overall appeal of the apartment, this includes the impression that the unit itself leaves behind. Obviously, units that are professionally cleaned, well maintained, modern, and feature fully-functional appliances leave behind a better impression than units that are not. While typical best practice is to have a unit in the building specifically designated for showings and viewings, capacity doesn't always allow for this. If you’re at maximum capacity, consider offering a long-time renter (with a well maintained apartment) a discount if they allow you to show their apartment to potential tenants. Generally speaking, a potential tenant needs to get the impression that the landlord cares about the quality of their living situation – without that, it’ll be awfully hard to get a signature.


Amenities include everything from stainless steel appliances and ample closet space to on-site walking trails and covered parking. With easily accessible amenities in your units, building, and local surroundings, the chances of a tenant renewing their lease greatly increases. If you've been tossing around the idea of adding some extra amenities to your facility, go for it; go green with your amenities for an added bonus! Enhancing the amenities at your facility is a great tactic for attracting new renters and keeps valuable tenants.