Early on as a landlord I figured it was wise to join in with other professionals in the same industry. You can get a lot of feedback on ideas you might want to implement by talking to your peers in the business. Plus, you can monitor national trends to see what is changing. This can get you in on a new revenue stream long before other landlords take the plunge. As a member of the National Apartment Association I read a lot about leasing to the younger generations of professionals who had pets. A lot of them telecommute, and they are home much more than the tenants from decades ago who worked in the manufacturing industry that used to be in our area.
I learned a lot from the associations and other things I have joined that are related to renting real estate. Enough to be confident in financing an apartment complex with three buildings and 150 units. We have two swimming pools, a very large dog park that we call a Bark Park, and we have an extensive outdoor play area for children that is secured with a fence and built to exacting playground standards. We added things in the apartments such as stainless steel appliances and a full-size washer and dryer in every unit. Our tenants really like it that there is no need to buy or rent any appliances, and they have granite countertops and a washer and dryer. It makes our apartments very attractive to young professionals who want a place to live that is easy to move into and out of.
People are much more mobile now than they used to be. We have tenants who come and go on a regular basis, and we have tenants who have lived in the same apartment for years. Our new apartment complex caters to both groups. We offer six-month leases for oil and gas industry workers and their families, and that is working out well for us. We rarely have a unit stay empty for more than a couple of days.