Design is key to attracting savvy baby boomers | Think about real estate

Baby boomers are expected to drive the SFR build-to-rent trend for several years as they retire, move to warmer climates and demand high-end luxuries. of range.

It has been well documented that the single family rental (SFR) industry has had a booming period lately. Today, SFRs account for about 6% of all new homes built in the United States. This number is expected to double in the next 10 years.

Wall Street takes notice and pumps more money into the sector, creating intense competition for tenants. Anyone who wants to win in the SFR space must have something that sets them apart from all the players entering the fray. One of the biggest differentiators is interior design.

Paying close attention to design can pay dividends, whether it’s creating a stacked stone fireplace to enhance the ambiance of a family room or choosing a granite or quartz countertop to create a dream kitchen. .

Another reason to pay attention to design is that more and more retired baby boomers are entering the SFR market. They will stimulate the demand for high-end luxury goods.

Go upmarket SFR

The biggest change going on in the SFR industry is catering to high-end tastes. Several SFR operators are offering SFR houses under construction-rental to meet this emerging demand. These homes will be larger and located in more affluent postcodes. Bigger spaces and high-end finishes will mean higher rents, likely between $2,500 and $4,000.

If you are going to ask for a higher rent, you have to deliver a truly exceptional property. Here are some of the design elements that will help you stand out from the competition.

Family rooms

Most clients demand more open floor plans with sight lines from the kitchen to the family room, creating a greater sense of unity. They also spend most of their waking time in these two rooms. It is essential that they offer a mixture of comfort and luxury.

In a family room, it all starts with the fireplace. The fireplace is often the focal point of the room and should set the tone for the overall design. Stacked stone fireplaces create a warm ambiance, adding to the overall aesthetic and comfort of the room. Wood floors or high-end engineered wood floors are also a nice feature for families with kids and pets.

Kitchen and bathroom

Most real estate agents will tell you that the kitchen and bathroom can make or break a sale. It’s no different for SFR households. In the kitchen, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, tile backsplashes, 42-inch cabinets, and recessed lighting are popular. Beautiful kitchens are aesthetically important, but kitchens should also be functional. Design kitchens so tenants can prepare meals in a space that would make Gordon Ramsay proud!

In bathrooms, tenants are looking for fully tiled showers and tubs, high-end fixtures in the sink, and recessed ceiling lighting.

The outdoors matters too

The ability for more people to work from home has created demand for rental housing in suburban and even rural areas. More and more families are looking for these high-end rental accommodations and often make decisions with their children in mind. These families are looking for larger lots with room for children and pets to run and play.

What awaits us?

The SFR build-to-rent market continues to evolve at a sustained pace. It is no longer considered a “fast fashion”. Today, and probably for the next few years, developers are expanding into well-established and planned large-scale developments. Baby boomers are expected to drive the trend for several years as they retire, move to warmer climates and demand high-end luxury goods. Investors, developers, and builders who pay attention to design details will win in the end.


Bruce McNeilage is CEO and co-founder of Kinloch Partners and partner at Harpeth Development. A passionate advocate for housing affordability and home ownership, he invests heavily in Nashville, TN, and throughout the Southeast. Learn more about his projects, including single-family built-to-let communities and the Solo East and North condominium projects at www.Kinlochpartners.net.


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