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3 Ways to Boost Your Property’s Curb Appeal Among Families

3 Ways to Boost Your Property’s Curb Appeal Among Families

As a landlord, you want to build a stable, mature, and inviting community. But how do you separate problem renters from gold-medal tenants before move-in? 

Many landlords use credit and reference checks to sort out less desirable tenants, but marketing properties to families can give landlords a better pool of applicants from which to choose. Family renters want a “home base” from which to raise their children, which means long-term leases, reliable income, and a strong sense of community.

Many landlords have come to recognize the desirability of these tenants, which has led multifamily rental construction to surge in recent years. According to a 2015 study by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, multifamily rentals in 2014 hit their highest level since 1987 — up nearly 260,000 units since 2009. More than 90 percent of multifamily units constructed last year were destined for the rental market.

For multifamily property owners, the competition is heating up for these in-demand tenants. To bring more families into your rental units, you must start by making the property appeal to working parents. 

How to Make Your Apartments Appeal to Families

Renting to families means more than just adding an additional bedroom and bath; it requires considering families’ wants and needs. Here’s how to bring in a lion’s share of these reliable renters:


1. Put the “home” in homework.

When the school bell rings and kids head home for the day, the parents’ work has just begun. They need to help their children complete homework, review missed material, and put the joy in learning.

So while it isn’t property owners’ job to educate, they can attract working parents by taking some of the load off their shoulders. Consider hosting after-school programs and summer activities for children at the property. This could be as simple as hosting a daily after-school game or a book club.


My organization recently helped Columbia Mill Apartments in Atlanta, Georgia, do just that. The apartment manager saw so much success with a weekly children’s reading program, made possible through a Horizon Housing Foundation grant, that he sought a subsequent grant to continue it. If you’re unsure about starting your own reading program, try partnering with local resources like libraries, elementary schools, or churches.

2. Bring back the block party.

Family-friendly communities thrive when neighbors not only know each other, but also watch out and care for one another. When people feel like members of a community, they go the extra mile to take care of the community to which they belong. But if tenants sense tension or unrest in their environment, they will keep to themselves, which can negatively impact the psychological health of whole families.


To prevent seclusion, give children and families safe spaces to play and intermingle. A small park, playground, or covered shelter can make a huge impact when partnered with neighborhood watch associations and community events. Sycamore Hills Apartments in DeSoto, Missouri, knows the value of community and, with my organization’s assistance, offers a garden and an on-site library that are open to all residents.


3. Celebrate your differences.

Great communities welcome diverse voices, passions, and experiences, and they’re richer and more successful for it. It’s no wonder 65 percent of Americans prefer to live in mixed-race communities.


You can bring vibrant cultures to your neighborhood by starting initiatives like international movie or ethnic food nights. Greenspring, a multifamily property in Springfield, Virginia, set a standard of inclusivity by hosting an international night, complete with different nations’ food, dress, and music. The community was blown away by Greenspring’s dedication to diversity.


When looking to fill your next crop of empty units, evaluate the number of families you have living at your property. If you aren’t attracting and retaining families, then you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your neighborhood. Get creative to make your property the place families want to live.

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