According to an Upwork study covered by NPR, the United States is about to see an influx of 14-23 million remote workers. Turns out there were a ton of people staying in their cities because of their proximity to their employment. Now that COVID-19 has proven people are fully capable of remote work (and it’s much cheaper for their employers), the U.S. is expecting the work from home trend will hold, and subsequently, preparing for a mass moving event.
Because I help my clients find investment properties in Colorado Springs and Denver (two locations that have always been attractive to nomads), we have already been catering to the remote workers and singing their praises for a few years now.
What I predict will be called the “remote worker rental model” in the future is currently being called the “medium-term rental model” or “subletting” or, in some cases, “house-hacking” and “rent by the room.” While there can be some variants on this, the basics of it are a furnished, 30-plus-day rental.
As we’ve had a lot of experience and a lot of success with this type of model, it’s my opinion everyone should consider this a very large and very lucrative future renter pool. And if you believe me on that, then you should also consider ways to cater to these people.
For that reason, here are my top five things remote workers want in their rentals.
1. Smaller or Larger Units
Know thy audience. Small units cater to people who can move around easily and have disposable income, and that’s more often than not single people or childless couples. These types do not want to pay for a large house, lawn watering costs, a big garage, etc.
They are going to be focused on studios, one- to three-bedroom condos, and small single-family homes. (I’m including up to three bedrooms because it seems couples may both want their own office, and they may have visitors while they stay at your place.)
Those that are searching for a larger unit are generally tired of their limited space in their current home. Perhaps they need a yard to stretch their legs and let their child or go play in. Some residents are searching for a separate office space to lock their work from home environment away after 5:00 PM.
People that do not have kids but do have money usually have fur babies. I know, because I’m one of them. Her name is Aria, she is a German Shepherd, and she runs the house. She would be a major consideration for me if I were going to travel for a month somewhere, and knowing she would be welcomed would elevate a potential rental for me.
Don't overthink this one: You don't have to have a doggy door or a yard or eight different leashes, you just need a lease that allows for pets.
3. Good Wifi
This one is pretty basic. Save yourself some headaches and pay for the really good wifi. This will help you avoid calls and tension between you and your tenant during their stay. Also, if you are catering to this crowd, it makes total sense they consider this a must.
Turns out a lot of remote workers bring cars and need parking. One parking spot is all you need. If you live in a city and have two spots, I’d recommend renting out the second spot to a different party—I just don’t think most remote workers will need more than one spot.
5. Office “Stuff”
This is something that I personally believe will photograph well and make your rental listing more attractive. It can be as simple as a cute shelving unit or a rolling cart, but make sure your rental has Android and iPhone chargers, a Macbook charger, Post-It notes, notebooks, pens, a stapler, scissors, and a corkboard.
These are not deal-breakers, but they are perks, and as someone that has worked from home for the past four years, I can attest that you do occasionally use these things and they are nice to have on hand.
Trust me: Get to know this tenant pool. They have been a significant portion of renters for a while now and we have every reason to believe this will increase.