To homeowners and renters across the United States, beautifully designed outdoor living spaces are among the most important features you can offer. In fact, the 2014 study by American Institute of Architects showed that the demand for outdoor living rooms increased by 14 percent between 2012 and 2014. What’s more, a total of 63 percent of participants surveyed said that they wanted an outdoor living space. With that in mind, here are some of the best tips for giving your tenants the outdoor spaces they want.
- Consider the Age Groups Your Properties Attract
One of the best ways to make your properties more attractive to renters is to find ways that make the outdoor spaces work for them. For instance, younger people might like outdoor living spaces that allow them to enjoy various sports or games, or they might want areas that are capable of hosting large groups of friends. Families with children are looking for yard space so that their kids have a place to play, while older people might like room to plant a few vegetables or a nice spot to relax and read a book.
- Make Use of Outdoor Furniture
Trees, shrubs and well-manicured annual and perennial beds are enough to make the landscape look nice, but they aren’t enough to make the landscape enjoyable for everyone. In order to make your landscapes not only beautiful but also easy to use, consider adding outdoor furniture wherever necessary. Covered patios, for instance, could use a grill and picnic tables so that they’re useful as a dining and entertaining space. Another idea is to place benches around the focal points of the landscape so that people have a place to sit and enjoy the views you’ve created.
- Light Up the Landscape
Outdoor lighting is an excellent way to beautify your landscaping after the sun sets. The trick to making outdoor lighting attractive is to use it wisely. Highlight focal plantings and light up outdoor living spaces, walkways and other areas that tenants are likely to enjoy at night. Outdoor lighting also provides some measure of security — because it serves as both a crime deterrent and a way to make it easier for tenants to navigate the property after dark. However, when installing outdoor lighting, make sure that the lighting isn’t shining into windows or causing a nuisance for people that are trying to enjoy their indoor spaces without extra bright lighting streaming into their rooms.
- Add Amenities, But Make Sure They’re Safe
Tenants love beautiful and functional amenities like grills, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits because it gives them a wonderful way to cook and enjoy the outdoors in warmth and comfort. However, property managers are often hesitant to add such amenities because of the safety hazards that they pose. Fortunately, there are several ways to give tenants the outdoor amenities they want while ensuring that your property and all of its residents stay safe.
When it comes to grills, fireplaces and fire pits, the first thing that you can do is make sure that these items are immovable so that tenants can’t place them under a shelter or too close to a building. Make ground-level buried fire pits or use fixtures that are set in place with heavy stone or concrete bases. You can also make sure that any outdoor fixtures that use gas or propane are equipped with timers to prevent unattended fires.
- Think About Outdoor Spaces as Rooms, Not Broad Landscapes
It is tempting to think of a landscape as one large entity, but in fact, most people prefer a landscape that is subdivided into various “rooms” because it gives them separate and unique spaces for a variety of activities. This isn’t to say that you should build walls around the various landscaped areas on your property, but there are a few ways that can provide some separation from one space to the next:
- Use walkways to separate landscaping around buildings from grassy common areas.
- Hedges are a great technique to outline borders between each unit’s yard.
- Tree lines can separate park or entertaining areas.
- Stone walls and fences are effective ways to border off-limits zones or common areas like sporting fields.
With these pointers, you can get started on turning your landscape into an asset that will not only attract new tenants, but also encourage existing tenants to renew their leases.
About the author:
Jessica Kyriakos is Brand Manager of Superior Site Amenities. Jessica has worked in the site furnishing industry for over 15 years and brings her knowledge of the industry to her role as brand manager. The company offers comfortable and durable furniture for your outdoor space, including picnic tables, grills, benches and more.