Giving renters what they want

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Washer:DryerThe rental market these days is hot, hot, hot! A recent study showed that renters will spend up to 45 percent of their monthly income on housing. With the real estate market still in recovery mode and younger people leaving the nest earlier than in recent decades, rental properties can be lucrative. So what will set your rental property apart from the rest?

When someone is looking to rent, they will look at numerous properties. What will make them choose yours after they slim the list down? Location is not always the key, with a potential tenant choosing amenities over location a majority of the time. Does your unit have plenty of closet space or come with a separate storage unit? Storage space is the No. 1 item requested when searching.

What about laundry? Does your unit have a washer and dryer inside of the unit? Many renters want the convenience of having the machines within easy reach. Many do not like a common laundry room inside of the complex; they would rather take it out to a Laundromat.

When it comes to the complex itself, if we are talking about a multi-unit dwelling, pets are the biggest issue. American’s love their dogs and who can blame them. A unit that does not allow some sort of pet will usually stay on the market longer and rent for less than if it allowed pets.

Paint the unit neutrals colors or let the new tenant pick the colors. If the complex has amenities such as a workout facility, or a pool, that will demand more in rent as well. The more features you can give a potential tenant, the better. A unit with some sort of outdoor space always tickles a potential tenant the right way. Whether it’s a common patio or a private balcony, tenants love an outdoor space.

Many tenants will give up features like granite counter tops or hardwood floors for other amenities that will make their lives easier. Lack of parking or access to public transportation can be deal breakers.

Keep this in mind when searching for your next income property. Every little detail will give you the advantage over the unit down the street and keep a steady flow of income coming in every month.

To contact me, call 847-292-4700, e-mail or visit



About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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