Remote work was gaining momentum even before the pandemic changed the way we live and work. Companies and their employees have come to realize that people are potentially more productive when they’re working from home.
With a lot of the workforce not returning to the office even as the worst of the virus seems to be behind us, remote working has taken on a new popularity. Companies are allowing their team members to work from wherever they want. It seems home offices, remote work, and even online learning are here to stay.
This is excellent news for housing markets like Dallas Fort Worth.
Several recent surveys and studies have listed Dallas and some of the surrounding communities as ideal places for remote work. Texas does not have a state income tax, which is attractive to workers. The cost of living in this market is a lot lower than it is in other large cities, especially on the east and west coasts.
The increase in remote working has a positive impact on the Dallas Fort Worth housing market because the ability to work from anywhere is drawing people to the region. There’s plenty of entertainment, recreation, and a great scene for food, nightlife, and fun. It fits the needs and desires of nearly every tenant demographic.
In today’s blog, we’re talking about how to leverage this trend and make your Dallas Fort Worth rental properties more attractive to these new tenants who are coming to town.
Remote Workers Look for Quality of Life Locations
Generally, workers had always gravitated towards the cities where the most jobs could be found. This explained why New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major metropolises attracted so many people. These were the places to live if you wanted to be sure you had a good job.
But, that’s not the case anymore. You don’t have to live in San Jose or Seattle in order to land a great I.T. job. Remote working means you can be based anywhere and work for a company that’s in a different city.
This choice means workers can live in a place that provides everything they love about a city without most of the headaches.
Dallas is a pretty big city on its own. There are more than a million people in the Dallas Fort Worth region, but it’s still generally considered a mid-tier or a second-tier city. The housing market is hot, but it doesn’t stay as inaccessible as markets like San Francisco or New York. There’s still a way in for people who would not be able to afford homes – or rents – elsewhere.
Dallas Fort Worth is exactly the type of city that remote workers want to call home.
This region was well-positioned for growth even before remote work began to impact housing markets. Dallas Fort Worth saw the largest population gain of any U.S. metro area from July 2020 to July 2021, according to estimates provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. The metro area’s population grew by 97,290 during the one-year period, according to the Census Bureau, and the population continues to rise.
Some companies are calling their employees back into the office and the workplace. Or, they’re creating a hybrid system where employees can work at home some of the week and come into the office on select days.
For workers who have already become comfortable with their remote routine and their choice of cities to live in, one of three things may happen if they’re called to come back to in-person working environments:
- They may negotiate with their employers to continue working remotely.
- They may quit the job that won’t allow them to keep the flexibility they’ve grown to appreciate.
- Even if they return to work at offices in larger cities, they might be willing to take on a longer commute in order to stay where they are. For example, someone living in Baltimore will commute to Washington, D.C. or someone living in one of the outlying suburbs may be willing to commute to Dallas.
It’s hard to take away something that employees have grown to appreciate about their jobs. With the employment market wide open and good jobs available, employers are going to need to listen to their team members and provide the perks and benefits that retain them. Remote work is one of those benefits.
Not All Remote Workers Will Stay in Dallas Fort Worth Permanently
Short term rentals are a different ball game than long term residential leases.
Are you willing to rent with a shorter lease period – say three or six months?
The remote working culture has allowed people to relocate permanently. Some of them, however, are choosing a more nomadic path to the way they work and live. These tenants might not be interested in signing a one-year lease. They might prefer to move around a lot, at least until they find a place where they want to settle. You may have a tenant who is in Dallas Fort Worth for four months and then Santa Fe or Denver for the following months. Maybe they’ll spend half the year in the mountains and the other half the year at the beach.
Think about how flexible you’re willing to be with your lease terms, especially if you’re looking to attract these remote workers.
Helping Your Dallas Fort Worth Investment Property Attract Remote Workers
The remote work trend and the high demand for well-maintained rental properties are both good things if you’re a rental property owner in Dallas Fort Worth. You should not have any trouble finding a reliable pool of well-qualified tenants. You can also count on higher rental prices than you may have charged a year or two ago.
As Dallas Fort Worth property management experts, we’ve been thinking about how to best position your property to attract these remote workers. Here are some of the things we recommend, based on what this class of tenants is looking for in a rental home.
- Tech Availability will be Huge
Your remote working tenants will need a strong internet connection. Even better is a dedicated work space. Maybe that’s a den, an additional bedroom, a loft space, or even a large and open floor plan that can accommodate a desk or two. When the space can accommodate remote work, tenants will be attracted to the possibilities.
Internet is perhaps just as important to remote workers as all the other utilities. You might leave it up to your tenants to choose their own internet providers, but be prepared to make some recommendations on which local providers offer the best packages and the strongest speeds. Another way to help your property stand out in the market is by offering Wi-Fi in the rent. This doesn’t have to be forever, but if you offer it as an incentive for the first three months, you’ll get the attention of tenants who may be grateful that they don’t have to worry about establishing their own account after moving in. They’ll have the internet available and working so they can get started on day one.
Consider some of the additional technology you might be able to offer. Smart home tech is becoming more and more popular, and remote workers looking for a new home will appreciate technology upgrades such as video doorbells, digital keys, and the ability to sync thermostats, appliances, and security devices to their phones via an app.
- Pet Friendly Rental Homes in Dallas Fort Worth
Remote workers have pets. One of the benefits to working from home is that they can spend more time with their furry family members. During the pandemic, pet ownership rose. Your tenants are definitely looking for a home where their animals are welcomed.
- Parking for Your Property
Many of your remote working tenants could be coming from a larger city where it was basically impossible to have or park a car. Now that they’re in Dallas Fort Worth, they are more likely to own a car, and they’ll need to park it. Make sure you’re offering secure, easy parking with your property. In a single-family home, that might mean a garage or a well-maintained driveway. If you’re renting out a condo or a townhouse without assigned parking, make sure there’s ample available in a lot or a garage.
- Keep Your Dallas Fort Worth Rental Value Competitive
Rents are moving up all across the country, and that includes Dallas Fort Worth. You should set a rental value that allows for a healthy profit, and you should definitely list your rental home at a price that meets the market demands. But, don’t go too high. Staying competitive will allow you to fill your vacancy quickly. Get a well-qualified tenant into your home as soon as you can, and then work hard to retain them.
The Dallas Fort Worth housing market is strong. If you own a rental property here or you’re thinking about investing in some real estate, you’re going to benefit from the trend of remote working. We’d be happy to help you plan for it and leverage the properties you currently have in your portfolio. Please contact us at Assign Property Management and we can talk about what this means for you, specifically.