In my executive role a few years back, we had an ongoing debate about the value of offering remote work options for some company roles. The idea came out of HR—it seemed that many of the Millennials in our talent pool were requesting it. They were frustrated with the New York City commute and looking for better work/life balance. And, you know what? After running the numbers, it really made sense, and it quickly became a popular option to offer new recruits.
It’s no wonder, then, that co-working spaces are popping up everywhere, and that up-and-coming NYC neighborhoods, like those in Queens, seem to be an especially popular location. Manhattan is busting at the seams, and so young professionals are flocking to the relatively less-expensive borough on the outskirts. While Millennials can afford more “house” in these locations, outlying neighborhoods pose a significantly longer commute. For young professionals in this situation, a co-working space provides a welcoming and collegial atmosphere that supports productivity as well as the convenience of working close to home. For example, new coworking spaces like the new WeWork building on 36th in Queens are meeting the needs of the Millennial market.
Real Estate Investing With Millennials in Mind
Millennials represent a significant—and growing—share of home buyers. While the high cost of New York real estate can pose a challenge, that’s not stopping them. New Yorkers, and Millennials especially, are nothing if not creative and tenacious. Some may purchase a single-family property and sublet part of it for the first few years to pay down their mortgage while also cultivating their professional career. Others may buy a multi-family unit and live in one while renting out the others to build equity. When Millennials look for a property to buy, they think about how it will enhance their lifestyle and financial goals.
That’s why the increasing popularity of coworking space presents an opportunity for investors to market their properties to Millennials. Regardless of the type of investment property you put on the market, it can pay dividends to spend some time staging it with your target market in mind. In fact, National Association of Realtor (NAR) research shows that almost half of real estate agents believe that staged homes bring in offers that are 1% to 10% higher than what you would receive on a non-staged house. And, there are easy ways to stage a home for sale that don’t cost a fortune. Now, your investment property probably won’t be able to compete with all the whistles and bells offered by co-working spaces like WeWork, but it can offer something better—bringing Millennials’ work even closer to home.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to consider when staging your property for sale with this in mind:
- Select a location. Coworking spaces can be created out of nearly any shared space in the house or building. Perhaps there’s a defunct laundry room or basement space that can’t be rented? These underutilized or quirky areas are great spaces that can be re-imagined as a co-working space to show prospective home buyers the added value of the property.
- Focus on utilities. Creating a comfortable environment for creative juices to flow is important, but Millennials need the right utilities in their co-working space even more. Make sure the area you stage has access to high-speed internet, plenty of electrical outlets, and good lighting, at minimum. If you can go a little green on your investment property’s utilities, you might be able to get certain incentives or rebates for doing so and attract even more potential buyers.
- Choosing the style. Co-working spaces are known for being stylish and even artistic. Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive, though. Try painting a wall or two in bright, engaging colors and setting up some second-hand desks. Remember, the furnishings don’t necessarily have to be a matched set. In fact, deliberately mismatched furniture is considered very chic these days.
In today’s competitive market, staging your investment property to appeal to your target buyers can help you sell your investment property faster and at a higher price point. Coworking spaces are an important feature for Millennials who are increasingly opting to work closer to where they live.
Adding Value to Your Investment
When I left the corporate world to start my real estate investment business, there was a learning curve for achieving full value from my properties. You see, as a HomeVestors® franchisee, I focus on buying distressed properties, rehabbing them, and selling at full market price. As you can imagine, some of the properties I buy are older and often have quirks. In New York, I’ve found that being a little creative with house staging is an effective way to highlight the value of the house for prospective home buyers. I didn’t learn this on my own, however. I have a network of over 1,100 other HomeVestors® franchisees nationwide to swap tips and ideas with. If you are an investor too but haven’t yet gained full steam with your business, reach out today to find out how HomeVestors® can help you.
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