Couple walking with dog in city streetLooking for ways to make your property stand out above the competition? Knowing all of the features of your property’s neighborhood can help you close a lease by communicating the right features to the right renters. The most attractive apartment homes have a good neighborhood walk score.

Do You know your property’s walk score? A “walk score” is a rating that identifies how many desirable features are within a five or ten minute walk from the front door of your rental property.

Understand What Neighborhood Features Are Most Important to Your Prospects

Each resident has a unique property “wish list” in mind as he or she considers new apartment homes.

Young, tech-savvy tenants may be looking for public wi-fi, Internet cafes, and local hot spots for entertainment and an exciting nightlife scene. Older residents often want access to public transportation, hospitals and medical clinics. College students are looking for a residence within easy walking distance to libraries, campus activities and social gathering spots to host study groups.

Don’t make assumptions about what neighborhood features and amenities are most desirable for all prospective tenants in a particular demographic group. Some older people also enjoy happy hour at the local pub and close-knit artisan community atmospheres. All age groups want access to open spaces and opportunities to engage in outdoor activities.

Get to Know Your Future Residents

There is only one way to make sure you really know what your future residents consider to be the best neighborhood features — ask.

Leasing agents and property representatives with a thorough knowledge of the surrounding community can respond quickly to cues during the property tour and application process. Time spent asking questions helps you get to know your tenants— and future tenants better.

What to do With Your Information

With a local street map and a few tools, you can create a walk score infographic for leasing staff to use while talking to prospects. You can also create digital brochures and newsletters for follow-up communication to highlight your property’s best features.

Ready to get started? Grab your map, a notebook, something to write with, and a stopwatch. Put on a pair of comfortable walking shoes and take a stroll through your property’s neighborhood.

As you walk, make notes about businesses and entertainment venues in the area. Record how long it takes to reach each feature  near your rental apartment or home. Below is a partial lists of things to look for while taking your walking tour.

  • Trendy clubs and fine-dining establishments
  • 24-hour mini-marts and convenience stores
  • Organic produce stands
  • Open-air markets
  • Local parks and sporting complexes
  • Museums and libraries
  • Entertainment centers—concert venues, movie theaters and play/opera houses
  • Public transit—including train and subway stations, bus stops and bicycle parking stations
  • Electric vehicle recharge centers
  • Quick serve restaurants and food courts
  • Malls and shopping areas
  • Trails, bike paths, bodies of water and other green spaces

You can drive the area with an automobile to record actual mileage or consult an online map program, such as Google Maps for approximate distance. If you want to go above and beyond the competition, take time to records hours of operation, examples of menu items and prices, scheduled or past concert performers, or other tidbits about regional businesses and entertainment options.