A recent conference hosted by a key commercial property company has highlighted the shifting definition of 'tenants' and how to best understand their needs.
CBRE managing director for Pacific asset services, Amanda Steele, said the real estate industry is being shaped by a heightened focus on tenants as customers, and many new leases are doing away with the word ‘tenant’ entirely.
“I really believe the term tenant is dead. That feudal relationship between landlord and tenant is being flipped on its head,” Ms Steele said.
“It’s no longer a case of landlords dictating how a building will be run and presented, because more and more, the customers are demanding different ways they can work in their buildings.”
Ms Steele said many landlords are offering higher levels of customer service, including extras such as concierge services, lunchtime yoga sessions, school holiday programs and laundry services, in order to retain occupiers.
The Department of Health and Human Services released a rental report noting that metropolitan Melbourne has registered very low levels of affordability, which has increased competition within the market while increasing the age of renters and pushing the industry to better understand its clients.
Niki Castro, director of Love Real Estate in Melbourne, noted that working in a highly competitive market has meant increased inquiries, more than one PM being required at a property and even three open times being scheduled in a week.
“I can't say that I have noticed tenants getting older [...] even on our higher-end properties we still get younger people applying,” she told RPM.
Samantha Gatherum-Goss from Qura Property in Melbourne said her market has also seen increased competition, particularly in inner-city areas.
“For one property in the inner city I had only four to five groups through each inspection at the same time last year; this year at the first open there were 22 groups,” she told RPM.
Ms Gatherum-Goss said the demographic of her market is mostly unchanged, with the majority of her tenants under 35 years old.
“Of the ones that are older, I have found many are selling to downsize and just haven’t found the right place as yet,” she said.
“However, I am finding most are quite tech-savvy, which means there’s little need to change the approach I take.”