A number of factors go into determining how successful furnished housing is with clients. Marketability isn’t all down to the amenities within luxury apartments, or how close the property is to the bus stop or the nearest major airport. More and more, corporate travelers are demanding that the properties they rent are “walkable”. If you’re not sure what walkability is or why it’s important to your investment and your marketability to new clients, it’s essential that you learn more.
Let’s start by defining what “walkability” actually is. It’s pretty simple – walkability is a measure of how easily someone can get around an area by foot and reach destinations important to them. These might include the obvious things like mass transit stations and the like, but they also comprise things you might not think about, including:
- Grocery stores
- Recreation areas
- Movie theaters
- Drug stores
- Medical centers
- Fitness centers
These are only the broadest examples of destinations that your tenants want to reach by foot. Now that we’ve defined walkability, let’s take a deeper look at why it actually matters. Why would someone want to walk somewhere if they could drive, or take a bus? Why do your tenants care about walkability?
Why Walkability Matters with Furnished Housing
Walkability matters for a number of reasons, and some might surprise you, particularly if you’ve lived your life as many Americans do, tied to their cars and trucks. As a whole, we’ve historically been a nation where owning a vehicle was more than a luxury. It was a necessity. Today, things are changing.
Health: One of the most common reasons for a furnished housing tenant to care about your property’s walkability rating is their health. Studies have shown that residents of walkable neighborhoods weigh 6 – 10 pounds less than those in areas where walking isn’t possible. That’s because in addition to being the most common type of human locomotion and mobility, walking is good for the body (it’s actually better than jogging or running, both of which put undue stress on hip and knee joints). So, health-conscious tenants value walkable properties because they help protect their bodies from weight gain, improve circulation, muscle tone and more.
Pleasure: Walking is pleasurable. Let’s distance that concept from “fun”, though. You don’t get the same thrill from walking to the corner store that you do from taking a vertical drop on a roller coaster. It’s deeper than that. Walking can be cathartic, meditative and therapeutic. It gives the walker a chance to be alone with his or her thoughts, or it provides a way to spend more time with others (family and friends along for the walk). It helps the person de-stress and lifts their mood.
Convenience: While it might seem like hopping in the car and driving to a destination is the most convenient, it’s really not, particularly in urban areas. Suburban and rural areas might be too widespread for walking, but for furnished housing properties in urban areas, foot travel is the most convenient option. It eliminates things like the struggle for parking (which is at an all-time high, with parking costs constantly on the rise). It also applies to travelers in particular, because there’s a very good chance that they either won’t have a vehicle of their own, or they’ll be renting a car and paying for every mile they drive beyond their agreement.
Environmental Concerns: Chances are good that your tenants care about the environment. By ensuring that your property is as walkable as possible, you give them the ability to get where they want to go without any negative environmental impact. In fact, walking actually helps decrease greenhouse gas pollution, allowing them to do something good for the world (and you, as the property owner, get to do something good as well).
What Makes Furnished Housing Walkable?
Understanding why walkability is important with furnished housing and luxury apartments is only half of the equation. You also need to know what makes a property walkable in the first place. According to WalkScore.com, it boils down to the following characteristics:
- A fixed center – The area should have a fully developed center, which could be a public space, a main street or something else.
- Mixed use – The area should be mixed use, with both residential, commercial and retail spaces.
- Parks – The area should have easily accessible parks and public spaces.
- Designed with pedestrians in mind – Buildings should be located close enough to streets that it fosters a pedestrian-friendly environment.
CorporateHousingByOwner shows walkability scores on all furnished housing listings, helping promote your property to clients with one of the most in-demand metrics today. Walkability is paramount – if your property isn’t marketed with this score, potential clients will pass it up in favor of other listings.