In a report published today by Offices/Americas the JLL Company, a real estate project and development firm, stated that high tech firms are flocking to the Austin and Dallas area. The reasons given are not to us: relatively low cost of living, well-educated millennial talent pool, a diversified employment talent base, and room to expand (at reasonable expense I should add). The report covered the top 15 high tech firms in the land and Dallas came in 8th and Austin came in 7th.in growth. When measured against being resilient to an economic contraction, Austin placed 3rd, and Dallas came in at 12. The report stated that this trend is expected to continue and this fits in nicely without sources that I have examined this year. In order to maintain this pace new buildings and those be retrofitted for high tech firms are adding amenities once considered luxury items. These include items such as charging stations, helipads, boat launches, hike and bike paths, and the like.
What these means to us investors in Austin area residential real estate is that our rentals must be in a condition to attract these millennials that are moving here. Start with the basics such as paint and floor coverings that are fresh, nice yards, garage openers, ceiling fans, irrigation systems, and modern kitchen appliances. In the past I considered offering landscaping as a luxury item, but I (and you) may want to reconsider that option as millennials probably don’t like mowing lawns (do any of us really?). In our area lawn mowing twice monthly is only needed about 9 months out of the year. During the dormant months I have the lawn crew trim up the grass and do tree and shrub maintenance only once a month. It is something to consider as it is a value added amenity and you can probably recoup the monthly cost and maybe even make a few extra dollars if it means that your rental will lease up faster than the completion.
Rick Ebert / 20/Sep /1