What should you look for when investing in an apartment building?

Apartment buildings, or "multifamily units," are often great investment opportunities for people looking to get into the commercial real estate market.

They can also be real duds. Residents in today's market are highly demanding, and they know what they want. Before you throw your hard-earned money into a real estate venture involving an apartment building, take a good look at what the place has to offer potential tenants.

What do residents want in an apartment building or condo these days? Some of the most important things you need to consider include:

The type of environment

People want to live in a place that has more than four walls and a door. They want a residence that has an environment that will make them happy with their quality of life. Look for buildings that offer a sense of community through the inclusion of outdoor areas that are designed for use (not just decoration), community clubhouses, lounges and gardens.

A sense of belonging

If you're investing in an existing building, take a look at how the tenants relate to each other. Is there a sense that they look after each other? Has the resident manager fostered a sense of community that encourages neighbors to engage -- or is everybody isolated from each other. People want to live somewhere they feel like they belong -- not where they constantly feel like a stranger.

The modernization of the building

Don't invest in a place with dated decor (unless you plan to update). Similarly, don't invest in a place that isn't in step with today's digital world. Smart buildings are in far more demand than antiquated dwellings. Your tenants won't be happy if they can barely get cable working when they see the more sophisticated buildings that are all around them.

The transportation solutions

A lot of city dwellers enjoy not having to own a car -- it's one of the perks of being in a city. Look for a building that offers convenience by being located near everything a tenant could need on a regular basis, including a grocery store.

For more information about how to safely step into the commercial real estate market, including help with closings, talk to an experienced attorney today.