7 Easy Rental Improvements to Appeal to More Tenants
How to Appeal to Tenants With Simple Rental Improvements
Investing in rental property is an increasingly popular strategy for generating income in the short-term, and building wealth in the long-term. If all goes well, you can collect rental income exceeding what you pay in monthly expenses, and eventually sell your property to reap a substantial profit.
Most landlords at least consider upgrading their rental properties so they can increase these financial benefits. The problem is, improving a rental property takes time and costs money; if you spend too much, it could cause you to lose more than you gain.
Fortunately, there are several easy improvements you can make to make your property more appealing to tenants.
Why Improve a Rental Property?
There are a few strong motivations to improve a rental property. First, a rental property that’s perceived as “better” in some key way will likely fill faster than its counterparts; in other words, you’ll face fewer and shorter vacancies. Second, you’ll be able to justify charging more in monthly rent, ultimately resulting in more revenue. Third, your tenants will be more likely to stick around in the property if they like it. And fourth, you’ll likely be able to sell the property later for a bigger profit.
Of course, initiating improvements will take some planning. You’ll either need to wait for your property to become vacant, or you’ll need to communicate with your tenant to coordinate their absence so you can go in with a team and make the necessary changes.
These are some of the best and most approachable ways you can improve the quality and appearance of your rental property:
- Deep clean. Hopefully, you’re cleaning the unit between tenants, but if you want to give it a better polish for the next tenants to review your property, you’ll want to clean a little deeper. That means moving (or temporarily removing) all pieces of furniture and major appliances and cleaning under and around them. It also means cleaning surfaces, nooks, and crannies you might not ordinarily notice. You’d be surprised how much a thorough cleaning can make a unit look better.
- Improve curb appeal. It’s also a good idea to improve the curb appeal of the property. Depending on the nature of that property, that could mean something like redoing the siding, repainting the exterior, or refinishing a deck or porch. The curb appeal factor will be responsible for forming tenants’ first impressions, and will help you sell the property faster (and for more money) later on.
- Plant a garden. Many landlords avoid gardening altogether because they don’t want to deal with the maintenance; however, there are plenty of low-maintenance plants that you can add to the exterior of the property to improve its appeal, without needing to tend to them every day (or even every week). Lush plant life can instantly make your property more competitive, and attract better long-term tenants at the same time.
- Paint the walls. One of the easiest changes you can make is giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. Depending on the size of the unit, the paint is likely to cost you no more than a few hundred dollars, and you can do the work of painting yourself over the course of a weekend—or hire someone to do it for you. Either way, you’ll be able to choose a new color that better suits contemporary tastes, and you’ll give the entire unit a fresher, cleaner look.
- Invest in better appliances. Chances are, this unit comes with appliances like a refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. If you want tenants to think more highly of the property, upgrading these appliances is one of the best moves you can make. It might cost a bit upfront—several hundred to more than a thousand dollars—but it’s a simple change that makes a big impact.
- Add storage space. Most tenants, especially those living in a small apartment, wish they had more storage space. There are several ways you can add that storage space to attract more tenants, such as offering an external, onsite storage unit or building more storage features into the unit directly.
- Provide complimentary extras. Tenants are more likely to consider renting a place if it includes a handful of complimentary “extras.” For example, you might include free Wi-Fi for the entire property, or you could offer extra off-street parking for free.
Taking Advantage of Vacancies
Vacancies are practically inevitable, so it’s in your best interest to take advantage of them when you can. Whenever your property becomes vacant, take the time to make at least one substantial improvement to the unit. You can use the time between vacancies to plan new ideas, and collect feedback from tenants to determine which features will be your biggest priority.