With the rental market growing—over 100 million people are currently renters in the United States alone—it is becoming increasingly important to showcase a place that will stand out.
You want your tenants to feel at home. You want them to feel excited about living there. You want them to say, “Yes, that is the house I want to live in” instead of walking in the opposite direction and looking elsewhere.
Here are six rental property improvements you can do to attract tenants and get more out of your investment.
1. Curb Appeal
The outside of the house is what the renters will see first, both online and during an in-person tour. If you have an unkempt yard, they’ll worry about how well you maintain the house over time.
Spend a weekend weeding, mowing, planting, pressuring washing and performing other basic maintenance tasks to your front (and back) yard.
This small investment of sweat equity will pay off big later on.
2. Keep it Clean
The easiest and cheapest rental home improvement is to show off a clean house. With so many shiny new construction apartments in Central Florida, even slightly dirty house could deter potential renters.
A clean house and yard will do wonders to make the house look new and inviting. Clean the inside and outside of the property (or hire a professional to do it for you) so it looks immaculate from top to bottom.
If you can’t take the time to perform the most basic of preparations, potential renters will assume that you don’t care about the property.
Walk through the house and make a list of anything that needs to be repaired before new tenants move in.
Maybe you have a squeaky doorknob or a leaky faucet. Some things may be beyond repair and need to be replaced. Other items may be outdated. This is a great time to replace damaged or outdated items for new ones.
In the end, you get what you pay for. Keeping on top of home maintenance can reduce your operating costs and decrease the number of times your tenant calls with an issue in the middle of the night, but only if you do it right. Slapping together a “good enough” solution will only come back to haunt you later.
If the home is unoccupied, this is also a good time to complete those “deep cleaning” tasks you may have been putting off. Have carpets and tile floors steam cleaned and repaint walls with chips or scuffs.
4. Upgrading Appliances
Appliances are something your tenants will use every day, so they are often huge factors when people are deciding where to live.
Modern, upgraded appliances not only increase your home’s income potential, they can reduce rental expenses like energy and maintenance costs, which is good news for landlords and renters alike. (Purchases like this also count as tax deductions.)
Take a look at your dishwasher, fridge, washer/dryer, air conditioner, and water heater and replace any damaged or outdated appliances with newer, energy efficient models. Once again, investing in quality pieces now will save time, money, and headaches later.
One big draw to anyone looking to rent a home is square footage and storage space.
While you might not be able to increase your home’s footprint, adding storage is easy. Add shelves or cupboards to any “dead” space in the house to make it more user-friendly. A small coat closet under the stairs or an extra cabinet in the kitchen can help to push your rental to the top of people’s wish lists.
If you have a few small rooms, consider knocking down a wall to convert two smaller rooms into one large one. Potential tenants will feel less cramped and more open to possibilities.
If you have the budget for it, room additions are rental property improvements that’ll pay off again and again. Add a room, add a closet, or expand square footage to provide more space to stretch out.
6. Good Wifi
Like it or not, we live in an age of ever-evolving technology.
So many people interact with each other and do business online and your potential tenants will want to know that they will have reliable and fast internet.
If you have wifi already installed, that’s one less thing your renters need to worry about when they move in. All they have to do is choose a plan from your provider and then they are all set to go.
Handing Over the Keys
Rental property improvements can seem daunting at first, but seeing the value increase makes it all worthwhile.
Like your own residence, a rental property is an investment that must be properly cared for over time. And when you put the time and energy into the home, potential tenants will take notice.
Once you have finished the home improvements, sit back, relax, and watch all your hard work pay off.
And if you’d prefer to have someone else handle the day-to-day business of managing a rental property, we’d love to help. American Home Team Realty is Central Florida’s expert in boutique property management with a personalized touch. We can’t wait to work with you!