In the book “Managing Rental Properties for Maximum Profit,” author Greg Perry recommends treating a rental property as you would a property you’re trying to sell. Using rental property fixes to establish a clean and tidy appearance attracts better tenants and garners higher rent. Never underestimate the power of curb appeal to get the best return on any investment you make in property improvements.
Pay Attention to Landscaping
While you don’t want to over-renovate, you do want to make the property look inviting and livable by giving it a thorough cleaning and making minor repairs and cosmetic upgrades. Cleaning for curbside appeal includes trash and weed removal, painting or power washing the trim and siding and making minor landscaping adjustments.
Keep any grass mowed and edged, trim bushes and trees, mulch any flowerbeds or bushes and plant easy care flowers or flowering shrubs. If necessary, you can even rent construction equipment to dig up soil and install healthy shrubs that will have a lasting impact on the appearance and appeal of the property. Whether it’s a spring spruce up or regular landscaping maintenance contract, the investment in landscaping adds attracts good tenants and keeps vacancies low.
Entryway and Lighting
Spruce up the entry to your rental property. The front door is among the first impressions potential renters get and if it’s unattractive or in poor condition, that impression could influence their opinion of the rest of the property. You can change that impression with some rental property fixes. Clean up the entryway, including stairs, railings, porches and overhangs above the door. Powerwash everything, if need be.
The front door should appear (and be) safe and secure as well as aesthetically appealing. If the door is in poor condition, replace it if possible. Exterior lights should be in good working condition and properly illuminate the building and the entrance for safety and appearance. Make sure there are no lightbulbs out and replace any broken or missing fixtures. Perry agrees that lighting adds not only visual appeal but improves the impression of safety. Keep the front of the home swept, too.
Add Some Color
Better Homes and Gardens recommends adding color to the outside of the property by painting trim with a complementary color. Another way to add color accents is by installing colored shutters or window awnings. Freshen any faded exterior fixtures such as railings or gutters by cleaning and painting to address any appearance of being worn or neglected. Adding color with entrance hardware like a door knocker, house number, mailbox, and porch lights is another easy way to improve curb appeal.
Adding stone enhancements adds natural color and a warm feel to the front of a building. If it’s in the budget, copper trim and accents add a design element and metallic color. Concrete stain changes a drab feature into a beautiful feature with a variety of tones including earth tones, terra-cotta, soft colors, or textures that resemble wood, stone or leather.
However you do it, even minor rental property fixes pay off by creating a brighter, fresher look that will attract better tenants and higher rental prices.