Over the past few years, I have been working with many rental properties investors. Many of them have asked me to advise them on how to generate the highest possible rent for rental properties. While there are many options for improving rental property income, here are a few simple and low cost investments that will help landlords to get the most for their rentals.
1. Keep the Rental Property Clean and Presentable (FREE)
The first factor when a tenant considers a rental property is its attractiveness and cleanliness. The property needs to be CLEAN at the very beginning stage (before marketing and showing). Many landlords acquire properties through Bank Owned Sales or foreclosures and do not make an effort to clean and maintain properties that often show signs of neglect or even abuse. Tenants have many choices in a market saturated with rental units. In order to be competitive, you must keep your rental clean at all times.
2. Paint (Neutral Color)
A new coat of paint is a cost effective way of improving the appearance of a rental property. The cost of hiring a professional to paint a one bedroom apartment is approximately $1,000 or less. A fresh coat of paint brightens up the property and can the deciding factor for prospective tenants who have many choices in a market crowded with available rental units.
3. Flooring / Carpeting
Make sure floors and carpets are clean. If the carpet is too dirty to be cleaned or is an unpopular or dark color, it is sometimes better to install new carpet and flooring. The cost of new carpet installation is relatively compared to a couple years ago. Investing in new carpet improves the overall appearance of the property and provides a more inviting atmosphere to prospective tenants.
When you have a property for lease, stop for a moment and consider whether or not you would be willing to pay the rent you are asking for your property if you were a renter. Would you pay top dollar for a dingy apartment with outdated carpet? Not likely. Don’t underestimate the impact that improving and maintaining the appearance of your rental properties has on your ability to generate higher rental income and get a better return on your investment. If you do your homework wisely, you will find that the cost to improve the appearance of your rental property can be much less than what you expect.