Today’s blog covers preparing your property for rent. The expected financial return on your investment property will depend in great part on you. Many owners fail to realize that what they do or don’t do to the property will greatly impact how well the property maintains and grows in value.
Attracting quality tenants and keeping the property rented is goal number one. To keep good tenants, you need to show that you care for the property and for the people living in it. Tenants are your bread and butter. Treating them as meal tickets, ignoring concerns or neglecting maintenance on the property will not go unnoticed. Tenants will respond accordingly. The most successful investors are those who take the time and spend the money proactively to maintain their properties. This will attract and keep the best tenants.
Visual appearance is critical. Every property can be made more attractive with a little effort. Look at the property as if you were going to rent it yourself. Is it clean and tidy? Is it well cared for? Is it inviting and safe and if not, why not? Determine what you can do to spruce up your property.
The landscaping must be adequate for the property. Your soft-scape and hard-scape must work together to create an inviting appearance. When working to put together a landscaping plan, consider who will maintain it – you or the tenants. It’s a good idea to design the landscape with that in mind. A landscaping project that really beautifies the property but requires a lot of maintenance makes sense if you are taking care of the landscaping yourself. If the tenant is going to maintain the yard, then a simple plan that offers space but little in the way of maintenance might be a better choice.
Other things to consider include the condition of the exterior. Take a look at the paint. It should be clean and fresh and if it’s peeling in places, you’ll need to repaint. Look for dry rot and whether the windows are sparkling clean. Remove any litter, debris and spider webs. You need adequate exterior lighting and handrails that are secure and tight. The steps and sidewalks need to be even and free of trip hazards. These are things potential tenants will notice when they are driving by.
The home’s interior is just as critical. Once they enter, tenants will notice cleanliness. Whether the property is commercial or residential, a clean and fresh smelling interior is essential. No tenant wants to clean up a prior tenant’s dirt and germs. Any evidence of a prior tenant is going to be a turnoff to desirable tenants.
Consider the paint. Today’s tenants are not looking for mono-colored units. Accent colors show you pay attention to detail and it’s inexpensive. Replace mini blinds with drapes and curtains to enhance the home’s appeal. Look at the windows and if you have single pane windows, consider replacing them with dual pane, especially if the property has a lot of exterior ambient noise. Plus, if the tenant pays for utilities you will help keep their utility bills low.
If people don’t care whether your property is clean before they move in, they won’t take care of it afterwards. Maintaining the house is essential to enjoying a profitable return and happy tenants.
Please contact us at Bayside Management with any questions about getting your home ready for the rental market.