José R. Hernández
Three Easy Upgrades to Increase The Rental Value of Your Property and Marry it to The Right Tenant
Updated: Feb 4, 2021
A couple's cycle goes somewhat like this: first date, regular dating, engagement, and marriage. For a renter and a property, the steps are just two, first date and marriage. We all know how awful those first introductions could be. To reduce the number of first dates your rental property will have (without generating any rental income in between), a landlord must make sure the home is in top shape before that first encounter takes place.
There are qualities that a rental property needs in order to keep generating income for a long time. It must be attractive; it must be practical; it must be durable; it must adapt to each tenant. The rental should be a win-win for both tenant and landlord. With this in mind, your list of priorities should include these three fixes.
First Impressions (curbside appeal)
Have you heard about the Primacy Effect? In short, it proves first impressions matter since an individual will recall them more often. That is why you should make that first date something positive to remember. Fresh paint, pressure wash, landscaping, fences, entryway, and front door must be priorities on your to-do list. It's in the landlord's best interest to also remember that we live in a digital world. Most first impressions aren’t face-to-face. The prospective renter most likely went through several websites looking at photos of dozens, maybe hundreds, of different possible properties. The best introduction is a set of photographs (of your already-fixed property) taken by a professional photographer. A good real estate photographer will make every little detail shine.
The Heart of The Home (the kitchen)
This one is a no-brainer! From keeping beer cold to an impromptu meeting place to preparing a meal for the whole family, a kitchen is where people naturally gather in a home. Did you know Benjamin Franklin invented one of the first stoves in our country? Besides working appliances and a fresh coat of paint, look at little details that make the area more appealing and practical. Storage space, matching appliances (colors), deep sinks, sink backsplash, countertops, illumination, and modern fixtures will make a kitchen stand out. If the cabinets are old, replacing only the doors is an option that could add years of life to your kitchen while giving it a modern look.
No Selfies Here (bathrooms)
Finally, let’s talk about the most private room in the house. The typical size of an American bathroom has doubled in the past 50 years. This fact alone means potential renters pay particular attention to this little piece of heaven as much as anything else in the property. After all, here is where we shower, sometimes use our cellphones, and in some cases (70% of the time) peek inside somebody else’s medicine cabinet.
Let's start by replacing old faucets and fixtures. The look of any bathroom will significantly improve once you replace dated faucets with modern looking ones. The same as in the kitchen, storage and lighting plays a crucial role in the overall appeal. Floating shelves are inexpensive and count towards the storage space requirement. If the budget allows, you could also replace an old tub with a walking shower.
Having your rental property ready to receive potential renters will reduce the time it wastes in the market without generating income. You can also always pay extra money on amenities (dishwasher, floors, washer, dryer, etc.) if you have deep pockets. In reality, what a rental property need is to be attractive, practical, and durable. If you make those three words your guiding beacons, you’ll have no problem making yourself and your tenants happy in the long-run.
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