As a landlord, there are many ways you can add value to your rental property. If you use landlord software, you can easily verify who is renting which properties at any given time, and for how much.
Keeping track of the value added to each rental property will help you incrementally raise the rent at turnover, or with existing properties. But what are the best ways to add value to your rental property?
They all come down to things you can do to make your rental property not look like a rental property. When people drive down a street, they know exactly which properties are rental properties because of the cheap, aluminum garage doors, peeling paint, poorly maintained landscape, and an otherwise cheap look about them. But you can turn all that around.
1. Replace Flooring
The first thing you should do is replace the flooring regularly. If there are carpets in your rental property, replacing the carpets regularly is a much better way to add value to your property than simply telling upcoming or potential tenants the six different massive stains scattered throughout the house as pre-existing problems and just ignore them.
When potential tenants see new flooring, or at the very least clean flooring, they are much more likely to stay in your property and stay long-term.
Studies indicate that fresh exterior paint can increase the property value by an average of 5%.
To add value to your rental property, it should look good on the inside and the outside. Painting is a simple way to cover up any holes, smudges, or marks that will draw the eye in an otherwise pristine room.
Many landlords or property owners make the mistake of visiting their property only once or twice every decade, usually at turnover, just to make sure that they can sign off on any damages when an old renter leaves. But to really improve the value of your rental property, you need to capitalize on these moments in between renters.
You should care for a rental property with some of the same concerns as your own home, so if you notice that the corners of every hallway or doorway are worn down so much that there’s no longer any paint, cover that up. The little things you do are going to have the biggest impact on the overall value, and on your ability to increase the rent on a regular basis.
If you see that the outside of the home is starting to flake—maybe the hot weather has caused the paint to peel on the railing of the balcony or the porch—handle that immediately. Talk with your tenants, if you currently have them, about arranging a time this can be painted.
Your tenants will appreciate the effort you put in, and you will be able to justify increased value more easily, and subsequently increase rent during the next appropriate interval.
While you are replacing the flooring and the paint, swap out the hardware in the bathrooms and kitchens. Replacing cabinet knobs or handles from the 1980s with something more modern can make all the difference in the appearance of a room, especially when combined with a fresh coat of paint and new floors.
These are simple things you can install yourself, and at a very limited cost. Check out Amazon, Wal-Mart, Home Depot for easy hardware sets that can brighten up and add a little sparkle to your rental property’s kitchen or bathroom.
4. Social spaces
Focus on improving the exterior with small modifications. Retractable awnings, for example, can turn a concrete slab of a backyard into an entertainment space for potential renters.
When you have something that creates social areas or shade, potential renters with children are more likely to consider your property and are more likely to pay more for that property because they can picture themselves relaxing in the yard.
What’s more, retractable awnings can help offset higher energy costs by providing shade over large sliding glass doors, for example, where the sun would otherwise penetrate during the hottest part of the day. This can serve as a great selling point for potential renters or current renters, especially a few months down the line, or a year later when they see the average savings.
5. Garage doors
Not many people think about this one, but most houses have antiqued garage doors—especially the outdated and cheap aluminum doors on rental properties. No one ever bothers to replace these, so they stay sun-bleached and old, without any insulation.
If you are able to replace the garage door, you can pick something that is new, something that is beautiful, and in particular—something with more windows and better insulation. If you do that, you can market the improved insulation value and reduced energy costs as justification for increasing the rent on existing properties, or increasing rent in between occupants.
Garage doors go a long way—in conjunction with a new coat of paint—towards improving the curb appeal of a rental property.
Finally, do something about the landscape. Rental properties are usually an eyesore, because landlords do nothing for the landscape, leaving it to the renters to do container gardening or nothing at all. Some landlords are tentative about investing a few hundred dollars in landscaping shrubs or plants, especially if the tenants won’t take care of them.
That said, your alternatives are to hire a landscaper, so that tenants know their property will be well maintained the entire time – something that can improve the property value and subsequently increase the rent you charge.
You can also focus on simple things like planting latticework with ivy, or a hedge to cultivate a sense of privacy, lining a few potted bushes along the walkway. It doesn’t have to break the bank, but it will improve the first impression of a property and its overall value.
How to Add Value To Your Rental Property
These simple tips are easy ways to upgrade and add value to your property. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint, new floorings, shiny hardware, and some landscaping will do for a property that needs a little love and elbow grease.
Best of all, these tips are great for DIY landlords without requiring you to be an expert maintenance technician!