Profit is the name of the game when it comes to investing in rental properties. You can’t let your emotions or design and style preferences get in the way. With that being said, many landlords end up with properties that are cheap, yet ugly. And while you don’t want to pour a ton of money into these properties, you do want to make sure they attract renters. Thankfully, there are some inexpensive and high-returning hacks you can try to give your property a little boost.
- Hide Ugly Flooring
One of the telltale signs of an old, neglected house is ugly flooring. Whether its carpet, hardwood, linoleum, or tile, old flooring can be a major turnoff and often dissuades even the least sensitive renters. Thankfully, flooring is also one of the cheapest problems to fix.
If you have hardwood flooring that’s scratched, stained, or otherwise tarnished, you probably don’t have the money in your budget to refinish or replace (especially on the lower end of the market). In this case, the best thing you can do is invest in some inexpensive area rugs. If you really want to get trendy, try layering some area rugs for a unique look that adds appeal to small spaces.
If you have smaller house with carpet, your best bet is to replace the old carpet. You’d be surprised how affordable this is. And not only does it instantly make a house look fresher, but it also gives it a new home smell that will subconsciously make prospective renters like the property more.
- Burn a Candle
Speaking of making your rental property smell good, it’s always a good idea to freshen up the place before showing it to a prospective renter. Even if you think the house smells fine, burning a candle can give it a nice, homey aroma. If you don’t want to overwhelm people, diffusing essential oils might be a better route.
“Avoid strong, polarizing scents such as patchouli, sandalwood or ylang ylang. Instead, go with relaxing scents such as lavender or uplifting scents such as grapefruit or Satsuma,” blogger Heather Levin suggests. “You can also unobtrusively add wonderful scents to your bathroom by adding a few drops of essential oil to a cotton ball, and hiding them on shelves or by the sink.”
A classic open house tactic that real estate agents use is to bake cookies or brownies in the oven a few minutes before people arrive. It makes the house smell good and gives you something to offer people.
- Update Cabinet Hardware
It doesn’t take long for a kitchen to become dated – and considering that this is the most important room in a rental – you want to freshen it up however you can. The first thing you can try is updating the cabinet hardware.
Drawer pulls and knobs can be replaced relatively easily and cheaply, yet provide an instant facelift. In a small kitchen, you can probably remove and replace all hardware in less than an hour. You may also want to swap out hardware in the bathrooms, so account for this when purchasing the new hardware.
Though a little more time intensive, consider repainting cabinets if they look dated or are currently finished in a non-neutral color. Once you have the hardware removed, it’s actually pretty simple.
- Spruce Up Countertops
While you have to stop somewhere, your little kitchen remodel might spill over to the countertops. If you have Formica or another cheap material that’s stained or visually unappealing, there are some options for fixing them up without doing a total replacement.
If you have the patience and it looks good with the rest of the kitchen, faux marble can actually create a really nice look. Another option is to paint the countertop black for a nice modern look.
- Paint Walls a Neutral Color
Everyone has their own color preferences, yet few people are keen on bright colors like red, orange, or green. If your rental property has extreme colors, consider going with a neutral – such as white, gray, or beige. If nothing else, you’ll appeal to the masses and won’t risk turning away a prospective renter.
- Enhance the Curb Appeal
Even for a rental property, curb appeal matters. People want to drive up to a nice home and will be turned off if there are weeds, mildew on the siding, trash in the yard, etc. While you probably don’t want to spend a ton of time doing yard work, there are some simple and rather effortless chores you can do to enhance the look of even the most basic home.
The first thing you’ll want to do is pressure wash the siding, sidewalk, driveway, and front porch area. You can rent a pressure washer or even use a hose with a high-pressure nozzle, if you don’t have the right equipment. The goal is to remove any cobwebs and loose dirt.
If the house doesn’t have shutters, spending a few hundred bucks on some shutters for the front of the house can change the entire look. (There’s no need to put shutters on the sides and back of the house unless you want to.)
Finally, plant some fresh flowers and mulch the bed a couple of weeks before showing the house. There’s something about a fresh pop of color that breathes some life into a house.
Let Green Residential Help
As a landlord, you have to wear many different hats. You’re a real estate investor, landlord, property manager, marketer, handyman, accountant, and enforcer. Wearing too many of these hats at once can burn you out. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all on your own.
When you work with Green Residential, we do the heavy lifting so you can focus on the big picture. Whether it’s tenant screening and property marketing or scheduling repairs and collecting rent, we’ll ensure your properties and tenants are taken care of. For more information on our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!