Seasoned renters know that unpleasant sensation when you walk into a rental property and see bright, clashing colors throughout the space. In some rooms, it can be overlooked, but a bright teal in the master bedroom could make it a challenge to sleep at night.
Without a promise that the rooms may be repainted, some of us would have left such a property without a second thought. “Color wields enormous sway over our attitudes and emotions,” declares Internet marketing guru Neil Patel.
“When our eyes take in a color, they communicate with a region of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which in turn sends a cascade of signals to the pituitary gland, on to the endocrine system, and then to the thyroid glands. The thyroid glands signal the release of hormones, which cause fluctuation in mood, emotion, and resulting behavior…. So, the bottom line is: use the right colors, and you win.”
Although his advice is aimed at website designers, it applies just as much to income properties. When you’re a landlord, it’s wise to use colors your tenants will like.
You can’t afford to drive people away due to poor paint choices. Here are some painting tips that will help you stay on track.
Avoid Bold and Daring
If you feel like making a statement with bright paint colors in your own home, that’s fine. But if you’re trying to attract tenants from various walks of life, bright colors will be a turn-off for many of them.
Not only will the paint clash with some prospective renters’ preferences, but they’ll stir emotions that might counteract what you’re trying to achieve. “I usually suggest to clients to avoid oranges and reds in any type of space,” says Lauren Colson, founder of LMC Interior Designs in Atlanta. “They make people feel anxious and angry.”
The same is true for bright yellows, rich browns, vibrant blues, and other statement colors. People tend to love them or hate them, so you’ll have difficulty reaching a broader audience with these hues.
Use Neutrals Correctly
Most landlords depend on neutral colors because they’re more likely to appeal to a wider audience of potential tenants. They’re a much safer bet than brilliant colors, but it’s still possible to employ them incorrectly.
To begin with, stark white walls can be a damper for tenants who hope for something more interesting. A lack of any color also fails to supply contrast for wall hangings, and it won’t look as good in advertising.
Grays, tans, and creams are more recommended for rental properties. Typically, it’s better to stick with lighter colors for the majority of the house, and slightly darker tones for areas such as the dining room or bathroom.
Gray is a trendy interior color right now, but you have to be careful with it. “Gray is a tricky, tricky color,” Colson says. “There are so many different hues of gray that if you’re not careful you can end up with an icy cold room instead of a warm retreat.”
Dark neutrals can also make a great statement without scaring renters. If you want to experiment with dark colors, do so in rooms apart from the main living areas.
“Separated dining rooms are the perfect place to try out a dark gray because they are supposed to feel cozy and inviting instead of open and expansive,” she adds. Darker neutrals also make suitable accent colors for baseboards, doors, and accent walls.
Use Paints That Don’t Show Dirt
Here’s another reason that stark white walls don’t work as well, both on the interior and the exterior: They show every speck of dirt. When you’re renting to certain tenants, especially if they have kids or children, lighter shades get stained and need to be repainted more often.
That’s going to mean a lot more money and hassle for you. But this doesn’t mean that white is completely off the table.
“You don’t have to paint your interior walls and cabinets mud brown or grimy gray to camouflage grunge and smudges until you get around to washing them,” explains an article from SFGate.com. “Paint sheens, techniques and colors that hide dirt are practically as easy to find as dirt itself.”
The article advises you to use washable paint at a medium gloss. This reduces excessive light reflection and makes blemishes less noticeable, and it can be cleaned fairly easily when the tenant leaves. The piece also suggests neutrals that consist of earth tones to hide smudges.
Use High-Quality Paint
When you paint your rental property, the ideal space will be relatively inexpensive, durable, long lasting, and easy to apply. Using the right kinds of paint will support this goal.
You can get recommendations from other landlords in your area or even the professionals at the hardware store. Online research will also turn up excellent options.
Brandon Turner, a landlord and contributor to Bigger Pockets, has great advice for landlords on the best paint for rental properties. “I discovered, as you might expect, that the most expensive paint (Duration, from Sherwin Williams and the Behr Paint and Primer in One from Home Depot) covered much better than the cheap stuff (ColorPlace brand from Wal-Mart),” Turner writes in a blog post.
“BUT nothing covered 100% through. I’d say the expensive stuff covered at about 90% effectively (when you looked close, about 10% of any given area needed more coats), while the cheap stuff covered about 60%. So, either way — every single paint I used really needed two coats.”
Keep this in mind when you purchase the paint. You want the most bang for your buck, of course, and quality paint will reduce maintenance with better results.
Contact Green Residential Today!
Painting your interior walls in a way that attracts tenants isn’t going to be your only concern as a landlord. You’ll also need to screen tenants, collect rent, promote your properties, evict tenants, draft contracts, and so much more.
With all that on your plate, the job can feel a little overwhelming. Green Residential understands the hassle that landlords take on every day, and we want to offer our expertise in this area. We specialize in all property management concerns in the Houston metropolitan area.
We can help you choose paint colors and so much more. Our flat-rate fee makes us more affordable and accessible to landlords all over the city and the surrounding area. For more information about what we can offer your property, contact us today!