Hypothetically, managing a rental property is a perfect way to make money. You provide housing to someone who needs it, they pay you a monthly rental fee, and as long as that fee is greater than your total expenses, you’ll rake in a monthly profit.
The biggest problem is finding tenants who are willing to pay what you’re charging for rent. If your property remains unoccupied, you will end up losing money each month for its vacancy. So what steps can you take to make your rental property more attractive, so you can attract more and better tenants?
How to Make Your Rental Property More Attractive to Tenants
These are some of the best and most affordable strategies you can use to make your rental property more attractive to tenants in the area.
1 Reduce the rent
The most effective (and most obvious) way to make a property more attractive is to reduce what you’re charging for rent. Most tenants are juggling multiple priorities, but one of their biggest priorities is going to be finding the right rent price. Reducing rent makes your place more attractive to people who could already afford it and makes it affordable to people who couldn’t previously afford it. This is going to reduce your profitability, so there’s a hard limit on how much you can reduce rent, but it’s a great strategy if you can afford to slash this number.
2 Install better appliances
Appliances are some of the most apparent and commonly used features of a given property, so you can make your property instantly more attractive by upgrading those appliances. Installing a dishwasher, replacing the old refrigerator with a new, stainless steel one, or putting in energy-efficient laundry machines could be exactly what your property needs.
3 Fix the little things
Little things, like loose doorknobs or squeaky windows, aren’t going to turn tenants away individually. But collectively, they can make a bad impression. Since these fixes are usually cheap and easy, there’s no excuse not to make them.
4 Hang big mirrors
Another easy trick is to hang large mirrors throughout the interior of the property. Mirrors give the illusion of extra space, making your rooms look larger than they actually are both for in-person tours and in your property photography.
5 Add a fresh coat of paint
Repainting is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to improve the interior look of a home. It’s ridiculously cheap, you can do it yourself, and in a matter of hours, the property could look warmer, more inviting, and even cleaner. The only hard decision here is choosing which color paint to apply.
6 Replace the front door
First impressions count for a lot, so make sure the front door is as functional and attractive as possible. A replacement here might cost a few hundred dollars, but it’s well worth the cost if it lands you a good tenant.
7 Invest in landscaping
Similarly, be willing to invest in your landscaping. A colorful flower garden and beautifully trimmed hedges could be exactly what you need to appeal to your target demographics.
8 Improve the lighting
For both photography and tours, it’s important to have the right lighting. You can try to time these events to take advantage of natural outdoor light, but it’s also important to have plenty of accent lighting, background lighting, and task lighting available on the property.
9 Properly stage the home
Staging a home is the process of decluttering, cleaning, and rearranging the interior of a property to make it more attractive. You can do this work yourself, but you’ll likely see better results if you hire a professional.
10 Take better photos (and videos)
Finally, invest in your photography. Most people search for a rental property online before they tour in person – and some never tour properties in person at all. That means photos and videos are your first, best, and sometimes only opportunity to reach your prospective tenants effectively. Hire a professional photographer for the best results, and barring that, learn the fundamentals of effective real estate photography.
Extra Tips for Success
Follow these extra tips to be even more successful with these rental property improvement strategies.
- Know your target demographics. Keep your target demographics in mind. Broke college students are going to be searching for a property with a different set of perspectives and expectations than wealthy medical professionals. Most of our strategies apply to most demographics equally, but subtle nuances are still important to acknowledge.
- Study your competition. Take a close look at other properties similar to yours in the area. If you can make your property look better, in multiple dimensions, you should have no problem dominating the area with higher tenant interest.
- Ask for feedback. Finally, make sure you get feedback from anyone who looks at the property. If a prospective tenant is no longer interested in renting after seeing the place in person, is there something that would have made them change their mind?
Optimizing a rental property to be more attractive to tenants is a delicate balancing act. You want to maximize appeal to prospective tenants, but at the same time, you have to keep your spending at a reasonable level. Manage these variables carefully if you want to end up ahead.