Published September 16, 2012
The rental market is skyrocketing, encouraging landlords to undertake massive renovations of their properties in the hopes of getting higher rents. While brand new apartments boasting granite counters and stainless steel appliances are undeniably appealing, there are other less expensive ways to revamp your property without doing a gut renovation. Here are six tips for easy things you can do that will get you more money for your rental property.
1. Paint the Walls
While paint is expensive (but does not have to be) and hiring painters even more so, a new paint job works wonders at giving an old, outdated apartment a fresh look. Choose muted colors such as grey and beige, since renters bring their own furniture and don’t want to have to match it to a bright wall color. The cost of repainting is always recouped in the higher rent you will be sure to receive.
2. Put Down Carpet Tiles
If your property has floors that are less than desirable and you cannot afford to redo them, putting down carpet tiles may be the way to go. Carpet tiles are small squares of carpeting that are significantly less expensive than wall-to-wall carpeting and serve the same purpose. The tiles are glued into place on the floor and can be easily replaced every few years.
3. Stage the Rooms
Often, prospective renters have a hard time envisioning the potential of an empty apartment or house. Here is where a seasoned interior decorator can come in and stage the rooms with personal, borrowed or rented furniture. A renter’s eye is immediately attracted to the gorgeously furnished room and can overlook any shortcomings in the physical structure. The cost of bringing in a decorator is almost always recouped in the dramatically higher rents you will be sure to receive.
4. Increase Curb Appeal
As your mother always told you, first impressions make a difference. This is true with the rental property market, since people are never interested in investing their time, energy or money into beautifying a rental. As a property owner, take the time to remove weeds, clean up trash, add some flower pots and make sure the mailbox, light fixtures and gates are painted and clean. Prospective renters are looking for a clean and welcoming home.
5. Clean The Place
While it sounds obvious, there is no overstating how important a clean apartment fares for prospective renters. Renters look at the kitchen and bathrooms to determine whether or not they want to live in a place. While you don’t need to completely renovate either, polishing old appliances and scrubbing down the cabinetry works wonders for giving your place a fresh look. Bathrooms, including the tub, toilet and sink, should be sparkling clean. Prospective renters need to be able to envision themselves cooking in the kitchen and showering in the bathroom.
6. Advertise Online
These days, the most efficient and effective way to get your property rented is by advertising it online. There are several websites, such as rentals.com, craigslist.org, mynewplace.com and hotpads.com to name a few. Tenants can apply directly online, eliminating cumbersome paper trails and antiquated bureaucracy.
Leah Batkin writes about Hartford-area remodeling issues for Networx.