As new and more modern rental options enter the market every day, your property’s signs of depreciation and functional obsolescence. If these issues go on unchecked, renters may consider newer options in the neighborhood, leading to vacancies.
So, how does one stay competitive? Are there any improvements or renovations that can be implemented to keep long-term tenants or attract new tenants while still achieving that target return on investment?
Bigham & Associates, a leading property management company in Austin, advises property owners on the best renovations to consider for their rentals.
Considering how important first impressions are, you would think property owners would put more effort into the exterior look of the property. However, most of the time and resources are usually spent on internal finishes and fittings.
From our experience in the Austin property market, potential renters might think twice about a property after simply driving past it. Improving the curb appeal of your rental property will work in your favor.
We recommend that you start with a thorough examination and assessment of the exterior condition. Check for any cracks in the concrete driveway, inspect the condition of the paint, and don’t forget the gutters and window shutters.
Landscaping is another important aspect of curb appeal. It is a low-maintenance and aesthetically pleasing feature that will add value to your home in the long run. Landscaping is a multi-faceted element that also includes ponds, fences, paths, rock features, and lighting.
The Internal Layout
Are there rooms in your rental space that are cramped and dark with no access to natural light? This might be a deal-breaker for many tenants at a first glance. Consider changing the internal layout or design of your property.
An open floor plan has been preferred in homes over the last decade or so. This type of interior design ensures that every inch of your rental space (at least the kitchen, living, and dining areas) has access to natural light.
In addition, the design gives the illusion of a bigger space without having to incur the cost of a home addition or extension. You might need to knock down a few walls in the property, but an open concept will probably attract more new tenants to the property.
We appreciate that not every property owner has the savings to implement such a big-scale renovation. Smaller changes to the sizes of rooms or access ways can have a significant effect. By simply expanding the size of your doorways or corridors, your tenants can enjoy a completely new feel.
If you are torn between two or more property features that are in need of a touch-up, we would recommend that you prioritize the renovations of the kitchen. Whether your target market is young couples or single professionals, this renovation is proven to impress.
The larger demographic is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. With stay-at-home measures and social distancing protocols implemented, many renewed their love for the kitchen and home cooking.
Having state-of-the-art appliances in your kitchen will lure any potential tenant to sign or renew that lease.
For a complete renovation of the kitchen, it would be prudent for you to also consider the following:
- The state of your cabinetry. You don’t have to incur extra costs in setting up new cabinetry. If they are in good condition, simply consider a sanding and painting job.
- A new countertop. The combined look of a countertop and top-of-the-line kitchen products will improve the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen.
- Kitchen backsplash. The addition of a backsplash comes highly recommended. Not only is it affordable but it is also easy to clean and low-maintenance.
- The floors. Fixing cracked or older-style flooring with new tile designs or stain-proof finishes can go a long way in terms of both aesthetic and usefulness.
To keep or attract new tenants to your property, a landlord must view their property from the eyes of a potential renter. Why would a tenant consider your space over other options in the neighborhood?
The answer to that question must be considered from the context of the target demographic.
For example, the property amenities that would entice a couple with a young daughter will be different from those that would lure in a college student. Know your target demographic and their wants and needs.
That said, here are some popular amenities suggested by the team at Bigham & Associates:
- Storage space. Offer your tenants a room where they can store their seasonal or holiday belongings. In a multi-rental, you can choose to lease that space to the willing tenants.
- Air conditioning. Your tenants will thank you in the warmer months of the year.
- Outdoor spaces. Add in a patio or spacious balcony where your tenants can host a small gathering. It is also a necessity as more and more people now work from home.
- Parking. Having a carport or driveway will go a long way to attract a potential renter, especially a professional or young couple. Parking is a big issue for renters in the downtown area.
You might be wondering if implementing these renovation ideas is worth it. After all, changing your internal floor plan, improving your curb appeal, and upgrading your kitchen comes at a cost.
However, if you want to remain competitive, increase property value, and possibly reduce the cost of utilities in the long run, these are ideas that you should slowly incorporate into your rental property.
What other changes can you make to your rentals? Maximize the potential of your investment in real estate by contacting the premium property service provider.
Since 1987, Bigham & Associates has been in the business of advising property owners and providing professional property management services in the Austin area.
We provide a comprehensive management solution that guarantees every property matter is handled promptly and to the client’s expectations.
With us as your property partner, you can relax knowing your property is in the best hands in the State of Texas.