Being a property owner or manager is a tough, but rewarding job. And with the market value of property in NYC growing for the sixth straight fiscal year in 2017, more people are choosing to invest in real estate than ever. But whether you’re new to property ownership or you’ve been doing this for a long time, it’s important to continuously make upgrades to your property. This not only helps with tenant satisfaction, but certain upgrades can even help you increase rent. So let’s take a look at a few easy ways to make improvements throughout your rental properties.
Focus on the Outdoors
One of the best places to start when revamping rental properties is outside. Curb appeal is crucial if you want to attract and keep tenants. If there is uncut grass, chipped paint, and a parking lot or driveway filled with potholes, your building isn’t going to look too great to current or potential tenants. So consider making a few adjustments outside the building. Start with repairing driveways, parking lots, and walkways. Not only does smoother pavement extend the life of the pavement between 10% and 25%, but tenants are sure to appreciate a smoother parking lot. This can also be important for improving the safety of anyone on your property. Additionally, make sure to take the time to repair or rebuild any outdoor features you have, like a playground, bench, or statue. Doing something as simple as rebuilding a playground can increase children’s playtime at it by up to two-thirds and make it look more attractive to tenants. Furthermore, any trees, shrubs, or flowers you have outside should be properly taken care of. Trimming, watering, and nourishing your plants can help them grow and look beautiful. Good-looking landscaping can drastically improve the appearance of your rental property. All in all, start by focusing on the outdoor elements of your property to improve the curb appeal of the building.
Upgrade Old Appliances
Since appliances are one of the first things people look for when checking out a potential rental home, it’s important to have good appliances. Old appliances are inefficient and can lead to further problems down the line. So if you’re looking to upgrade your rental property, upgrade the appliances. Ovens, refrigerators, and dishwashers should all be new and it even helps to have them match each other. Another great option is to have in-unit laundry available for tenants to use. While a lot of rental properties used to not provide tenants with laundry, no one wants to have to leave their home to do laundry anymore. Most people will be willing to pay a little more for a unit or house that has a washer and dryer inside that they can use. Or if there’s a multi-unit property, even a few shared machines are better than nothing. Overall, investing in new appliances is a great way to keep current tenants happy and even ask for higher rent from new tenants in the future.
More and more people are interested in homes and apartments that have eco-friendly elements. This is especially true among the younger generations, like millennials. With that in mind, adding energy efficient features to your properties could make them more attractive. And while green features may be a bit more expensive upfront, they are a good investment. Eco-friendly features can help decrease energy use in the building and therefore, lower utility bills. Even something as simple as replacing plumbing to prevent leaks could be eco-friendly, since household leaks waste about 900 billion gallons of water each year. If you’re looking to make big investments, consider installing solar panels or looking into hydropower options. But for more affordable options, consider energy-efficient appliances and windows and maybe a water irrigation system for the garden. Investing in green features can be beneficial all around.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to make upgrades to your rental properties. Focusing on the simple improvements discussed in this article can help you attract more tenants and bring in more rent money.