Landlording & Rental Properties

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Rental More Attractive in Under a Week

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Finance, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Marketing, Mortgages & Creative Financing
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Is your rental property a bit of a dump? Are you competing with other listings that are far nicer? In order to get a competitive rate for your rental, you’ll need to make a few improvements. Thankfully, these improvements don’t have to be costly or time intensive.

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Boost the Appeal of Your Rental Property

When the bones of a house are good—i.e. the foundation, roof, electrical, plumbing, etc.—everything else can be dealt with relatively easily and inexpensively. So stop complaining that your rental never stays rented, or that the landlords nearby are getting a much higher rate for similar properties, and do something about it. In a week or less, you can boost the appeal of your property by addressing some key cosmetic issues that are likely holding you back.

Here’s how.

1. Curb Appeal

Let’s start with curb appeal—something prospective renters are exposed to before ever stepping foot inside. First impressions are everything and can consciously and subconsciously impact the way people think about your rental on multiple levels. Thankfully, curb appeal is one of the quickest things to fix.

For a couple hundred dollars and a few hours of your time, you can pull weeds, trim shrubs, mow the lawn, pressure wash hard surfaces, plant fresh flowers, replace house numbers, and make the rental seem a little more homey.

Related: 13 Proactive Ways to Increase Rent & Add Value to Your Rental Property

2. Window Treatments

You probably don’t think a whole lot about the window treatments in your rental property, but they make a huge difference. Visually, they have a way of making a room feel more comfortable and put-together. Comfort-wise, they help control the temperature in the home. They also enhance privacy and security within the home, which is attractive to many renters.

Instead of buying those cheap aluminum blinds that bend and break over time, spend a little bit more and invest in something that will last. Try motorized blinds, which look good, are safer (no dangling cords that pose a risk to toddlers), and can serve as a tech-friendly selling point.

3. Fresh Paint

Paint is cheap, easy for the average DIYer, and makes a huge aesthetic difference in the overall look and design of a rental property. But instead of going with the same basic white or beige that most landlords tend to use, try something a bit more regal – like a grey or soft pastel. (Pro tip: Try an eggshell paint finish. It’s slightly reflective and washable. This makes it look higher quality, while also being easy to clean after a renter moves out.)

In conjunction with painting, you may also consider adding crown molding where the walls meet the ceiling. This can be done very inexpensively, but will make even the oldest, dingiest spaces instantly look nicer.

4. New Carpet

Carpet gets worn out very quickly. It also has a way of holding smells and making a rental seem old and worn. Thankfully, carpet can be replaced quickly and cheaply. Not only will it make your unit look better, but it’ll also come with a fresh smell that will appeal to prospective renters as soon as they walk through the door.


Related: 8 Features That Make Your Rental Irresistible to Families

5. New Appliances

Few things frustrate tenants quite like faulty appliances that stop working at the worst possible times. While it’ll cost you a chunk of change up front, updating the microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, and oven/range will keep tenants happy. And when tenants are happy, turnover goes down.

With new appliances, you also don’t have to worry about expensive and time-consuming repairs. Most appliances come with manufacturer warranties that cover parts and labor during the first year or two. They’re also less likely to break down than old appliances, which prevents you from having to constantly pay for expensive repairs.

Get Ahead of the Competition

It's time to stop playing catch the leader with the other landlords and real estate investors in your area. Their properties consistently stay rented because they know what tenants want and take the time to deliver upon these desires. You should too. In one week or less, you can deal with each of the items highlighted in this article and totally change the look of your rental. You might even be able to raise the rent and still remain competitive.

What simple things do you do to add value to your rentals?

Comment below!

Larry is an independent, full-time writer and consultant. His writing covers a broad range of topics including business, investment and technology. His contributions include
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    Chris Carroll from Philadelphia, PA
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    No offense, Carpets are out, no one wants them. motorized blinds? This blog could offer better advice.
    Dante Pirouz Rental Property Investor from Fort Gratiot, MI
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I agree with @Chris Carroll carpet needs to always be ripped up and replaced with a nice gray shade of laminate plank (waterproof is the best bet). If tenants want their feet to touch carpet, I put down a nice new area rug that I pick up new (love the new smell) from Big Lots for very cheap which I can leave as a perk in the unit or roll up and move to another unit. Carpet is just plain gross IMO!! We use either white pleated paper blinds that I can cut with scissors in seconds and paste up in each window as a temp solution that look great or we install cordless blinds that are made from fabric that are cheap (about $30/per) and can be cleaned or just popped out for replacement. They look very sleek and are easy to push up and down and safe with the little ones and/or pets. Home Depot and Lowes carry them and cut them to size while you wait but I buy them from a local spot Menards which is the cheapest. Motorized just sounds like something that the tenants can easily break and sounds expensive!!!
    Jim Bryant
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I’m with you on the laminate. My wife and I just installed laminate throughout our rent house and it looks great, was about 3k for the whole house and we were able to do it ourselves in a few days. I haven’t been able to experience its durability yet, but hopefully it will last a long time.