What amenities attract the best tenants?

52 Replies

A washer dryer is a great amenity especially if the alternative is hiking to a laundromat a ways away. If you operate in an area where most units don’t have one then that could be the competitive edge you need to make your property the most attractive in the area. I’m a big believer in scoping out what the competition is offering and doing one better, within reason of course.

Look at the competish. Here in the Valley, you gotta have AC. Near the beach, there is no need for AC 99 days out of 100.

For small things, I like my bath electric outlet with built in night light that comes on when it is dark. The USB port outlets also could be good. They are cheap.

Depends on your won market. Compare your unit to other for rent in the same area; what they offer that you don't have, how much more rent/income? It also depends on the property class. In my area, SFR class A/B most likely do not have washer and dryer, this is expected from the tenant and most families have their won. But hardwood floors or a nice deck is a +.

I would say something cheap that attract tenants is the kitchen.  Small investment of some granite/quartz counter top (not all, just a portion of if if you can) goes a long ways.  

Originally posted by @Steve Emling :
@Stephen Ellis I do wonder about new appliances. Seems like it is a lot of extra expenses but I personally am happy to Shell out for it if it means better tenants. Thanks for the info

 I would not buy new appliances unless a complete remodel of the kitchen.  Mechanical things break, and you have to come-up with $ and repair it, and tenants will not treat the new $400 oven as you will in your house.  And then you need to replace it anyways.  If appliances are in good working condition, leave it.  Invest in things that are tenant proof and will last you for the next 7-10 tenants. I.e. tile floors, backslash in kitchen, quartz counter tops, etc.

One out of 10 tenants will be a very destructive individual.  You wouldn't come-up to a conclusion how in the hell the oven have 2"+ of burned stuff on the sides...

One thing I did was to improve the landscaping in some of my buildings.  Improved the curb appeal.  In apartment buildings, I put a piece of art in the front of the building.

The more amenities the better.  However, I do not include many things for the lower end properties.  They end up breaking too much and the profitability is diminished.

@Steve Emling based on my experience, it is in the following order of importance:

1. Location

2. 3 bedroom with good sqft.

3. Garage

4. Something that stands out like nice kitchen, etc.

5. Basement

6. Additional half bathroom

If your home has all these, finding good tenants shouldn’t be hard.

Here in Texas, having A/C and ceiling fans are a must so that's not even on this list of extras.

All of the houses I have are equipped with garbage disposals, tiled showers, granite or quartz counters in the bathrooms, refrigerator with ice maker, washer & dryer hook-ups, garage door opener, and decked area in the attic for storage. My brother-in-law said I was foolish to add a garage door opener for the one house that didn't have it because it would just be something that people would tear up. I disagreed with him and told him that one of the best parts of renting a house is that you can park in the garage. It would be a pain in the rear to have to get out and open the garage door every time by hand. It was $200 to install so it wasn't a big expense.

The house my son rents in Colorado has a ring type doorbell and the owners mounted a small monitor on the wall in the hallway close to the door so my son can see who's at the door. It's motion sensitive as well so anyone who comes up on the porch is picked up by this device.

I updated a kitchen in a single family property. I added the typical amenities noted here.  A stove is the only requirement by law in my area.  I did include in the lease that all appliances (incl washer and dryer in basement) are as-is only.  More importantly, it was made clear in lease that the amenities are *not* part of rent and can be removed or not replaced at owner discretion. Early on when we rented the place my husband didn’t even include a refrigerator unless left by a previous tenant; I was looking at upping the rent significantly and make some changes for when it was time to unload the property. 

@Johann Jells Get a wall-switch vs. remote control. When the tenant moves out, odds are they'll accidentally pack the remote, take it with them, and forget all about it. Six months later, they'll finally unpack that box, and say, "huh? how'd that get in there?" Well it's too late now, ain't it? Remote controls are great, they're convenient, but they sprout legs and walk away, especially during the confusion of moving.

I own properties in Central PA and found that the following allow more rent:

1. Washer/Dryer in unit

2. Ceiling fans - we have remote-controlled ceiling fans that are connected to wall switches. We also have remote control holders next to the wall switches and haven't had any walk away yet.

3. Closet space. We added a few pieces of wood and painted them to create some shelves.

4. Updated windows, if it's in the budget.

5. Central air was too expensive so we went with ductless heat/AC units.

6. Stainless steel appliances always catch a prospective tenants eye

7. PETS!!! We charge $25/month pet fee with a $250 deposit. We do have restrictions on sizes, types, etc. We'll probably increase the pet rent with the next tenant.

In my first property, the listing said I could potentially get rent of around $750. After talking to neighbors and our realtor, they said we could get about $900 after fixing it up. Well, it rented for $1200/month and my first tenant paid 6 months up front!  This rental is 2BR, 1 BA and the 1 and only bathroom is in the master bedroom, so amenities can definitely help you command more rent.

try and think about cheap upgrades that feel nicer than they cost:

Outlets with USB, one in each bedroom, one in the kitchen.

New sink faucets to replace old ugly yet functional ones.

Can you add storage space somewhere? Maybe the basement?

Everybody likes the house numbers that stick out.

Maybe a cool mailbox.

Motion activated or photocell sensor lights for the outside.

I try to make or keep the things that the tenants touch/use daily feel nice.

@Sam Shueh I knew kitchen and baths were the big thing when flipping to sell and have been wondering if they are as important when rehabbing to rent. Thanks for the input

@Brian Ploszay landscaping is an interesting area to focus on. I've heard some investors say it is their favorite thing to do because it is not actually all that expensive and makes a huge difference in appearance and feel of a house. I have no experience with it but will definitely give it a closer look. Thanks!

@Steve Emling

Thank you! The property I mentioned was built in 1900. It was actually a hotel that was turned into a duplex. Here are some of the shelves we did. Wherever there was space, we just added some painted wood planks. We also added the bars and the behind the door hooks. That seemed to also be a plus

Originally posted by @Ashley Patton :

2. Ceiling fans - we have remote-controlled ceiling fans that are connected to wall switches. We also have remote control holders next to the wall switches and haven't had any walk away yet.

"Yet" being the operative word! To add insult to injury, if you installed that equipment three or more years ago, be it a remote for a ceiling fan or a window AC unit, or whatever, the remote is custom designed to that particular model -- which they don't make anymore!  So if (when) the remote does sprout legs and walk away, you won't be able to easily replace it, if at all.

My wife and I had that happen with a garage remote. We left 2 with the tenants, but there was only 1 when they moved out. And that one didn't work anymore, even after changing batteries. And we couldn't find that model available for sale anymore anywhere, so we couldn't buy replacements. Not even a compatible knock-off. We ended up replacing the entire remote control system.

Thank goodness for expenses being tax-deductible!

@Steve Emling I would say cleanliness and updated decor. No one wants to have people over to their house if it is ugly...and they don’t want to look at ugly decor every day either. And dated plus grody is going to get you weird/bad tenants unless super cheap and fantastic schools...and even then good chance of weird people. Imo.
Originally posted by @Justin Murray :

@Karl B.

Has anyone found a cheap source for USB outlets. When I redid the outlets in a rental, I looked at them but they were close to $50 each. I just couldn't justify that over the 0.50 cent outlet.

 Home Depot or Amazon. 

@Karl B.

Well look at that. Usb outlets as low as $5 each when bought in a pack. I guess I'll be doing those next. Thanks.

I do also add a "tech package" including a nest thermostat and keyless front door lock.

But I dont do garbage disposals. So go figure.

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