The Four S's Guaranteed To Make Your Rental Stand Out
Knowing what renters want in a home is the first step to attracting quality tenants. It's true, you can't change your rental's location and lack of funds may limit your ability to do major remodeling. Yet with a little imagination, there are many things you can do to make your rental stand out - and it doesn't include lowering your asking price. The next time you have a vacancy to fill, try employing these four S's to help make your rental rise above the rest.
Even if your rental home is small, consider how space is currently used. Install kitchen cupboard organizers or a pot rack above the stove to increase space. Stretch storage area by putting in shelves above the washer/dryer in the garage. A closet organizer for the master bedroom will make any closet pop. Add a bar or kitchen island if space allows and throw in a couple bar stools from a second hand store. A shed in the back yard is an attractive feature for tenants who want space to store their outdoor items. If you are remodeling a fixer and have the funds, redesign existing space by taking out a wall for an open floor plan, create a third bedroom out of an office area or convert a closet into a second bathroom.
Incorporating decorative touches can make your rental memorable to applicants who have already viewed several homes. For example, updating light fixtures, creating an accent wall or dressing up tired cabinets with a new coat of paint, knobs and drawer handles are cost effective ways to add interest to a home without damaging your wallet. If you can spend a bit more, toss out the carpet and install wood or laminate flooring in high traffic areas; tenants prefer this type of flooring for the same reasons landlords do - they last and are easy to keep clean. Matching appliances in the kitchen area - even older ones with imperfections- will give your rental a clean, polished look.
Working locks on all doors and windows is required in most areas to meet state and local fair housing standards but don't stop there. Make your rental say "safe" by installing exterior lighting above the garage and front door entry and add a motion detector. Replace a manual garage door with one that can be opened by remote control. Offer to install a mobile security system and have the tenant pay the monitoring fee. If your rental is located in a rough part of town, make sure any gates or fences are in good repair and provide sturdy locks if needed.
If you know where to order the best enchiladas or where the nearest cinema is, share this information with your applicants. Include numbers and addresses of local schools, nightclubs, parks, hospitals and restaurants. List who to contact to transfer or set up utility accounts, and the collection days for garbage and recycling. Attach this welcome information with a photo of your property to your application packet for their review. Doing so will make a memorable impression. More importantly, it will encourage them to think of your property as their next home.
If you have any ideas for making your rental rise above the competition, please share them!