What upgrade or renovation project has the biggest bang for the buck on your rental property? Compared to any other remodeling effort, a new coat of a neutral color paint can give you the highest return on investment. It’s fairly simple, inexpensive, and makes an immediate visual impression.
One of the most important success factors in owning and managing rental properties is the occupancy rate. To make the most profit requires maintaining an occupancy rate as close to 100% as possible. Here are three ways a new coat of paint can save you money on your rental property — which is more money to save, spend, or reinvest.
New paint makes the property more appealing to renters. A new coat of a light-toned neutral color paint makes the place look brighter and cleaner. Brighter walls are inviting and uplifting, and also make the living space feel more spacious. First impressions are important and a freshly painted unit implies the place is well-maintained. This will help the potential tenant to see themselves living happily there. They will perceive the value in the rental price and be willing to pay more. There is also a psychological effect of people wanting a clean space to stay that way. By repainting your rental unit between tenants, you encourage the new occupants to keep the place clean and well cared for. Even though you spend money on re-painting, you save money if the tenants take better care of the property in general so you have fewer overall repairs to the unit.
The right paint protects surfaces. Choosing the right type of paint for the surface saves you money by protecting against damage and wear-and-tear. Here’s a list of recommended paint finishes for the different surfaces in the unit:
High Gloss: doors, trims, kitchen cabinets
Satins: family rooms, kids bedrooms, hallways, playrooms
Semi-gloss: kitchens, bathrooms, trim, laundry rooms
Eggshell: dining room, living room, office or study
Flat or Matte: adult bedrooms, ceilings, low-traffic areas
By making it easier for the tenant to care for and maintain their unit, you have decreased the time and expense needed on your part. Again, this results in more savings to you in time, supplies, repairs, and renter turnover.
3. Buy paint in bulk to save time and money. When you buy a certain amount or larger sizes of paint containers you should get a discounted price. It’s wise to keep on hand an inventory of a few core choices of colors and finishes. But more importantly you will always have the right paint on hand when you need it. Whether it’s for quick touch-ups or even to repaint several walls or other surfaces, you won’t be scrambling to drive to the store or taking the chance that the new paint doesn’t match the old. It you own more than one unit, it helps to keep detailed records of which paints (brands, colors, finishes, etc.) you use for each. Then you can easily refer back to quickly see what you need when the time comes to repaint. When you buy regularly from some paint or hardware stores you can set up an account that keeps track of your previous purchases in detail. This also helps when you do run back to restock your paint and supplies.
The more you simplify your paint choices, the easier it is to quickly repaint your vacant unit and get it rented out again. Keep these three suggestions in mind as you prepare your next property so you can save money while maintaining and improving on your real estate investment.
For more information about any aspect of property management contact us today.
Rental homes are one of the premier forms of investment property for anyone looking to build their estate and bring in passive income. Of course, a home isn’t really a static asset, it needs care and regular maintenance, especially if you plan on keeping it occupied with happy tenants. Every six months the gutters will need to be cleared, the windows washed, and a perimeter of poison laid down to keep the bugs at bay, not to mention actually tending to the needs of your tenants. This is why all but the most handy and sociable landlords choose to hire the professional assistance of a property manager. When choosing who to hire, it’s important to remember that a property manager is a lot more than just a babysitter for the house, they can literally add value to your property value and the quality of life for your tenants with a few simple value-added services. Make sure the property manager you choose is providing you with everything your investment deserves.
Property staging is the art of making a house beautiful and appealing to new occupants whether you’re renting or selling. When you’re looking for your next family of tenants, the best way to draw in high-quality applicants is to present a cozy, inviting home. Your property manager should be skilled at making a house or apartment look and feel amazing even if there’s not a single stick of furniture inside. Subtle use of curtains, scented candles, and polished surfaces can make an empty home look and feel like it’s ready to welcome a new family.
The tenants you choose from among your applicants will make a big difference in how easy and pleasant it is to be their landlord. Ideally, you’re looking for someone with a good rental history, stable finances, and a clean background check who can be practically guaranteed to treat your property with care and consideration as their home and your investment. These fantastic tenants are out there, but making sure you’ve selected one means calling their references, running the background checks and, to a certain extent, trusting your instincts after meeting them. A great property manager will be able to find you delightful, well-behaved tenants who always respect the terms of their lease and make timely requests for the occasional maintenance need.
Another great thing a talented property manager can bring to the table is landscape maintenance. You may or may not be surprised to discover that the quality of your lawn makes a big difference in property value and you can’t always count on the tenant to be willing or even able to take care of all the landscaping tasks themselves. Your property manager will not only keep the grass cut, trees trimmed, and the flower beds tended, they will keep the yard the way you like it and will be happy to nurture it to blooming perfection as part of the staging process as well.
Furnace Filter Delivery
One little maintenance detail that many property owners forget, even for their own homes, is the furnace filter. The filters not only determine the air quality for your tenants, they also influence how efficiently the furnace can do its job keeping the building warm and cozy. Depending on the size of the filter, these need to be changed out anywhere from two to six months. Your property manager will get to know your furnace and ensure that there’s always a clean filter installed right on time, ensuring that your furnace will need less maintenance and repairs and your tenants can enjoy clean, efficient heating.
Regular Inspections and Upkeep
As a final value-added service your property manager can offer automatically is a regular yearly or 6-month inspection of the home. A simple investigative walk-through can catch potential problems early and take care of little maintenance tasks before they have a chance to become repair jobs. Replacing chipped or broken grout and calking in the bathrooms, watching for signs of leaks under the sinks, and cleaning the gutters before they get full will all ensure that you’re home remains in top condition and ready to bring in rental income for years to come.
Your investment property is great, but with the value-added services of a professional property manager, your residences will soon be the pride of their neighborhoods with beautiful landscaping, exemplary tenants, and appliances kept in perfect repair. For more information about how to find the perfect property manager, contact us today!