When people hear the term quick property face-lifts they often think of cheap fixes, full of gimmicks, that are going to end up costing more than just money in the end. For the long term, as a landlord will need to address major repairs and maintenance on your rental property. Your DC property manager can help you devise the best plan of action in those events. However, when you have a new vacancy after a multi-year lease period, taking these quick steps to upgrade your curb appeal and interior finishing touches will help alleviate the turnover process.
Here are seven budget- and time-friendly ways to do a quick rental property facelift to attract new tenants:
1. Power Wash For A Brighter Look. Power wash siding, concrete areas, decking, and walkways. Patch them while you are at it, as well. Cleaning and repairing front porches and sidewalks can save you from everything from lawsuits to unsightly damages. A damaged or cracked sidewalk or porch will only get more expensive to fix as time goes by. Doing a fast fix with a cleaning and patching increases safety and curb appeal.
2. In With The New Appliances. You don’t want 1960’s fixtures in your unit, making it look cheap and unmaintained. Replacing large appliances will not be a snap decision, unless they break, requiring an unexpected purchase. Therefore, the decision to upgrade an entire kitchen or bathroom will come with much forethought and planning. However, when you want to do a quick upgrade, consider replacing faucets, cabinet knobs, interior and exterior knobs and knockers, the microwave, and shower heads. Addressing these small details can really do wonders.
3. Window Treatments. Just as cabinet fixtures can drastically change the look and feel of a kitchen or bathroom, window treatments can really dress up a boring space. When you unit is vacant, prospective tenants will be imagining how to fill the empty space. Help them out by adding new curtain rods, curtains, or wide wooden blinds. Should you decide to leave these items for the tenants to use, be sure to leave terms in the Lease Agreement regarding the care requirements and liability terms. Again, talk with your property manager about this and other unique lease terms.
4. Fresh Paint. In the event of a vacancy, you cannot forgo interior paint re-touching to get ready for the next tenant. However, many older painted wooden or brick homes require full paint jobs every few years. During those in-between periods, commit to keeping doors, shutters, railings, and decks freshly painted, free of cracks or chipping.
5. Clear Signs. A sign that once read “no parking”, but now reads, “nu p rk g” does not convey the right message to prospective tenants. Since signs are generally the first thing a passerby or visitor sees, if they are unmaintained, faded, or broken they can bring the appeal of your property down drastically. Update your parking signage, parking spaces, and street numbers.
6. Update Mail Facilities. A great deal of older buildings have small and rather old mailboxes on one side of the building. Updating to a newer more secure system can not only make the building look better, but function better. Replacing the worn wooden post and buying a new box will look great!
7. Listen To Your Tenants. Your tenants live in your rental units year-round. They have to see every crack, crevice, broken object, and dirty flaw. Ask them what can be updated or fixed before they move out, you can save yourself the stress of trying to plan during the quick vacancy period.
Preventing problems from getting bigger can be the best and least costly way to keep your rental property up to date. This can mean that a quick face-lift is an afternoon effort for you instead of a multi-month project.