Owning a rental property is a great investment. The incoming rental payments and the appreciation of the property’s value make it easy to build up your savings and achieve a greater sense of financial stability. While your rental property will bring you a lot of value, there are things you can do to maximize that value. Make sure your rental property is achieving the highest potential return possible by following these 5 steps:
Landscape the Yard
The front yard is the very first thing a potential tenant sees when viewing your property. You want to make a good first impression with curb appeal, or the way your rental property appears from an outsider's perspective. The more people who are initially impressed with your property, the more demand you’ll have, which allows you to make more in rent.
There are a few things you can do to create a yard that really wows people. A well-maintained lawn adds a lot of curb appeal. In addition to a lawn, a flower garden can make your yard stand out with some color. Planting trees and shrubs can add some nice shade, which can make spending time in the yard much more enjoyable in the summer.
If you want to take your yard above and beyond, you can go even further than most owners do with their landscaping. Add some charm with landscaping, or line a rock pathway with gravel and garden lighting. Include vegetables and fruit trees in a homemade garden, so tenants can add some fresh produce into their meals.
While the front yard is a potential tenant’s first impression, the landscaping in the backyard can leave a lasting impression. Make your backyard so beautiful that anyone who sees it can instantly imagine themselves reading on a warm evening while hosting friends for an outdoor dinner party.
Each improvement you make to the yard will go a long way toward increasing demand for your property and bring more value to your investment.
If maintaining the curb appeal or upkeep of potential guests is too much of a hassle, rental property management companies can alleviate most, if not all, of your common needs. In addition to finding tenants to rent your property, they’ll suggest updates and handle the communication between you and potential renters. As most companies only charge while renters are actively renting your property, they’re even more incentivized to proactively fill any vacancies to keep your property filled and maintained.
Whether or not to allow pets in a rental property is one of the most common--and most divisive--questions. It’s true that pets can add to the wear and tear on a property, however, if you choose to not allow pets, you’re cutting out a large portion of your possible tenants. Nearly 70% of Americans own a pet. Because many properties don’t allow pets, demand for your place will soar if it’s pet friendly.
Be sure to charge a pet fee when allowing pets. This will allow you to cover the cost of the additional wear and tear on your property. You may want to put a size limit on the pets you allow or increase the fee for larger pets because they can do more damage.
If cleaning the property becomes too much of a headache between lease agreements, rental property management companies can facilitate the cleaning between tenants. Your involvement in this process can either be as inclusive or remote as your needs require, allowing you a stress-free approach to maintaining your property with or without pets.
The more time your property sits empty, the more money you are losing. Even a short vacancy is decreasing the value of your investment. If you don’t have an efficient system for finding tenants, you may end up having numerous vacancies over the course of many years. That money loss can add up.
To avoid losing out on rental income, be sure to have new renters lined up when your former renters move out. Ensure that your contract guarantees renters give at least a month’s notice before moving out, which should provide time to advertise and do showings to find a new tenant.
Upon any upcoming openings, your property should be listed on every platform while visually advertising the vacancy out front. Even if it seems old-fashioned, listing it in the newspaper can bring ample prospective tenants, as well. While you’re only looking for one tenant to fill the space, the more tenants you attract, the more likely you’ll be able to find a tenant with good credit, references, and a strong track record of paying on time. When you’re able to attract more prospective tenants, you’re also able to charge more in rent due to the high demand for your property.
An important aspect of filling your vacancies quickly is making sure you price your property right. If your property sits empty because you can’t attract tenants with your high price, you’ll lose more money in the long term than if you did the research and analysis required to determine the right market rate for your rental.
With all of these details in mind, the importance of consistently renting your property can add more efficacy to the idea of a rental property management company. As stated before, these companies are incentivized to keep your property filled with tenants throughout your rental calendar. On top of filling vacancies, they’ll facilitate the background checks, guest complaints, showings, and screenings to ensure your properties tenants are responsible, qualified renters to be using your space.
Keep Up With Repairs and Maintenance
Keeping up with repairs and staying on top of preventative maintenance is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to getting the most value out of your rental property. If your rental property appears worn out or has appliances that are no longer working properly, the amount you can charge in rent will drop significantly. When you keep everything in great working order, you’ll be able to attract tenants who are willing to pay for a high-quality place.
You’ll also lower your operational costs by keeping up with maintenance. When you let things become old and worn out, the wear and tear tends to accelerate. If you keep things in new condition, you’ll likely have fewer required repairs over time.
Consider a situation where a faulty water-heater decides to break down, leaving your property filled with water across carpets, hardwood floors, and more. If you are unable to immediately deal with issues like these, property management companies can react as the main source of contact. If an unhappy tenant calls to report the situation, your management company will source a reasonable replacement with the appropriate installers to facilitate the maintenance your situation requires.
Ideally, situations like these won’t have to occur as often if your properties are maintained and regulated throughout each tenant. Allowing a management company to handle these extra details can increase the likelihood of renters, keep appliances and repairs maintained, and alleviate the headache of having time-consuming property emergencies fall on your shoulders.
Enlist the Services of A Property Management Company
As reiterated before, landscaping, repairs, collecting deposits and pet fees, and avoiding vacancies are all great ways to maximize the value of your investment property, but these things take time and energy that most people don’t have.
Not only is it time-consuming to be a good landlord, but doing a good job also takes expertise. Unskilled maintenance work often has to be redone frequently or even make the problem worse. If you’re not experienced in negotiation, you’ll likely end up with less than ideal outcomes with any issues between you and your tenants.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the skills that are needed to manage a rental property. That’s what a property management team is for. It’s hard to become an expert handyman, landscaper, marketer, and negotiator all at once. But all of these are skills that a property management team can provide.
You’ll be able to get the most value out of your investment property with a management team because you won’t have to take valuable time away from your own life to manage your rental. You also won’t ever let important aspects of being a landlord fall through the cracks as you get too busy. The management company can take care of it all for you, and help you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to property investment.