Making your rental property attractive to tenants can be tricky. Not all potential buyers look for the same features and characteristics when viewing a potential home. For example, some may like hardwood floors while others may like tile. And some buyers may want an open concept while others like walls to designate where each room starts. But there are some factors that every buyer will in fact look for when searching for the right place to rent. To start, you need to present a clean, pristine rental that’s attractive and functional, so any potential tenant can easily visualize themselves in the space. The more beautiful your space, the more likely renters will stay for an extended period of time, which can lower your turnover costs and save you money in the long run.
When it comes time to upgrade your rental property in Baltimore, there are tons of options; some of them should be standard each time you’re ready to bring new renters in, while others are added amenities you may not have otherwise considered before we offered these tips and tricks. Installing new carpet, painting the walls, ensuring the shutters are in working order, landscaping the outside, and staining the deck are all part of normal turnover maintenance. However, there are a few rental property upgrades beyond these that will help increase the amount of money you’re able to get for your investment.
Here’s a look at the best upgrades for rental properties:
Making Life Easier for Your Renters: Adding a Washer and Dryer
If your rental property doesn’t have a washer and dryer, consider installing them. Don’t gaff at the initial expense. Sure, it can cost you $3,000 or $4,000 to purchase the equipment and run the appropriate lines so it’s installed right and functioning properly, but you’ll be able to charge another $65 to $75 a month simply because you offer your tenants the ability to do their laundry in the comfort of their own home. That means your return on investment will be about 20%.
Try and find an ROI even close to 20% in today’s market – go ahead, we challenge you! Newly constructed apartment buildings are being designed with washers and dryers built right into each unit. To stay competitive, you have to think about the things other landlords are offering tenants who might otherwise consider renting your property. For a lot of Millennials, not having a washer and dryer is a deal-breaker when they’re looking for places to rent.
Remember, you don’t have to have a huge space to install a washer and dryer. Having a hidden space like a closet with a stackable unit can do amazing things for your monthly income – and there are plenty of compact washer and dryer units out there for you to pick from. Also try to find ways to add a bit of storage nearby so your future tenants can see how easily accessible their laundry detergent, bleach, and other clean-clothes essentials will be when they move into your space.
From our analysis of the Baltimore rental market, we advise upgrading your rental property to include a washer and dryer.
Adding Space Below the Surface
Finishing the basement is something a lot of property owners and investors put on their to-do list, but it often doesn’t get done due to the time and money involved. Again, it’s not just about looking at the initial cost because that certainly can be steep. What you need to understand is how much more rent you can charge once the project is complete, which, in the end, will give your money back to you many times over.
Let’s say you’re able to finish your basement for $10,000. You then charge an extra $125 per month to the lucky tenants who now get to occupy this grand space. That means you’re getting a 15% return on your investment. You won’t be able to find this kind of return elsewhere.
Prospective renters often see finished basements as a third or fourth bedroom. They add tremendous value. As an added bonus, besides being able to charge higher rent while you’re using this as an investment property, you’ll be able to sell it for significantly more money when you’re ready to put it on the market.
At Bay Management Group, we’ve seen this situation play out over and over again. It’s much easier to rent out investment properties that have finished basements than those that don’t.
Making Life Easier for Your Renters: Adding a Dishwasher
While it’s true that dishwashers and garbage disposals were at one point luxuries to renters, those days have changed. People expect to see these items in the places they’re considering nowadays, and if the property doesn’t have them, they’ll likely move on.
Adding a dishwasher and garbage disposal are always at the top of the list when it comes to upgrading a rental property to maximize the amount a landlord can charge. You might be surprised to find that it’s actually quite simple to install a garbage disposal, and the process doesn’t cost a ton of money. It can also be somewhat inexpensive to add a dishwasher if you do a little research ahead of time. You might need to take out an extra kitchen cabinet to make the dishwasher fit, but the addition can make a world of difference to a family that enjoys taking advantage of homemade meals.
The Great Takeaway
At Bay Management Group, we’ve seen it all. From our experience, these three improvements will drastically help increase the rental price of your property. We believe most property management companies in Baltimore would also agree. With tenants demanding more and more out of their landlords, these few simple items can help keep your property in high demand without draining your wallet dry.
There’s never a wrong time to upgrade a vacant space. If you’re just now shopping around for an investment property, take these tips into consideration. Picture what each potential space will look like when you make these upgrades and factor in the cost while your Realtor takes you on property visits. Make sure you shop around so you find a place that makes sense for your budget, time constraints, and other investment conditions.
If you already own investment properties, make a list of the upgrades you’d like to do when your renters move out. If you’re already making money on an occupied property, this is a great time to shop around and talk to contractors, so you can determine how much your changes will cost you when your property becomes vacant. You never want to rush into any sort of renovation, no matter how small it may be, so take advantage of the time given to you by doing your research before you’re ready to go to build.
It’s also smart to network with other area landlords or ask your property management company if you can see some of the units they’re currently advertising. Getting a firsthand look at how other landlords have upgraded their spaces can spark ideas that you might not have previously thought of. Be sure to take pictures when something strikes your interest and take time to browse online for great deals you might miss if you wait too long.
Are you trying to find the right tenants to fill your rental property’s space and feel like you’ve hit a crossroads? Bay Management Group knows how to attract top renters all over Baltimore. Thanks to our team of 24/7 on-call property managers and a team of advertising experts that know how to drive attention to great rental properties, your search for assistance is over! Get your free Property Management Analysis today!