We all know that first impressions matter. This holds true when it comes to your rental property. If you want to maximize your property’s income, you have to make sure you aren’t scaring away potential tenants. Making a lasting, strong first impression increases the chances that they’ll want to rent from you.
I have already shared numerous ways you can update your property’s curb appeal to make sure it is top-notch. This remains vital and I still encourage you to take steps to present a clean and maintained home from the street. But many potential renters start their search online (which is precisely why we’ve gone mobile). Today, they can tour your house outside and in before they even drive by. So make sure that the interior of your home shows well, too.
Here are some easy steps you can take to make sure the first impression of your rental property is positive from the inside:
- Make the kitchen sparkle and ensure all appliances are functional. While renters can be flexible when it comes to their cooking space, remember that they deserve modern conveniences, too. At minimum, the kitchen needs to be spotlessly clean. Make sure areas such as under the sink, cabinet doors, door knobs and drawer pulls, and light fixture don’t get missed. Clean it all. If your cabinets are older, give them a fresh coat of paint and line the drawers and shelves with shelf paper.
Once your kitchen looks spectacular, take a close look at the appliances in the house. They should all be in perfect working order (including the ice maker on the fridge). If any appliance is not functioning probably and is near the end of its life, replace it. Per one source: “You’d be shocked how much new appliances can add to your monthly rent … it goes back to tenants liking clean.”
- Bathrooms should be neutral and modern. After appliances, you should spend some time really assessing the bathrooms in your home. Dingy, dirty and worn bathrooms are one of the biggest detractors when it comes to the rental market. You don’t have to spend money for high-end finishes, but a small investment in clean, updated bathrooms can make your property highly attractive.
Other easy ways to impress renters are to install a new toilet seat, update cabinet and drawer pulls, and install new lighting if what is there looks outdated. Renters take a critical eye to bathrooms when they are browsing properties.
- Replace any flooring that is worn or stained. In today’s fixer-upper world, there are many options for flooring that is affordable, looks good, and can withstand heavy traffic and a considerable amount of wear and tear. Having laminate that is falling apart or carpet that is stained indicates to a potential renter that the house is old and not maintained.
- If possible, limit the amount of carpet in your home. Again, this is a one-time investment with a big payback. First, carpet stains are unsightly yet hard to limit in a rental. Second, cleaning carpets during every tenant turnover can be time-consuming. Third, renters prefer hard floors over carpet lived on by strangers (especially if there are any allergies). Solid surface flooring, such as the new luxury vinyl tile, laminate, hardwoods or other tile products, are a great idea for landlord and tenant.
- Paint wisely. Go lightly when infusing your personality or preferred design choices. You want to appeal to as many people as possible and, while putting your own special touch on a space is appreciated, be aware of how many different people may be considering your place, all with their own set of preferences.
Once you’ve got your rooms designed, step back and make sure all the walls are clean and smudge-free. This includes those often-forgotten walls in the closets, pantries and even the garage. Also closely inspect all of your trim and ceilings. Could they use a fresh coat of paint too?
- Declutter and style. Be sure that all of the rooms look spacious by removing clutter. If you are in the process of moving, keep all moving items in one room or in the garage. Then, go through the home and start packing things and creating space for tenants. Remove clutter from the kitchen counters, the fridge, all of the closets and the pantry. Give renters space to live; the more a tenant can imagine their stuff in a property, the better.
Once the clutter is removed, feel free to carefully and selectively style the space. Put nice throw pillows on the couch, for example. Some homey touches are appealing to renters.
7. Get professional photos and video. Once you’ve spent time ensuring that the interior of your property is as appealing as the exterior, take the time to get great pictures and videos done. When it comes to the Internet, having high quality and well-done photos and video to share cannot be emphasized enough.
At Sweyer Property Management, we’ve been working with both renters and property investors for decades. If you’d like help with your property, come see us today!
Sweyer Property Management has been providing real estate property management services and long-term rentals to the Wilmington area since 1987. The company continues to be the industry leader with more than 1400+ units and more than 20 employees. Sweyer Property Management has exhibited continuous growth throughout the Wilmington, Leland and Hampstead areas while maintaining a 4.8 Google+ rating for customer service. To inquire about the company’s full-service management services, or to take a tour of houses for rent in the area, email [email protected], visit us online at WilmingtonForRent.com or download our mobile app, Sweyer Rentals. You can also Like and follow the Sweyer Property Management Facebook page to get property management tips or see properties for rent.