Owning a decent rental property can guarantee you a steady cash flow, as long as you manage that property well. As a landlord, you should have two goals. Most importantly, you want to make sure your property doesn’t go down in value. Markets may fluctuate, but you need to maintain the property’s value, and then increase it so that you can ensure that it’s always being rented out. When tenants leave, that’s your chance to make improvements, and use your tenants’ feedback to improve where it counts. Here are some great low-cost ways to get more bang for your buck with your rental value, based off an article I found on the real estate blog “Bigger Pockets”:
Makeover the yard: When prospective renters arrive to check out a property, the outside of the building is the first thing that they see. A neat and clean front lawn will help to create a good first impression. If you don’t have the budget for extensive landscaping work, just upgrade wherever you can to make your lawn look tidy and presentable. If there’s a fence around your property, make sure it looks uniform and cohesive.
Clean it well: Painting the whole exterior and interior of your property will be expensive. Yet if you don’t have the funds to cover everything with a fresh coat of paint, a thorough scrubbing and cleaning of your property will do just fine. You can get it done by somebody else, or you can do it yourself with a ladder, pile of old rags, plenty of soapy solution and a brush with an adjustable handle.
Clean the carpet: A clean carpet can give a potential tenant the feeling that they’re entering a new house, which will help you to get the rent you want. Rent a steam cleaner to clean every inch of it; it’s a low-cost activity with a high impact on the rental’s presentation. If you have a tiled floor, then get down on your knees and scrub it thoroughly.
Inspect the appliances: Shiny and well-maintained appliances will help raise the perceived value of your rental property. To make your appliances look good as new, buy a bottle of hard surface cleaner and shine them thoroughly. While sprucing up a rental property is important, don’t be wasteful with your money.
Create higher demand: When the demand for a commodity increases, then so does its value. To take advantage of that, invite all of your prospects to inspect the rental at nearly the same time. When they see such a huge demand for the property, then they’ll be more inclined to pay a premium. This can also allow you to pick your preferred tenant.
Have the papers ready: When a number of potential tenants show up together, it will be hard to keep all of them straight. Make sure you have forms and applications handy to ask each of them to fill in their necessary details and employment information. Later on, you can use these forms to select your preferred tenant.
Document everything: Lease contracts set the stage for a healthy relationship between tenant and landlord. These legal documents pen down the rules for both parties to follow. Make sure that the tenant has thoroughly read the contract and understood each point. If something could be an issue in the future, or there’s a particularly important issue, make sure you discuss it.
Be available: An unresponsive landlord is the last thing a tenant wants, so be available for your tenants and respond promptly to their calls or mails. Being unresponsive can lead to a bad impression, that might alienate the tenant and convince them to look elsewhere.