11 Ways to Modernize an Outdated Rental Property
As a landlord, you have a lot of responsibilities–fix broken things, ensure you let only qualified renters live in your properties, keep your property updated and within HOA guidelines… The list is endless. One of the biggest goals you have as a landlord is to make as much passive income as you can. However, if your rental property is outdated, it can be difficult to score a lease with quality renters, especially if other homes for rent offer features yours doesn’t. Here are some ways to modernize your outdated rental property to maximize your income.
- Modern and Sleek Is the Name of the Game: Today’s renters want modern and sleek apartments. That means keeping a complementary color scheme, painting all the walls a similar shade and keeping the cabinets and appliances consistent. Your kitchen should feature stainless steel appliances and bright white cabinets. Having a modern and sleek look to your rental property will send your rental income skyrocketing!
- Add Technology to the Home: Switch out your traditional non-electronic features for state of the art tech. Add a keyless entry, smart speakers and a digital smart thermostat to your rental property to give it a tech boost. Since buyers are willing to pay more for a smart home, renters are, too. Most people who rent are busy professionals who don’t have the time to spend on keeping a home up, so they look to a rental property with a staff to help with that. Renters want the same amenities buyers can get, too, so why not add a couple of tech amenities to your home to entice renters more?
- Open the Space Up: Open concept floor plans are the name of the game these days. If you can, knock down some walls. You’ll instantly transform the living space, making renters with families more likely to rent from you. Sure, the initial investment might be a little expensive–especially if you have any load-bearing walls where you want to open up–but the ROI you’ll receive from renters will more than make up for it.
- Take Out the Tiled Walls in the Bathroom: Don’t be that landlord and renovate everywhere but the bathroom. People like to bathe in luxury, too. You’ll want to be sure to remove the tiled walls from your bathroom and instead replace them with smooth drywall and a fresh coat of neutral paint. Give the vanity a facelift with a new mirror and sink hardware. Make sure the tub has a built-in shelf or two for renters to put their products. You’ll quickly see how much faster you’ll get interest on your rental property when the bathroom looks sublime.
- Keep Things Cordless: Making sure that cords are hidden is a great way to entice potential renters to be interested in your property. This is especially for window blinds. Cordless blinds are much safer for families and people with pets because cords pose potential strangulation risks. Parents of human and furry children alike will feel much safer renting from you.
- Install a Security System: With so many advances in new safety technology, there’s no excuse to rent a property without a security system. Install a video doorbell, motion-activated outdoor lights and any other security features you think are necessary for your home. Even if you live in the “best” area, crime can happen anywhere to anyone. Plus, your video camera might help out one of the neighbors. That will show renters that you care about the community as well as their personal safety.
- Update the Lighting: Add recessed lighting in the living room, track lighting in the kitchen and some unique lighting features in the living room or master bedroom for serious rental inquiries. You’ll add a fun feature to your property and update it in a simple way. Updating the lighting is one of the easiest ways you can upgrade your rental property and make the space feel fresher.
- Be Pet Friendly: A large portion of renters have pets. Being a pet-friendly property owner will garner you a lot of interest in your properties. If you’re worried about damages, charge a non-refundable pet deposit fee, or include a smaller monthly pet rent that will offset any costs to the damages incurred by pets. However, it’s also important to remember that not every renter is irresponsible. Some renters with pets might end up taking better care of the property than renters without. Install a built-in under the kitchen island for pet dishes or hang a set of decorative hooks by the door for leashes. If you’re feeling really pet-friendly, you can install a doggie door.
- Let Them Pay You Online: While it’s not a direct upgrade to the property itself, accepting online bill pay for rent is a way you can reach a larger rental demographic. Renters will appreciate the ease that comes with online bill pay. In fact, most of their other bills are taken care of online, and you don’t have to worry about lost or bounced checks. When they pay you directly with an online tool such as Venmo or PayPal, or you establish an online portal for them through a website, your renters can make their payments easily and without any fuss. Plus, you typically get the money instantly.
- Bring in Natural Light: Replace the current window with larger, one pane windows that let in more natural light. This is especially for the kitchen, living room and master bedroom. The natural light will make the space feel much brighter, cleaner and more modern–exactly what the renters of today want.
- Create an Outdoor Space: Whether it’s updating the front porch or transforming the back porch into a sunroom, there are lots of ways you can create an outdoor space for your renters to enjoy. Install some pavers, add a few string lights or create a small garden for them to grow their own produce to really bring in the rental inquiries. Renters will love getting to experience the outdoors at your property. Plus, if you put down concrete or pavers, they don’t have to mow the lawn!