Investing in rental properties is always a successful financial strategy. In fact, real estate investment has been a commonplace trend since around 2010.
Since the pandemic hit, however, real estate investment has continued to grow in popularity. The demand for rental properties is growing as millions of families and individuals across the country reckon with uncertainty.
When it comes to being the landlord of a rental property, one of the goals is to generate a high return on investment. Many factors in that area are out of your control. What you can control is your ability to improve curb appeal.
A good first impression is one of the top ways to attract tenants to rent your property. A bad or mediocre first impression is an even better way to lose the interest of a prospective tenant.
If you want to get a great rental property return on investment, the best thing you can do is invest some time, energy, and money into rental property improvement. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Begin by Tidying Up
Start with the most obvious and cost-effective effort. Clean up your rental property. Get it in the best shape you can by working with what you already have.
Sweep off the porch, sidewalk, and driveway. Use a damp cloth to clean the doors and windows (screens as well!) and do a bit of weeding if you notice plants starting to grow out of the paved portions of your property.
You might even use a pressure washer on the façade of your home and the driveway to give it as fresh a look as you can. Read the manual first so you don’t accidentally take the paint or finish off the siding.
A few other things you can do to tidy up include cleaning your gutters, winding up any hoses lying around, and storing your garbage and recycling bins out of the way.
Invest in Landscaping
Rental property landscaping makes a significant difference in how easy it is to rent a property. Statistically, rental properties with landscaping are more likely to get rented than ones without landscaping.
Think about it. An overgrown lawn or one with barren patches and weeds is hardly as appealing as a bright green lawn with manicured trees and bushes. The appearance of neglect is never enticing.
As with tidying up, take care of the basics first. Mow the lawn and trim any hedges or trees that are looking a bit unruly. In the fall, rake the leaves and make sure to shovel or snowplow in the winter.
Once you’ve freshened up the landscaping features you already have on your property, take a look at the entryway to the home. A little bit of landscaping around the front door can create welcoming energy that boosts interest.
Landscaping can be as simple as planting flowers and adding a layer of mulch over the dirt. Potted plants on either side of the door is another easy approach. When framing a front door, always try to balance the two sides.
Who doesn’t love a home with shutters and vibrant window boxes? Paint your shutters and window boxes to match your window trim while creating a nice contrast with the paint color on the rest of the home.
Plant perennial flowers to avoid having to replant every year. Many tenants will look forward to adding their own touch to the window boxes without making a change that could cause damage to the home.
Window boxes make a home feel personal, warm, and well-cared for. They’re one of the most inexpensive changes that can quickly make a house feel like a home.
Try a Fresh Coat of Paint
Whether your rental property requires a little touching up or could use a full facelift, a bit of paint can make a huge difference when it comes to the curb appeal your rental property needs to attract tenants.
Before you go out and buy paint, take a look around your neighborhood and see what curb appeal styles are common. This will help you to make choices that improve your rental property without making it seem out of place.
It’s important that your home look good and fit within the neighborhood community.
If the only things looking a bit ragged are the shutters and trim, stick with touching up the little details. If your siding is looking worn, chipped, faded, or stained, consider giving the entire facade a fresh coat of paint.
A freshly painted front door featuring a fun pop of color is a popular way to improve your rental’s curb appeal. In fact, painted front doors are so popular that many prospective renters are on the lookout for them.
Giving your front door a fresh coat of paint is a cost-effective way to completely change the look of a home without making a major commitment.
The most popular front door colors are red, black, teal, and slate, but you should always go with something that goes well in contrast with the color of your home and window trim.
Painting your window and door trim in a color that contrasts well with your siding is another cost-effective strategy for rental property improvement. A contrasting trim color adds interest to any home.
For an even more sophisticated look, paint your trim in two different (complementary) shades. Applying a dark shade to the inner trim and a light shade to the outer trim adds depth and timelessness to the home’s facade.
This tactic is a simple way to stand out from the other houses on the block without drawing too much attention.
Upgrade Outdoor Lighting
It’s never a bad idea to boost your rental property’s curb appeal at night. If a home looks cozy and inviting at night, a prospective renter driving by will be even more interested to check it out in the daylight.
An easy way to make a home look good and feel safe and secure around the clock is to invest in outdoor lighting upgrades.
Lanterns and Sconces
Add a clean, sophisticated look to your entryway by installing exterior lanterns or sconces on either side of the front door. A pair of decorative light fixtures can be very tasteful even on a budget.
Another option is to add a tasteful or striking porch light to give the entrance and porch a fresh look. A porch looks much more inviting and appealing when properly and stylishly lit.
Take it up a notch and add some illumination to any paths and walkways leading in and around the front of the home. You can use string lights for a bit of a whimsical feel or solar lights that go in the ground.
Well-lit pathways are not only more inviting, but they’re also much safer for anyone coming in and out of the house. In addition to improving curb appeal, path lighting also reduces your risk of liability if someone trips.
If you want to take your outdoor lighting situation all the way to the top, incorporate spotlights in addition to your wall fixtures and landscape lighting. A bit of soft spotlighting can do wonders to enhance your home’s features.
Make sure you look for spotlight lightbulbs with a warm, soft light. Bright white light is far more off-putting than it is welcoming. You want to make sure your outdoor lighting sends a welcoming message to prospective tenants.
In addition, outdoor lighting has a significant impact on crime reduction. The more illuminated the exterior of a home is, the less likely it is to experience a break-in.
Up Your Mailbox Game
Most rental property owners tend to overlook the importance of a good-looking mailbox. The idea of installing a new mailbox might seem like a headache, but it’s a great way to improve the curb appeal of your rental.
Mailboxes are one of the first things passersby and visitors see when pulling up to a home. The mailbox is where most people confirm the address of their destination when they haven’t been there before.
The reality is, mailboxes are highly visible and they’re not very expensive to replace. Upgrading a mailbox is actually a lot simpler than you might think. Unless you need to replace the post, all you need to replace is the box itself.
You definitely do not want an old, rusted, broken, or tipping mailbox. This makes it look like other aspects of the property have been neglected as well.
Some easy things you can do are touch up the paint, sand down any rust, and try to straighten the post if you can. Another option is to remove the old mailbox and replace it with a modern or vintage version.
Again, make sure your mailbox upgrade doesn’t stand out in your neighborhood like a sore thumb. You want to make sure your rental home looks lovely without drawing too much attention.
Swap Out Old Hardware
Nothing looks worse than a fresh coat of paint on a front door or garage door with rusty, dated hardware. If you’re going to paint, you’ll have to remove or tape off the hardware anyways. Why not replace it?
Garages get overlooked almost as often as mailboxes. Adding a fresh set of hardware to your garage door will make it stand out from the crowd without being too attention-grabbing.
Garage door hardware doesn’t have to be expensive either. You can find some very lovely fixtures at your local hardware store for a reasonable price.
The front door handle is something everyone who enters or exits the home will come into contact with. Isn’t it worth making a good impression?
Replacing your old doorknob with a new brass knob or handle is a timeless look that will add curb appeal to any home. While you’re at it, install a stately door knocker to match!
Of course, displaying your house number is a legal requirement to make it easy for first responders to find where you live in the event of an emergency. House numbers are also a great way to add style and make a statement.
These days there are many different options when it comes to the look and style of house numbers. Make sure you choose something that is in line with the style and aesthetics of your home.
For example, if your rental property features modern architecture, don’t adorn it with vintage house numbers. Likewise, if your rental home is more historic or classic, a modern style of house number may not suit it either.
Why Should Rental Homeowners Improve Curb Appeal?
If you’re going to make a decent income off of your rental property, you need to fill it with quality tenants. Setting the standard that you care for your property will help you attract tenants that will do the same.
It may not seem like it, but the more time and money you invest in your property, the more you’ll profit from it.
Generally speaking, prospective tenants will readily agree to pay a higher rent for a home that is well cared for than one that is not. The inside of a home is important, but how a home looks on the outside also matters.
Again, first impressions matter. The more excited a prospective tenant feels about the outside of a home, the more interested they will be to see the inside.
Higher Resident Retention
Finding a responsible, dependable tenant is difficult. When you do find one, you want to hold onto them. It will cost you a lot more to find a new tenant than to keep a current one.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your tenants remain happy in their homes. How a property looks and the way it’s kept up are huge factors in many renters’ decisions to stay or go.
Benefits of Investing in Rental Properties
All this talk about rental property improvements and boosting curb appeal can feel overwhelming if you’re considering investing in a rental property. But investing in real estate is a lucrative financial decision to make.
In fact, many millionaires around the world have made their fortunes through real estate investment. Experts also say that real estate remains one of the best investments a person can make.
The thing about investment properties is that they rarely suffer from the short-term fluctuations of the stock market. Investment properties also come with tax benefits. The value of your property will also appreciate over time.
Rental properties, when handled properly, are a great way to ensure consistent cash flow with minimal effort. If you’re interested in passive income, real estate is the way to go.
Rental property loans are an excellent way to fund your first real estate investment opportunity. If you already have an investment property, you can use your existing equity to qualify for a loan on your next investment.
How to Improve Curb Appeal for Your Rental Property
Some simple, effective ways to improve the curb appeal of your rental property include adding a fresh coat of paint, incorporating landscaping, and scaffolding your outdoor lighting from the ground up.
Improving curb appeal is one of the best ways to ensure a high return on investment from your rental property and ensure you always attract responsible tenants.
If you are interested in investing in real estate, find out if you qualify for a rental loan to get you going. You can start your loan today with just one click!