As Commercial or Residential Property Managers, as well as individual Property Owners, one of the sure-fire ways to attract tenants is to spruce up the look of your rental property. Of course, how much you do and spend depends on your class of properties. If you own class A-B properties, you probably are already keeping the appearances up. If you own class C-D properties, you might be lacking in keeping up some of the properties areas.

I hear property owners make statements like, “Well my property looks as good as the rest of the neighborhood”. That may be so but what about making your property look a little better then the rest of the neighborhood. Would you be better to compete for that tenant then your investor friend next door? Could you reduce some vacancy time if you spent a minimal amount in appearances?

There are several affordable ways to do this. Here are some suggestions:

Exterior Paint

This is an obvious one, but often it is overlooked. Painting is relatively easy and inexpensive but adds a lot of bang for the buck. Tip: If you own multi-level properties, be sure to use drop cloths further then you think necessary. In the unlikely event that you drop your paint, you will be surprised how upset car owners get when your 5-gallon bucket reaches the parking lot after bouncing off the last step. 

Window Treatments

Again, these can be relatively inexpensive but add some ‘home’ feel when showing to potential tenants. Window treatments make a room more like their own home.  They are worth the investment and remember, they don’t have to be expensive. Shop at Amazon, IKEA, Michaels or any home store in your area. Also, be sure to check out sites like Craigslist for used but nice window treatments. Tip #1:  Hang the longest panels you can fit in your room.  It makes low ceiling rooms seem larger.  (and shorter people feel taller)

Window Shutters

Is the front of your property plain? Window shutters are inexpensive but add a nice look to the front of your property.

Maintain Your Yard

Yes, here is another obvious one but I see too many rental properties with yards that look terrible. Add a few bags of mulch, trim up some wild bushes get some weed killer and go to work. Don’t forget to edge and keep the grass cut!

Don’t Forget the Front Door

Front doors make an impression. A nice coat of paint will do wonders to the appearance. Tip: be sure to crack open the front door when you paint the edges. There is no better way to upset an existing tenant then to paint the front doors edges, allowing it to dry to a tight seal. Ensuring your tenant will not exit the property through that door without assistance.

Choose Neutral Colors

This includes wall paint, front door color as well as any window dressings you may add. 

Use Exterior Lighting Wherever You Can

Depending on your property, this may or may not be a great idea. However, if you think your property can benefit from it, try it. I’m talking inexpensive solar lights to accent columns or anything else that is out of the way of tenants. I wouldn’t recommend walkway lighting, tree lightings etc. In certain properties, those types of lights have a lifespan expectancy measured in hours. Of course, it depends on your property. You make the call but just remember, these are very inexpensive and add a significant appeal.

Don’t Embrace the Distressed Look

It’s a myth! If parts of your property looked distressed then repair, replace, trim, cut, hide, conceal or paint it. You want your property to look ‘Fresh”.

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