Looks are everything when it comes to gaining interest in a rental property. The exterior of a home can determine quality of renter, interest of prospectives, as well as monthly rent. We have all seen the curb appeal shows on television, and we know what makes a property look nice, but what we can learn from a property that is a bit easier on the eyes is the prevention of deferred maintenance. When we spend a little more money up front we can attract a wider range of renters, buyers, investors that want a turn key property. After all, the #1 loss of profit in an income property is deferred maintenance. If we make the necessary repairs up front, and don't expect a tenant to do maintenance, or have to schedule and waste time once there is a tenant in the home, we can save time and money.
I recently had a property we started to manage that was a bit "run down" on the outside. The very next day we sent over a lawn crew and 1 maintenance worker with a paint brush. Soon after, with the same price, the property began to attract many more prospective renters and many more renters that were able to get approved, pay deposit, and pay rent.
Another good idea is to hire a gardener. Monthly gardening service an take the stress of your yard away with just a few extra dollars a month. We have great lawn companies that will mow, blow, edge, trim, and maintain water systems for very low rates. After all the last thing an investor wants is to get on the bad side of their HOA. A nicely groomed yard will stop this from happening.
Property values fluctuate, but you can guarantee your property will be on the high end, if your curb appeal is excellent.