With the dawn of Airbnb and traveler’s hotels, more and more people are investing in purchasing apartments, condominium units and houses to rent out. But here’s the catch. Since everyone else is doing the exact same thing, how can you get your investment back and earn passive income with your apartment? What makes it unique and different to potential tenants?
Or what if the apartment you’re about to rent out used to be your starter home and now that you have a permanent home to stay in, you want to rent it out, but no tenant is interested. What can you do?
More often than not, when it comes to renting out apartments, owners have to put a little bit of money in creating the unique renting experience. Especially if your unit is one of those high rise units. How can you beat your competition? There is a simple solution. Renovate and decorate.
Renovating doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to overhaul the entire unit. It’s just a matter of improving and fixing what needs to be fixed, especially if your unit has a few dated features. Decorating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put lots of decorative items, just a few pieces that will bring drama and visual appeal.
Now you’re thinking, how will renovating and decorating boost my income? Believe it or not, renters and tenants will pay for ambiance, comfort and convenience. If your apartment has certain features such as Wifi and a uniquely designed interior, the amount you invested in creating this will increase quite considerably.
So without further ado, here are several tips and features to consider in order to boost your rental income.
1. REPAIR WHAT NEEDS TO BE REPAIRED
The rule of thumb for most renters is that they will never rent an apartment with a lot of structural problems. So, before renting out your apartment, consider fixing whatever needs to be fixed. A huge chunk of your initial budget will go to the repairs and installations. Look around your apartment for any signs of leaks, cracks, molds and potentially dangerous elements. It helps if you take note of these signs. If your walls are a bit weak, consider reinforcing them by changing the framework or if it has a few leaks, patch it up with some plaster and give it a fresh new coat of paint. Consider hiring an electrician if you see any loose wires or if the electrical wiring needs an update. Be on the lookout for loose and exposed wires. You definitely don’t want any potential fire hazards all over your apartment. Squeaky doors? Stains on the wall? Clogged up toilets? These little problems, if not addressed right away, will be one of the reasons why you won’t be able to increase your rental income.
2. UPDATE A COUPLE OF FEATURES
Now that you’ve repaired what needs to be repaired, it’s time to update a couple of features. Now you’re thinking “I just repaired my apartment. Why do I need to update and renovate again?” Believe it or not, renters are also quite picky and would often choose apartments with some modern features such as cable TV, Wifi and even updated furniture.
You can start with installing a Wifi modem and cable TV. Instead of retaining the wall paints, you can either give a new paint color or install wallpaper for a modern feel. If you feel that your flooring is outdated, you can opt for some new flooring tiles. Opt for white to gray tiles for that clean and sleek look or wood planks for that contemporary and timeless look. Potential tenants will get the feel of renting a brand new apartment with all these updated features and will be more than willing to spend for these.
3. KITCHENS AND BATHROOMS
Of all the spaces in the apartment, the most used would be the bathroom and the kitchen. Apart from the living room and the bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom are frequently used at an average of 5 times a day. As such extra durability and quality is considered.
If your kitchen style is outdated, you can change the cabinet doors for a more sleek and updated look. Consider including a bar counter or a breakfast nook or a small dining area if you have limited space for a dining room. If you want to overhaul the entire kitchen, consider designing a kitchen with some built in trays and baskets for additional storage. It’s also a big income boost if you have a fully equipped kitchen. Take into consideration certain rules for cooking with the property itself though. There are some condominium properties that only permit induction and electric cookers. So before outfitting your kitchen, consult with the property manager.
For bathrooms, take note of your existing fixtures and tiles. If there is a slight indication of molds or rust, immediately replace them. A simple way to update your bathroom would be to change the old tiles to tiles with bolder or modern designs. Go the extra mile by making sure your bathroom has brand new features such as ample storage pieces.
With these updates, your potential tenants will feel even more at ease and will be more than willing to pay for a fully functional kitchen and bathroom.
4. CREATE A HOMEY AMBIANCE
Now comes the more personal tip. Simply put, you’re renting out a living space and to invite potential tenants and renters, you need to make the space visually appealing. Marketing specialists call this “selling the idea”. Basically, when you personalize the space, you’re providing your potential tenant the ambiance of living in a particular interior.
Believe it or not, there are people who have a particular aesthetic that they like. The most common aesthetics seen in high rise condominiums are the industrial looks and the sleek modern minimalist look. However, these won’t guarantee that you will have renters right away. Not everyone will easily click with the industrial or modern minimalist look. It is therefore important to think of your target renter when creating the homey ambiance.
Once you have your target renter in mind, you can now start creating the ambiance. You can hire a professional interior designer who can help with the styling and ambiance creating. But if you want to have a hand at it, then that’s good too. Use soft furnishings such as throw pillows, curtains and throws for that snuggly comfort feel. Add some plants that are not only easy to maintain, but will also provide clean air all over the apartment.
You can purchase stylish dinnerware and have them organized in the pantry. Don’t forget some flowers for that authentic quaint dining atmosphere. Little accessories like frame artwork and books give a little personality
Go the extra mile by adding framed rules of the house such as ‘dinner time is family time’. If you want to give it a hotel feel, add a bed tray with some candles and stylishly folded towels.
Small decorative tricks can help sell your vision of a warm and stylish home to your potential renters.
5. HAVE IT PROFESSIONALLY APPRAISED AND LISTED
Now that you have prepped your apartment, it’s time to price it and list it. Big question, where are you going to list it? Another question, how much should you rent it out for? You can’t overprice it, otherwise you won’t get your investment back. You simply can’t list your apartment in just about any property listing. In situations such as this, your best bet is to have a professional property listing company assess and list it.
You can consult companies such as Portland Homes and Commercial Properties, a Portland rental property management company. They provide services to the entire Portland area such as listing locally owned properties for potential tenants. They basically act as your middleman and will be in charge of maintaining the property and finding the perfect renter while you sit back and relax.
You can have them assess your apartment based on how much you invested in renovating and decorating it, as well as the location. Yes, even location will play a part in the overall assessment. They’ll consider where it is located and what are the nearest buildings and facilities.
As a rule of thumb, if the apartment is located in the metro part of Portland and is accessible to malls, schools and possibly tourist attractions, the rental price will be a bit higher than usual. If the apartment is located somewhere away from the metro, but with access to nearby locales, the price will be just about right.
After that, they’ll take into consideration how much you put in to the renovation and add that to the price. Regardless on how much you invested, you still have the potential to earn more than what you initially planned
Once the price is settled, you can have it listed in their listings and all you need to do is let them do their part so you can start earning your well-earned apartment income. These tips are sure to help you with your need to increase your apartment’s overall rental income. But the biggest tip of all is to be open minded to all the possibilities.