If you own long-term rental property in Charlotte, chances are that you know how competitive the market is. While renting out on the long term is clearly a lucrative investment, it requires more than simply purchasing a property and handling the keys to your tenants.
If you want your property to be successful, you have to make it stand out in the crowded Charlotte market and provide your tenants with an exceptional experience all the way around. Fortunately, the good news is that you can do that without draining your bank account. To help boost the appeal of your investment property so you can attract renters, consider these practical, budget-friendly tips.
Beef up security
One of the best things you can do for a healthy ROI with your investment property is to put in a reliable home security system. This will help ensure that your property and tenants stay safe at all times, providing both you and your residents with peace of mind. If you don’t live in the area in which your rental property is located, be sure to go with either a professional monitoring service or a smart security system that lets you monitor the property remotely; there are many top-notch, cost-effective smart security systems on the market.
Upgrade the appliances
The quality and look of appliances can go a long way in boosting the appeal of your property. There are several kitchen appliances that you should definitely provide to your tenants, such as a refrigerator, an oven, and a stove. If you already have these on the property but they are old, consider replacing them with stainless steel versions to improve the aesthetics and raise the value of the home. Appliances can become an extremely expensive investment, we all know, but by visiting sites like Rakuten, you can often pile on the savings for home appliances through extra promotions and cashback opportunities.
You may consider adding other smart home devices to your tenants’ stay more comfortable, such as an automatic washing machine and a tumble dryer. These, however, do not come without serious drawbacks. Washing machines and tumble dryers are particularly sensitive to breaking when excessively used, or simply not maintained properly, and repair costs are usually high. So they can cause headaches and a large hole in your pocket when they break. If you decide to provide your tenant with such facilities, make sure you’re buying a sturdy, good-quality appliance that is provided with a generous manufacturer warranty, so that you avoid purchasing a home warranty.
If you're not decided what to choose for your rental, here's the advice about appliances that one the founders of Smart Shield Property Management offers.
Freshen the paint
One of the most budget-friendly ways to spruce up a rental property is to paint the walls. You might be able to do all the painting yourself, meaning you would only need to pay for materials. rental property management companies such as Smart Shield Property Management recommend you opt for a light neutral color such as white, cream, or gray. It will likely satisfy the taste of most tenants, is cost effective because it needs few, and sometimes even one coat
Evaluate the floors
Floors are a big deal when it comes to investment properties. Although carpet remains in the top of preferences of home owners, it is less than ideal for rental properties, because it will always accumulate stains and odors and is extremely hard to keep clean and pleasant looking. Considering that about 68% of US households own pets, chances are that your tenant is also a pet owner, your carpet will thus deteriorate faster, and it’ll need complete replacement once in a few years.
If you want your property to stand out and you are willing to spend more, consider going for hardwoods. With hardwood floors, you get attractiveness, durability, and easy maintenance. If you already have hardwood floors and they just need a little TLC, consider learning how to refinish them. Yet hardwood is not for every house or every budget. Besides the high acquisition price, it is also expensive to install, as you’ll need well qualified and equipped technicians to maneuver it. It may be a good idea to install hardwood flooring if your property is a higher-end rental.
If you are in search of a cheaper, though almost as sturdy and pleasant looking alternative to hardwood flooring, you can confidently choose laminate. Good quality laminate flooring imitates in great detail the intricate details on the surface of natural wood, ceramic tiles, and other traditional flooring materials, but comes with a lower price tag and needs considerably less expertise to install. With a bit of training, you could install it yourself!
If your rental is on the lower-end segment, it is probably best to choose luxury vinyl flooring, which is highly durable, cost effective and resembles closely natural wood flooring. Similarly to laminate, you need minimal expertise to install it, and you can save a lot of money without overlooking the appearance and comfort of your rental.
Hire a property manager
Once you’ve boosted the appeal of your rental investment, you’re left with managing it and make sure not only that the investment paid off, but that it will need as little re-investment as possible for the time to come. But managing a property is no easy task, and when you own multiple homes, it can be downright overwhelming. You may easily overlook important maintenance work at your rental properties especially when tenants change, which can cost you longer renting times, and a loss of rental income.
That’s why hiring a property manager can be so beneficial. A property manager can handle anything from maintenance and repairs to landscaping, and will use their expertise to maintain the appeal of your property on the long run. The time, money, and stress you save long-term will far outweigh the costs you pay upfront.
Let’s recap what you need to do to make your Charlotte rental stand out among the competition and yield a healthy return:
- add a home security system
- update the appliances
- paint the walls
- get new floors or freshen up existing ones
- hire a property manager
Putting effort into boosting the appeal of your property can pay off big by attracting more qualified tenants that will stay for longer and take care of your property as it were their own!
Guest blog post by Natalie Jones from Homeownersbliss, in collaboration with Smart Shield Property Management.
Natalie and her husband, Jason, recently bought their first home. She hopes to make the process of buying a home less scary for first-timers by sharing what she and Jason have learned along the way.