When I started investing in real estate over 15 years ago and became a landlord, I had no experience and didn’t know what I was doing. I made many mistakes, but I learned from them all and went on to have great success. And you know what? I still use the tips and tricks I learned back when I first started. “Making it homey” is my way of making sure my property is ready for tenants. Small upgrades and little comforts can make a big impact and make your property feel more desirable to potential renters. Remember, if you make it feel like a home, your renters will treat it as a home. So before you list your property, make sure you’ve considered these four tips for landlords.
You don’t have to be in the market for a whole home overhaul, but make any little upgrades you think would make the place look and feel more attractive. Upgrading a faucet, countertop, or even the lighting can help, and it’s always a good idea to repair any cracks and tighten any loose hardware throughout your home. I also often suggest that replacing a tired front door is a great option, as it’s one of the first things people see before entering a home, and it offers a great return on investment.
Cleanliness is Key
No one wants to rent a dirty place, so before your renter arrives you’ll definitely want to clean up. If you can make it work within your budget, I recommend hiring a professional to give it a good clean. I’ve toured many properties and seen my fair share of dirty apartments and homes– you don’t want your place to be one of them. Your home may have tons of potential, but if it’s dirty, the likelihood of renting to the type of tenant you want drops significantly. A lot of potential tenants can’t see past the dirty carpets and bathrooms. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before and when you think it’s as clean as it can get, clean it one more time!
My third tip is to make sure you find great tenants that treat your property like home. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to post to the dedicated rental site, ApartmentLove.com. The listings allow for plenty of photos, they have a long shelf life (unlike the old newspaper or bulletin board methods), and as a general rule, I find targeted sites to be more effective than online classifieds where your listing can easily get lost. The right site attracts the right tenants and makes it easier for you to find reliable renters who will treat your property like a home.
A Welcome Gift
Last, but not least, is a welcome gift. In all my rentals I welcome new tenants with a small gift pack as a way to start the new relationship. I usually include a welcome card, a bottle of wine and flowers. It makes a big impact and an unforgettable gesture and I’ll tell you how I know this; I had a tenant living in one of my properties for 15 years and he recently moved out, and guess what was left for me as a parting gift? The same bottle of wine I gave him 15 years ago. It goes to show you that he never forgot and my gesture was appreciated.
Becoming a landlord is a great way to invest in real estate and create passive income. Just make sure not to make the same mistakes I did. Make upgrades, keep it clean, welcome your tenants, and use the right tools to list your rental!