The rental market is full of strange and varying creatures called people. If you are a landlord these people are your customers. That means we must try to design and color your rental property to appeal to the largest slice of your customer base. With such varying tastes the goal is to appeal to most without offending any. How is this to be done without being boring?
- Curb Appeal- In this digital age prospective tenants will see your ad online and then drive by before contacting you. If the paint and front of the home are not fresh and pretty then your home gets crossed off the list. You want colors that attract all and do not offend anyone. There is no secret ingredient or magic color scheme (Sorry- Wish I knew it). Getting creative can be risky. I once picked colors at the paint store, left for the weekend and came back to a purple house. My limitations were then realized and I now rely on copying other color schemes that work. Your best judgment will be needed here to attract attention without being tacky.
- Landscaping- The landscaping needs to be tight and tidy. No overgrown bushes and obvious work to be done. This is time consuming but well worth the trouble. A low maintenance yard shows well and will reduce friction between you and your tenants in the future. And yes, leave the plastic flamingos out.
- Clean- First of all there is no substitute for clean. Clean is the ingredient all tenants want. Clean is safe and welcoming. Clean is not complicated. Dirty and disorderly means this home is not ready to live it. As the saying goes- “Nothing is as gross as someone else’s dirt!”
- Finish- Old tacky carpets, vinyl flooring, countertops, appliances, and such look tired and uncared for. Good prospective tenants will cross your home off their list and you will be left with lowering the rent until you meet the market. Case in point- A local landlord I know owns only older homes. She is a master at keeping the rentals up to date. She rents her homes quickly and for top dollar since her tenants can see that the landlord cares about her business and will treat them as valued paying customers.
Overall, your job as a landlord is to attract a good customers and then keep them. it is not really much different than any other business model. A tacky and tired rental can be a sign of future failure. A tidy rental tastefully painted and decorated is a sign that someone cares about their business and wants to succeed. Happy landlording!