As any realtor will tell you, a property's curb appeal can make a big difference in whether a buyer puts in an offer. It's the first impression that the buyer sees, and it can either wow them or put them off. If you were selling your rental property, your realtor would probably tell you to fix up the front of your home and yard so that it will be ready for showings.
So why should rental property showings be treated any differently? You're still showing off your property, and if you make a good enough first impression, you'll likely never have a hard time finding tenants. Good curb appeal can go a long way towards attracting interested tenants and keeping them on your property longer. All you need to do is put in a little work to keep that appeal.
Here are three quick fixes all Washington, DC landlords can do to up their curb appeal game.
Power wash the exterior
A good power wash can make all the difference to the exterior of a rental property. If you notice the siding along your property looking dingy, then it's time to call in an expert in pressure washing.
Power washing removes dirty and build-up on buildings, windows, gutters and driveways. When done regularly, it can keep your rental property looking like new and keep everything functioning as it should.
For example, debris buildup in your gutters can lead to a crack or break, which will cause water to leak down directly to your foundation. This can lead to flooding and water damage, two very expensive repairs. Regular power washing will keep your gutters clear.
You can also schedule a soft wash along with power washing services. A soft wash uses a chemical in the water that fights mold and mildew build-up on the exterior of a building. Properties surrounded by tall trees often see mold and mildew grow on the roof and siding because the moisture doesn't have a chance to evaporate. Over time, mold and mildew can eat away at siding and even get into the house, causing a number of problems. Regular soft washes prevent this.
While you can power wash your rental property yourself, it can be expensive to do. You can either buy the equipment to do it or rent it from a home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe's. Buying the equipment will be a sizable investment, and you'll have to maintain it and make sure it has enough gas to get the job done. If you rent it, then you'll have to consider time restraints plus equipment transportation. All of that aside, pressure washing isn't as easy as turning on the machine and spraying as much water as possible. Too much pressure will crack siding and windows if you're not careful. If you don't have any experience in power washing, then it's best to hire an expert. At Atlas Lane, our property asset managers handle all maintenance and repairs, including scheduling pressure washing services.
Add plants and landscaping
Many landlords skimp on bushes, flowers and other landscaping features because they believe their tenants won't take care of them anyway. While you might not want to invest in tons of different flowers and trees, there are a lot of nice plants that need minimal care and make a big impact on your rental property's curb appeal.
Evergreen bushes and trees, for example, need very little care, and they provide beautiful color all year round. They can also be used as privacy barriers to give your tenants some extra privacy in backyards.
Many flowers need to be replanted every year, but not tulips and daffodils. These flowers come from bulbs that are usually planted in the fall. Each spring, the grow and bloom on their own, providing beautiful color with very little work needed from you or your tenant. Your local nursery should be able to help you chose a few plants that are low on maintenance and high on impact.
Good regular landscaping services will also go a long way towards improving your property's curb appeal. A professional landscaper will take care of tree trimming, gutter cleaning and other routine maintenance work that needs to be done in order to keep the property looking good. Having a professional do the work takes the burden off the tenant, who might not devote as much care and attention as a professional would, and it might encourage the tenant to renew the lease since they reap all the benefits of good lawn care without having to do the work. A landscaper can also help tackle small problems, such as tree branches leaning into power lines, before they become big problems that lead to costly repairs. A good property management company will have great contacts with local professional landscapers who will treat your property with care.
Paint shutters and doors
it's true that a good paint job can make a house look fresh and new again, but you don't need to repaint the exterior of your rental property every few years. Instead, be strategic about what you paint: paint the front door and shutters to give your property a brand-new look.
A fresh coat of paint on the front door and shutters can make your property look bright and cheerful once more. After power washing the siding, you don't want dull shutters and doors to take away from the clean siding, and you don't want the color to look outdated. Painting the shutters and door is a quick update that tenants definitely notice, even if they don't acknowledge it on the tour.
Many landlords feel confident tackling these smaller painting projects on their own, but feel free to hire professional painter if you'd rather keep your free time and ensure the job looks professionally done.
Of course, the exterior of your property will need to be painted eventually. If it needs to be done, hire a professional painter to get the job done right. Property management companies like Atlas Lane will be able to find a quality painter who delivers great work.
Maintaining a property's curb appeal can be a lot of work, but not if you have a great property management company with great professional contacts. Get started with Atlas Lane today and learn how we can help keep your property looking clean and bright.