Preparing Your Rental Property – How to Rent Your Properties Faster
When renting a property, keep in mind the expression “stepping over a dollar to save a dime”. Your property needs to be similar to comparable rental units in price and features. It is “penny wise and pound foolish” to skimp on the basics of what people want, clean, safe space. When it comes to renting space, cleaning and basic repairs are a must in a competitive rental market. The bottom line is if your property is vacant, you are not making money on it.
Showing dirty or cluttered space will most likely be detrimental. If the place looks or smells dirty or unclean, it is likely to be vacant for longer than if it were clean and fresh. If you rent your space just a few days faster by having a clean space, the amount of rent you get by renting it a few days faster, will more than cover the cost of the cleaning.
To ensure that the property is up to standards, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms is essential. If there are bugs, they need exterminated, then the cleaning needs done. There must be no evidence of bugs. If a toilet seat is cracked or stained, it should be replaced. Lime stain removal products such as CLR® can take out stains on fixtures and the bathtub. The stove and refrigerator should be clean and visible food or grease remnants removed. Many owners don’t bother to clean windows. This is an easy to clean the insides of the windows, and stained carpets that can make your property hard to rent. Many people refuse to rent a unit with carpets that look dirty or smell bad. Some people have allergies, and a first impression of smelly carpets will turn them off immediately (even if you tell them you will be doing it if they sign a lease). Just get them taken care of, to ensure that the property is ready to go, and there is no reason for potential tenants to say “no”. Steam cleaning carpets help avoid the sticky mess some rug shampooing machines can leave. Hiring a company to clean the carpets is the best way to ensure they are the cleanest they can be. Usual rates for this service are usually $45 per room/area. Specialized Property Management gets a discounted rate for these services, so if you go through Specialized, you will get a good price on these services.
Painting can be labor intensive and can be relatively expensive, compared to cleaning carpet. Sometimes painting must be done, BUT that’s not to say that you have to paint the entire space, though. Sometimes there are obvious marks and holes in the walls and woodwork, and these can be patched and touched up if there is sufficient leftover paint to cover and look good. Sometimes, though, the entire unit needs painted, and nothing goes further to make a space look good, tan a fresh coat of paint.
When making the most of investment property, consider the properties you are competing against, and make a decision on how much those trivial costs of cleaning, carpet cleaning, and paint/touch up you want to do. Looking at those as an investment, you will make better decisions that will enable your properties to be rented faster. After all, the bottom line objective is to minimize the time that your property is vacant.