by Marc Courtenay –
Property owners and managers are competing for new residents at an advantageous time. Depending on the area, more people are looking for rental properties now than last year at this time.
One reason is that fewer people can qualify for mortgages. Thus, there are fewer qualified homebuyers.
We are also hearing anecdotally that many areas are still experiencing higher-than-normal vacancy rates.
So to compete effectively and economically, property managers are “turning up their imaginations” to make their properties more desirable. Here are five ideas to consider:
- Remove old or tattered window coverings and replace them with inexpensive Venetian-style blinds. Choose neutral colors and models that are easy to replace.
- Install portable “odor-eating” air purifiers. If your rental units smell clean, prospective residents will notice. You can also buy some inexpensive plug-in room deodorizers and create the ambiance you think pleases the nose.
- Replace the knobs and handles in the kitchen cabinets if possible. Any qualitative touches you can add to your kitchens including sufficient lighting will make your rental feel more like home.
- Yes, as we mentioned before, consider putting up a new shower curtain and rod in the bathroom. If you want to go a step further, add a bigger, nicer mirror as well. They are not expensive, and many times, the bigger the mirror, the bigger the bathroom looks.
- Make sure the inside of the refrigerator is extra clean and smells great. You can add to the appeal by placing some fresh-baked cookies inside the refrigerator. Offer one to your prospect, and they will remember how kind and thoughtful you were.
Property managers would be wise to leave a lasting impression on everyone who comes to look at a vacant property. One way is to have an attractive, color flyer or brochure with a list of all the advantages of being a resident at the property you manage.
Don’t be afraid to add creative touches. Something as inexpensive as placing a couple of flowering indoor plants on the kitchen counters may brighten the interior and indirectly remind the prospective resident that your property is livable and cozy.
As property managers, we have to be careful when sizing up potential residents. If we also remember to be friendly and courteous, we will brighten their day and leave a positive memory about your property.