Property managers and rental property management companies should help owners and investors improve their return on investment with every action they take with the owner’s properties. A prudent property manager will make suggestions on improving the exterior of the house with cost effective suggestions. Improvements will help retain existing tenants and will make the property much easier to rent if vacant. If your existing manager doesn’t make these types of suggestions maybe it’s time to look for a new property management company. The following is a list of six (6) easy and cost effective exterior improvements.
1) New Front Entry Appearance. If the front entry door on your property hasn’t been changed in a while, maybe it’s time for a new paint job with a new color. Additionally, changing out the hardware is also a cost effective appearance improvement.
2) Improve Landscaping. If the outdoor landscaping isn’t on a consistent maintenance program it should be. Drought resistant plants, hardscaping, and other low-maintenance improvements will help improve the aesthetics and reduce maintenance costs.
3) New Exterior Paint: If your property hasn’t been painted in 7-10 years hopefully you or your property manager was prudent enough to have you budget for a new paint job. A quality freshly painted exterior will help improve and energy and vitality of your investment property. Make sure to pick a natural earth-tone color which will be attractive to potential tenants.
4) Improved Outdoor Lighting. Quality new exterior light fixtures will add safety, drama, and interest to your investment property. A path lit by some exterior lighting will also improve overall aesthetics, but may not make sense in all instances and properties.
5) Update Inefficient Windows. If your property has older single-paned windows a prudent plan will be to budget for the installation of dual-paned windows to reduce heating and cooling costs for your tenants. This will also help you when the property is vacant and a prospective tenant who has lived with single-paned windows knows the difference.
6) Plant Trees For Energy Efficiency. A properly-located tree will provide shade in the summer and allow sunlight in the winter which will make your tenants happy. This energy saving addition is also aesthetically pleasing and will make neighbors happy as well.
Tax Savings For Improvements
Even though these above items may cost some money to implement the return on investment should be measurable. Moreover, every dollar spent improving the property will be a deduction off your taxable income for the rental property tax return.
If your property manager is not making suggestions like the above six (6) item list they should be. The property manager should be your partner in helping you drive maximum return on investment and should be looking out for an owner’s best interests. Without making suggestions to improve the property with cost effective suggestions the property manager may be looking elsewhere when they should be looking at your property.