It’s undoubted that the landscaping that is done to a property and the property’s curb appeal will play a significant role in the amount of money that a landlord get from a tenant in terms of what they are willing to pay for rent. Curb appeal means a lot and the cliche “first impressions are everything” couldn’t ring truer.
The question is: How do I ensure that the curb appeal of the rental unit (and surrounding rental units) is of a good quality so that I can get the best charge the best market rates to prospective tenants?
The answer is: it all begins with your property and making the property look simple, yet attractive. The other part of the equations, making sure the properties around your rental are also clean and appealing is what can be a little more tricky. However, there are some quality tips that can help ensure that your rentals are surrounded by the best possible properties and the following are 5 of them:
- Invest in Properties in Areas with HOAs: While you may not like the idea of having to pay the monthly or quarterly HOA fees for the properties you own, you are able to increase the rental amount to include those fees. Moreover, areas with HOA fees are likely to have rules and standards that homeowners will have to keep their properties up to in order to be in “good standing” with the HOA. HOAs are able to enforce these policies to keep all homes around your rental looking nice, which can raise the amount you are able to ask for your rental property as the area nearby is an appealing one.
- Curb Appeal Incentivizes Higher-Income Families: Those homes with nicer outsides that are shown in pictures and paired with higher prices will combine to incentivize higher-income families to be interested in your rental property. For example, if a property is neat, clean, and well-kept on the outside and is listed for $1500/month versus one that is messy and sloppy on the outside listed for $800/month, which one is going to attract families with more socioeconomic means? The higher-priced $1500/month property of course. The average tenant must make at least 2.5x the monthly rental amount to be able to afford the property. The $1500/month property should attract tenants making about $3,750 a month or more while the $800/month property would attract someone making $2,000 a month or more. If you are looking for higher income earners to be interested in your property, ensuring the property has great curb appeal and is priced fairly yet at a higher monthly rate ensures you are getting these higher-income earners to look at your properties as they know that’s what they can afford.
- Choose Plants That Are Easy to Maintain: If you are looking for maximum curb appeal choosing plants that are easy to maintain for your geographical area makes it easier to up that curb appeal for minimal cost. For example, tropical plants will grow great in a location like Florida while plants like cacti will do great in the deserts of Nevada. Know your area, the climate, the amount of precipitation your investment area gets, and plan accordingly to ensure that your plants thrive and are easy to maintain throughout the years.
- Wait For Store Sales: When stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot advertise potting soil or mulch for steep discounts in the spring, this is the time when you should consider loading up! If you have several properties to do, going to a few different stores in your area or hitting the store each day for the duration of the sale will get you plenty of fresh mulch or dirt in which to plant your new plants! Many stores will limit what you can buy but you can come each day for more! Remember, they may also have sales on other products you need such as landscaping tools, wheelbarrows, or hoses to go along with it and help you complete the job!
- Price Compare Landscaping Options: It’s worth pricing out if you want to hire a landscaping service to do your landscaping work for you or not. While many landlords find that if they have a lot of properties to do, maybe hiring a landscaper can make sense if they give a “bulk discount” for more work or giving them a long-term guaranteed source of income through a contract. However, if you own a few properties or they all have different needs, you will likely save some precious capital by digging in and doing the work yourself. Even better yet, ask for some friends to come out and pitch in so the work gets done and you save on not splashing out the money to hire professionals.
Landscaping can become rather expensive if not done properly, so set a budget and consider these 5 great tips ways to help you save on the costs of landscaping your rental units.
These aforementioned tips are a great way to help you save some money and ensure that your homes are up to the “curb appeal” they need to be to allow you to demand top dollar for each of your rentals. While it may take a little thought and planning, setting a budget and following it can help you landscape your rental properties without completely blowing your budget or eating into your profit!