It used to be a lot easier for investors to make money from their rental properties. As long as their properties were structurally sound and offered the basics, usually there would be demand for the property.
However, times have changed. Today, a lot of renters want to get the most they can for the money they pay to you.
You can already see a lot of investors adapting to this changing market. Many have carried out extensive renovations to ensure their properties have all the mod-cons that tenants want. Unsurprisingly, they enjoy higher rental incomes than those who neglect their properties and fall behind the pack.
You might be at a disadvantage if you allow yourself to fall into the latter group. There’s a lot of competition in the real estate market and your competitors are always looking for new ways to attract tenants away from you. Match them step for step with these tips for improving your rental income.
Tip #1 – Keep the Property Clean
You may not think that keeping your property clean is all that important. After all, if the property is great in every other respect, who is going to care about some dust?
However, you need to remember the importance of first impressions. Potential tenants will look at everything when they view your property. A stain on the carpet here and a dust-covered windowsill there will sour their first impressions – and make it less likely they will want to rent your property.
Tip #2 – Touch Everything Up
We’ll get to renovations in a moment, but let’s look at the little things you can do to make your property more attractive first. A lick of paint on the walls will freshen your property up. There’s a reason why real estate agents recommend painting when you’re advertising a property. The home looks newer, which draws the eye of tenants.
Apply the same line of thinking to the floor. If a carpet looks threadbare, replace it with something more attractive. Also, consider the type of tenants you’re trying to attract. Some may prefer a traditional carpeted look, whereas others may want wood or laminate flooring.
There are other little things to consider. For example, you could replace any fluorescent lights with spotlights or pendants. Both have a more modern feel than the fluorescent option. Even switching out curtains for blinds can make your property look more attractive to tenants.
Tip #3 – Do Some Renovations
You can’t improve every investment property with a lick of paint and some new carpet. Sometimes, you’re going to have to carry out extensive renovations. This is even more likely if you have an older property.
You will have to spend a lot of money to get these renovations completed. You may even have to adjust one of your other home loans so you can access any equity you’ve built in other properties. However, that initial investment often pays off down the track. You’ll be able to command higher rents because you provide what tenants look for.
Tip #4 – Install Air Conditioning
Remember that the summer months in Australia aren’t mild. In fact, a lot of potential tenants will turn their noses up at properties that don’t have air conditioning. Installing a system will allow you to charge more for rent.
Tip #5 – Offer Storage Options
Your property may look great when it’s empty, but what about when somebody moves in? All their stuff has to go somewhere, otherwise each room will look like a mess.
That’s why tenants look for storage options when they view properties. Consider what you can do to help your tenants make the property tidier. For example, you could install built-in wardrobes in the bedrooms. This means that your tenants don’t have to pay for their own storage. A few storage options can have a positive effect on the amount of rent you can charge.
Tip #6 – Provide Security
Your tenants need to feel safe when they’re in your property. As such, you need to invest in security features for your property. Alarms, motion lights, and security doors all make your tenants feel safer. A safe tenant is a happy tenant.
What to Do Next
Succeeding as a property investor requires much more than a basic knowledge of real estate. You need to understand what tenants want and how you can deliver it to them. Do the following before making any changes:
- Read more of our advice for investors
- Figure out if you can save money to spend on your investment property through refinancing
- Live chat with a uno home loan consultant to learn about your options.
This information is general in nature and you should always seek professional advice when making financial decisions.