Tenant turnover is one of the costliest challenges facing property managers today. Not only is there the loss of revenue from properties sitting vacant for an extended period of time, but the process of finding, screening and re-renting to new residents also takes time and money.
Upgrading your properties can help to attract better tenants right off the bat and increase the likelihood of them staying on for the long haul. It’ll also allow you to charge a higher rent. And thanks to advances in technology, many of these upgrades are quick, easy and incredibly effective. Let’s take a look at a few such modifications below.
Smart Thermostats and Lighting
Property managers can attract eco-friendly tenants by making small investments in things like smart thermostats and smart light bulbs, which automatically adjust to keep energy consumption low. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’ll also help your tenants save money. Just consider for a moment that lighting alone is responsible for 10% of energy usage. Using smart technology to control this consumption can result in a significant savings – something that can be quite attractive to prospective renters.
Lights that turn on automatically may not seem like the most exciting tech upgrade, but they are practical and make your properties safer. They’re also affordable and easy to install. Simply replace the bulbs in your existing fixtures with motion-activated ones, concentrating on entryways and hallways as well as dark exterior locations of your property. This will ensure that all passageways remain well-lit at all times while also making it more convenient for your tenants who won’t have to bother flipping switches on and off.
Smart Security Systems
Many renters today look specifically for properties where they know they will feel safe and their belongings will be kept secure. Smart security systems make it easy to beef up the protection on your properties without breaking the bank (some cost as little as $100). Most systems include motion sensors for windows and cameras that are hooked up to and controlled by the tenant’s laptop or mobile device. Advertising that your properties feature the most up-to-date security features can help your listings stand out.
Most tenants don’t expect property managers to spring for top-of-the-line kitchen appliances, but investing in items that are of a higher quality can help make your properties more attractive to prospective renters. In addition to looking nicer, updated appliances are also typically energy-efficient, which means they’ll be better for the environment and also cost less to operate. Plus, better quality appliances tend to last longer, which means fewer repairs or replacements for you. Consider upgrading outdated stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers and microwaves as needed.
One of the biggest hassles to renting is having to lug batches of laundry to and from the laundromat. Property managers can address this by offering in-house washers and dryers. You can do this by installing coin operated machines in the basement or, better yet, installing them directly in each separate unit. For smaller spaces, consider stackable machines. With a little bit of creativity (and the help of an experienced plumber), you can upgrade your properties to make them must-haves for prospective renters.
While all of these upgrades require an upfront investment, the potential return – in terms of higher rent, better quality renters and lower turnover – make it well worth it. Implementing one or more of the above property updates will help you attract and retain great residents, which will pay off big time in the long run.