Property Upgrades = Increased Rent$

News tip: Corporate housing is in high demand right now. I talked to one provider yesterday who just leased 6 properties back to back on Friday. She told me one of her tips for getting these properties rented  is the really started managing their availability calendar on CHBO and they found the number and quality of the tenant leads increased!

Another way to a attract more renters, increase rental rates and have happy renters who stay longer is take a minute to do a few upgrade.

Upgrades can be divided into three main categories: Must do now, make it look good and preventative. To keep your rental property looking good and running smoothly you will need to create a checklist of tasks that need to be performed on a routine basis, which we will cover in the next chapter on maintenance. Right now we want to take a look at the concept of upgrades on your property and remember the goal is not to break the bank.

Spruce It Up – You wouldn’t go to a job interview or a blind date with wrinkled, mismatched fashion or disheveled hair, would you? Dress it up! There are properties that never see a day of vacancy while others properties simple languish on the market… While a property’s location and amenities have a lot to do with it, a little internal sprucing up can do wonders for improving a rental property’s occupancy rate.

Items you may want to think about would be replacing linoleum flooring with tile or new stylish laminate. Replacing old kitchen counters can make a big impact.  Think about the tenants first impression of the property and you may want to upgrade the front door or doorknob.  Light switches can often get dirty and hard to clean, think about switching out light switches with nicer looking rocker switches.  There is nothing worse than a shower head that has 10 years of grime and mineral buildup on it, switch them out for new low flow heads this will make the bathroom look nicer and save you on the water bill.  Lighting is another easy upgrade, you can change the entire feel of a room with a new light fixture.  You may also want to consider adding ceiling fans if you are in a warmer climate.

Paint – Add some color contrast to your walls – don’t just stick with plain old white. Check out pictures in magazines or go to real estate open houses on the market to get some ideas. One or two walls of an accent color can really freshen up a property and take something that looks plain and make it the property they want to live in.

Have fun and for more ideas on how to improve your rental take a look at The Corporate Housing Handbook.

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Kimberly Smith is an accomplished entrepreneur and published author with more than 20 years experience as an entrepreneur in the areas of real estate, property management, corporate housing, website development and franchising. In 1999 Kimberly and her husband/ business partner, Eric, launched AvenueWest Corporate Housing, Inc., a multi-million dollar success story. AvenueWest provides real estate property management of furnished residential properties offering full service corporate housing services to upscale executive travelers in need of a monthly lodging solution. A recognized leader in the industry, they were awarded CHPA’s 2010 Provider Company of the Year Award and listed for 3 consecutive years on Inc Magazine’s Inc 5000 list of the countries fastest growing businesses. Inspired to help people find corporate housing and real estate solutions on a national basis, Kimberly and Eric came up with a business idea to create a national resource dedicated to connecting furnished rental properties with executive renters. In 2006 CorporateHousingbyOwner.com (CHBO) was launched, the first-of-its-kind online portal connecting furnished rentals and the traveling public. In 2013 CHBO was recognized by CHPA as the Associate Company of the Year. In 2009 AvenueWest Global Franchise was launched allowing for the national expansion of the AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing product. Current offices are located in Phoenix, Atlanta, Fort Collins, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Denver and Colorado Springs.

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