There are plenty of steps you can take that facilitate charging higher rent at residential investment properties. Many of them are simply about improving the way your rental property looks and feels to prospective tenants. The more attractive the home, the more renters will be willing to pay for it.
Here are some general improvements and practices that help with charging higher rent at residential investment properties if you rent out one or more residential homes.
How to Charge More for Residential Rent
- Be thorough about essential cleaning and maintenance between tenants. A deep clean, fresh paint on the interior walls and doors, and other steps to make the home shine are so important to maximizing rental income.
- Create greater curb appeal with a landscaped and well-maintained yard, fresh coat of exterior paint, new mailbox and house number, washed windows, new or newly painted front door and shutters, driveway repairs, etc.
- Make sure all rooms are brightly lit, maximizing natural light and installing attractive, energy-efficient lighting as needed; dark rooms feel smaller and less welcoming, while nicely lit rooms make the space feel larger, more comfortable, and more homey.
- Upgrade the property with new appliances—especially in the kitchen, but don’t forget about the washer and dryer. In general, kitchen upgrades are the best way to add value to a home and to make it more desirable to tenants.
- Offer short-term leases that trade less commitment and more flexibility for higher rent.
- Welcome pets and charge a small amount of pet rent (on top of the pet deposit).
- Use professional photos—or at least take your own pictures using a high-quality camera—in your home listing.
- Don’t take head-on pictures of the property exterior for your listing; instead, take the pictures from a 30-degree angle. The former makes a house look smaller than the latter.
- Pay for some or all of the utilities at the rental property. You can adjust the rent accordingly, not only for your costs, but also for the appeal this has with renters because it makes their monthly expenses more predictable.
- Build rapport with prospective renters in initial communications and during home showings. Tenants want a landlord they like and trust, and they’ll pay more for it.
- Be proactive about selling the home while you show it, communicating the value about the property itself and the location. If you simply wander from room to room, you’re missing a big opportunity to convince prospective tenants of the worth.
- Increase the rent with every lease renewal. Prepare tenants for it by letting them know at the initial signing that rent goes up by a small amount with each new signing. A small raise is rarely enough on its own to make an otherwise happy tenant move out, but it’s an easy boost in profits for you over the course of the year.