Savvy real estate investors are always on the lookout for opportunities to boost revenue from their rental properties. Of course, the most common step is to raise the rent, and there are plenty of good ways to justify charging higher rent. But once that figure starts wandering too high, a property becomes much less competitive, and there’s a real risk of lost income due to vacancy. So, it’s helpful to find ways to earn extra income from rental properties without raising rent, too.
Earning Income from Properties in Addition to Rent
- List on Airbnb during vacancies. Don’t let any home or unit sit there earning nothing between tenants. If you have basic furnishings, rent the place out on Airbnb. You earn more per day this way than with a tenant, too. At $1,200 per month, a property earns $40 per day; depending on the location, an Airbnb rental can easily bring in over $100 per night.
- Charge pet rent. While it’s not for everyone, there are good reasons to allow pets at your rental properties. Often, landlords charge a pet deposit upfront (sometimes non-refundable). But an alternative is to charge a relatively minimal monthly pet rent. The lower move-in cost will appeal to tenants. And, you can earn more this way; for example, if you charge $25 per month instead of a $200 deposit, that’s an extra $100 from a one-year lease at a single property (that’s not subject to the same regulations that a deposit may be).
- Extend options for extra services. Renters are often willing to pay fees for services that make their lives easier. For example, landlords can offer things like lawn care, house cleaning, or laundry services at an extra charge.
- Install a vending machine. If you have a medium to large multi-unit property, a vending machine is a great investment that can easily generate over $1,000 per month in extra revenue. Add it to high-traffic common areas like the lobby, laundry room, fitness center, pool, or outdoor seating. Snacks and beverages are great, but think beyond them, too, to convenience items like laundry detergent, toiletries, lip balm, pet snacks, etc.
- Offer paid shed storage. Is there a shed out back at your property? Clear out your old lawnmower and offer it to tenants—who often need extra storage capacity—for a small monthly fee. Even $30 a month, which is relatively low, works out to an additional $360 for you on a one-year lease. As a similar option, in some locations (particularly high-density urban areas), depending on your setup, you may be able to rent out garage space or extra parking spaces at your property.
- Install solar panels. In addition to being environmentally friendly, having solar panels opens up opportunities to earn extra income from rental properties without raising rent. You can charge tenants an energy bill, and you may be able to sell excess energy to the utility company. Also, you can use this as a way to charge higher rent, with electricity included (this is practical, but obviously outside the premise of this post).
- Lease a billboard. If you have a large building and it’s acceptable by zoning and other relevant local laws, consider renting a billboard at your property. Depending on the location, if you lease both sides to advertisers, this can bring in up to a few thousand dollars of supplemental income per month.
- Lease space to a cell phone tower. This is another idea that can bring in significant revenue if it’s possible at your property. On average, this will earn you over $1,000 per month for doing nothing, and it can be even higher in some areas.