Three Great Landlord Remodeling Hacks to Get the Most from Your Rentals
Completing the right renovations to a rental property can determine whether or not an investment is profitable. Spending too much money on a renovation, or worse, spending it in the wrong places will result in poor results every time. Over that past 7 years I’ve seen what works and what flops. These 3 great hacks will keep those rentals cranking out the cash for years and years to come.
Hack #1: Get Rid of the Mona Lisa
Turnovers and minor repairs can eat up a profit margin faster than a teenager with a credit card. One of the easiest ways to keep expenses low is by controlling your paint costs. There are few things quite as frustrating as forking over $1500-2000 every year or three just to spruce up the paint job.
Many new investors think that a 3 color paint job (ceiling, walls, trim/doors) is the way to go with for their rentals. While the combo may look nice, it has little impact on tenant interest and it’s not conducive to maximizing profits. This type of finish costs more the first time it is done, requires more maintenance over time and can cause confusion about exactly what colors were used the first time around.
Every rental property that I own or manage is painted the same, single color. All the walls, trim, doors, ceilings, or other surface is the same shade of beige/grey. It’s not flashy. It’s practical.
Turnovers are simple with one color. Patch a wall and do touch-up paint. Roll hand marks in high traffic areas. Replace a door and match it to the trim. Simple. Fast. Cost effective.
This change alone has reduced the average turnover time frame from 19 days to two days, reduced vacancy rates and cuts costs by thousands. Who knew a simple paint job could make such a difference to the bottom line?
Hack #2: Cut the Carpets
Replacing carpet destroys profit. We can all pretend that carpet is cheap, or say that a “good cleaning” gets those used rugs ready for the next tenant. But let’s be honest. Any landlord who has been around longer than a single tenancy has seen too many juice stains, cigarette burns and unidentified carpet impairments to believe that new carpet is a good idea for any tenant occupied properties.
Removing carpet is the first step for any property I purchase. Thankfully there are several flooring options available that have a longer lifespan against even the most brutal tenant attacks.
The flooring in my rentals are either a 12mm laminate floor or else they have refinished hardwood flooring. Both of these options are slightly more expensive than carpet. But they look great and last 2-3 times longer than even the best carpet options.
Hack #3: Tile
I’m sick and tired of seeing landlords waste time and money installing vinyl tub surrounds in their bathrooms. At best, the higher end models are functional and ugly. At worst, the lower end models look terrible and do a horrible job of keeping water in the right places.
Inexpensive tile is cheap. When installed correctly with some glass accents for added pizzazz, tile looks great and it lasts for years. I put tile on my kitchen floors, bathroom floors and bathroom tub surrounds. It’s helped my properties rent faster and for more money. It has also encouraged a lot more applications on my nicer rentals.
The little things make all of the difference. When it comes to remodeling a rental property, those small differences can mean a profit or a loss. These simple hacks will help your properties stay on the right side of the bottom line.