Vanessa Warwick’s (www.propertytribes.com) 6 cheap and quick “fixes” to improve your property’s rental prospects and profits.
1. Kerb appeal
Yes, I know it’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason! Because first impressions really do count. Some “no shows” of viewings may be because the prospective tenant reached the outside of your property and thought “oh no!” and walked away.
So invest a little money in ensuring your property looks well maintained and inviting. Ensure there is a number on the door or gate identifying your property and making it easy to find. Ensure the door bell works.
Get the front garden tidied. Make sure the gate latches properly and that fences are repaired and neat.
2. Hall appeal
The first area your tenant sees on entering the property is the hall. If this is gloomy and dark and there are loads of pairs of trainers and post on the floor it is not at all inviting.
Make sure the hall is clean, tidy, and well lit. Put a mirror and shelf on the wall where post and keys can be stored. Replace faulty downlighters or bulbs. Have some hooks where people can hang up coats. Ensure the hall is warm and welcoming.
3. Closed doors
This is a personal bug-bear of mine. There is nothing more off-putting than entering a property to see a hall with lots of closed doors off it. It looks dark and uninviting and the layout is not clear. Tenants have to wander around rooms with doors slamming behind them.
Invest in some door wedges to wedge open all the doors off the hall to ensure that light floods through and tenant’s can clearly see the lay-out of the house.
4. Light & space
As humans, we love light and space. Natural daylight is known to give much better quality light than that provided by electric light fittings and is more beneficial to us. Even on an overcast day, the quality of light transferred into a house will be considerable when compared with artificial light.
There are simple things you can do to increase your property’s light and space and make it far more appealing:
i. Use Dulux “Light & Space” paint to re-decorate dark rooms. It has special technology to reflect more light and is only approx. £4 per tin more than standard paint.
ii. Suntube – a tube that draws light from the roof into dark hallways and stairwells.
iii. Velux window – these can be fitted from inside the property, so no need for scaffolding.
5. Smells – there is nothing worse than stale, cooking, or general “fug” in a property.
To that end, invest in some plug in air fresheners for every room and give the house a good spray with Fabreze prior to viewings.
6. Replace curtains with blinds – Curtains can often make a property look tired, old fashioned, and they sometimes sag and give an uncared for look. They also attract and hold on to smells.
Replacing curtains with blinds gives your property more light and gives a cleaner and more contemporary look that appeals to today’s professional tenants.