Should You Remodel Your Rental? | Property Management

In property management, attracting the right type of tenant is vital. This means being competitive with your listing, marketing your property properly, and – naturally – making your rental unit stand out. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to remodel your rental unit. But should you take that step? When does it help? And what should you focus on if you do decide to start a remodeling project? The Benefits of Remodeling At some point, virtually every property owner takes a moment to think about what he or she can do to improve their properties, especially in a bid to attract tenants. Some choose to have professionals remodel the interior or exterior, or do the job themselves. It costs money, which may not fit into the budget (especially for a low-rent property), but the trade-off – a better-looking home that is more marketable – could be worth it. Of course, you should only remodel if you think the added perceived value will either justify a higher rent or will attract steady tenants and boost your occupancy rate. What You Should Focus On Should you decide that the cost of remodeling is outweighed by the benefits – and that could very well be the case, especially in a competitive market like the Birmingham metro area – you can save money and effort by focusing on a few key areas. For starters, adding a bathroom or bedroom (or transforming a room into a bedroom) can add a lot of value, but could be prohibitively expensive. If this is the case, don’t worry; you can conduct limited renovations in key areas. The kitchen and the bathroom are two key rooms that can benefit from remodeling. Focus on surfaces. For the kitchen, this means your appliances and your counters (as well as your back splash); for bathrooms, this means your walls (like with tile) and your flooring. Making the Decision Remodeling money often comes out of a maintenance budget, and for this reason, many owners will elect to keep that money in reserve in case they need to make a costly repair and forgo remodeling. If your occupancy rate is high, and your tenants are satisfied, you may not need to touch the home other than to repair it. But, if you want to attract more attention, or want to make your home more competitive in a tight market, remodeling may be the right call. Consult with property management pros for more help making the decision and pursuing the project.