7 Low-Maintenance Ways to Boost Your Property’s Curb Appeal
These days, most renters find their new home through online listings, not by driving around the neighborhood. However, that doesn’t mean property managers can afford to overlook curb appeal. If your properties fail to impress when a prospective tenant drives up, it won’t matter how good the online photos look.
Even property managers in highly competitive rental markets should pay attention to curb appeal. A great-looking exterior doesn’t just get tenants in the door; it also attracts high-quality tenants who are more likely to treat your property with care and respect.
Of course, if you’re managing a lot of properties or a single high-density property, you don’t have a lot of time to spend manicuring lawns and flower beds. So how can you create great curb appeal without spending a lot of time? These seven tips show you how.
1. Paint the Front Door
Don’t underestimate the impact a fresh coat of paint on the front door can have. A cheery front door can make an otherwise unremarkable home stand out and leave passersby wondering what’s on the other side. A Blissful Nest recommends 10 hues that are perfect for front doors. In a multi-unit property, try painting each door a different, but complementary color to set the units apart.
2. Replace House Numbers
Is that newly painted front door flanked by dated, faded, or missing house numbers? Make each unit easy to find by replacing house numbers with a new set that’s easy to read from the street.
3. Light the Way
Lighting by entries and front walks keeps tenants safe after dark and makes units easy to see at any time of day. Keep porch lights clean and in working order and install landscape lighting along pathways.
4. Install Low-Maintenance Landscaping
Visible foundation isn’t a good look. While you could add a stone veneer, choosing the right veneer to match a home’s siding is hard to do. Instead, hide visible foundation with low-maintenance evergreen plants. Cold-hardy and perennial, these plants require little more than water and annual pruning. Use a mix of compact shrubs, ground covers, and flowering evergreens for maximum interest. Garden Design Magazine guides you to some of the best.
5. Use Container Plantings
Symmetrical planters flanking a front door exude class and they’re incredibly easy to install and maintain. Choose planters that complement the front door and swap out the plants with each passing season for year-round color.
6. Provide Pet Waste Stations
The last thing you want is for a prospective tenant to step in pet waste as soon as they arrive at your property. If you manage a pet-friendly property, install pet waste stations complete with bags and trashcans so it’s easy for tenants to clean up after their pets.
7. Hire a Lawn Care Service
Lawns look best when they’re manicured and green, but tenants aren’t the best at keeping up with yard care. While making lawn care the responsibility of tenants sounds like the frugal option, you’ll get better results (and a more attractive exterior) if you hire a lawn care service instead and build the expense into rent. If you manage several properties, try to negotiate a bulk discount with a lawn care company.
If you want to attract the best possible tenants to the rental properties you manage, your units need to look as good in person as they do online. After you’ve painted the interior, cleaned the carpets and made necessary repairs, turn your attention to the exterior. By improving curb appeal with low-maintenance projects like these, you can create attractive properties that renters feel lucky to live in.
Article by Paul Denikin