8 Tips to Increase Your Property’s Rental Value

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All landlords know that there are two critical elements for successful property investment once the house or apartment has been purchased – getting a tenant in as soon as possible, and getting the highest rent possible (in relation to existing market conditions). With an abundance of rental properties available in the Perth market, it's important that your rental property stands out from the rest and gives you the maximum-possible rental income.


With many years of property management experience in the local Perth market, we've identified the 8 top tips to help you easily and quickly increase your property's rental value.


1. Kitchens Sell (and Rent) Houses

It's a well-known saying – "Kitchens sell houses" and the same goes for renting properties. The rest of the house can be newly renovated but if the kitchen is old and outdated, it will drive away potential tenants in droves. In most cases, you can easily re-vamp your kitchen on a budget, greatly increasing the overall value of your house.

  • Give your cupboards a new look – watch any home renovation show and you'll be amazed at what a few coats of white paint on the kitchen cupboards can do to transform the look of a kitchen. Just unscrew the doors, sand it back slightly (if required) and put a few coats of paint on top, allowing it to dry in between coats. There are many different YouTube videos which can help guide you step-by-step. And while your personal taste may take you towards different colours, remember that for an investment property you want to appeal to as many people as possible. A nice white colour suits every style, plus it won't date – meaning you won't have to repaint again a year later when colour trends change!
  • A new kitchen bench on a budget – with today's modern technology, you won't need to completely replace your kitchen bench which would be costly and cumbersome. Instead products like Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations allow you to paint over the top of your existing bench, making that old laminate look like expensive granite or marble. For under a few hundred dollars, you can make your kitchen bench look like it cost thousands! But remember to choose "safe" colours such as whites or blacks to keep the look fresh and modern for many years to come.
  • A new oven and stove – and by new, we mean second-hand. If you're using the existing free-standing oven and stove that came with your house when you bought it 40 years ago, it's time for a change! You can get a new-looking stainless steel oven/stove combo for a bargain by scouring auctions and second-hand sites like Gumtree and eBay. Make sure you get your measurements correct and you can get an absolute steal on a modern new appliance which will make a massive difference to your kitchen!
  • New taps and handles – this is an easy one and while it may seem minor, it can actually make quite an impact. If your taps and cabinet handles look like they are from the '60s, head down to your local hardware store (or hop online to the numerous affordable websites) and grab a few modern ones to go with those shiny, newly painted cabinets of yours.

All of the above can cost you under $1,000 if you shop around, but it can easily add up to an extra $20 - $30 a week in rental income. Within a year, you would have easily made your money back and then some!

before-after-kitchen-renovation

A fresh coat of paint on the island and some modern lights are all it took to transform this kitchen.
Image source: Joshua McHugh, architecturaldigest.com

 

2. New Flooring

This is particularly important for older investment properties – you would be surprised at how many potential tenants are turned off by thin, old carpet especially those with babies and small children. Not only is old carpet a magnet for germs (think about the dirt they would have accrued over the course of a few decades), but it brings down the overall look of the place and is just plain off-putting. We are now seeing wooden floors (or more specifically wooden-look vinyl or linoleum) making quite a comeback – not only do they look great and are quite affordable at roughly a quarter of the price of carpets, but they are easier for the tenant to maintain and look after – no more nasty spills on the carpet that just won't come out! Plus the tenant won't need to pay as much money for carpet cleaning when they vacate the property which is a definite bonus for you if the rental market in your area is very competitive.


If you love the warmth that carpet brings, you can still get a good deal if you shop around. Keep an eye out for companies offering sales and discounts and again go for a nice neutral colour that will stay in-fashion for a long time to come. By investing a bit more in a spill-repellent carpet, you could also save yourself a lot of pain in the long run if you've had to deal with careless tenants.

 

3. Makeover Your Bathroom

Just as kitchens are pivotal to attracting or repelling tenants, bathrooms are also very important for dictating the overall value of the house and can be easily made over with a small budget and a bit of elbow grease.

  • Remove mould – nothing is more off-putting than seeing a bathroom covered in mould, especially as the negative health effects of mould become more prevalent. Ensure that your bathroom has good ventilation, and use a good mould-killer on your grout, tiles, and walls.
  • Replace your shower curtain – if you have shower curtains in your bathroom, we highly recommend laying out a new one for each tenant that moves in. Shower curtains can quickly become discoloured and mouldy, and your tenant will thank you for a brand new one, especially if it's still in the pack. You can get a simple white shower curtain for only a couple of dollars and it will make a world of difference to your bathroom.
  • Give the walls some love – a fresh coat of paint on the walls if they are cracked and peeling will make your bathroom look a hundred times better. Again, choose a nice neutral colour for your walls. You can even paint over your tiles if you want to completely revamp your bathroom, just ask your local hardware expert what paint they recommend for the job.
  • Improve the bathroom cabinet and vanity – again, some new paint will do wonders for an old-looking vanity. Add in some new taps and handles and you've turned an old cabinet into one that looks brand new in as little as an hour! Consider also replacing your shower head with a nice big modern one, and make sure there are no broken cupboard doors or towel racks. Bathroom done, house value increased!

 bathroom-before-after

This bathroom renovation was low-key but small changes like paint, decor, and cabinet door handles worked well to improve the space. 
Image source: hgtv.com

 

4. Consider Storage

This is quite an easy solution you can implement on your own. Most tenants regularly move around and often have quite a lot of items that don't necessarily fit in each of the rental properties. Simply buying a second hand shed for the corner of the yard will only cost you a few hundred dollars, but is a great feature to promote.

If you don't have any walk-in robes, also consider buying some affordable, modern looking self-standing closets. If there are two similar properties available for rent, one with robes and ones without, nearly every tenant will choose the one with the robes. It's too much of a hassle to purchase wardrobes just for one rental property so you would be doing yourself and your tenant a massive favour by investing in these for your house.

 

5. Entertaining Areas

For young couples or families, having an entertaining area can provide some quick wins. If you have an outdoor area, make sure there is a shaded area with pavers or decking that your tenants can relax in especially in the warmer months. Consider even stringing up some cheap fairy lights for a great visual effect for under $10!

 

6. Landscaping – low maintenance and attractive

There are two aspects to landscaping a rental property – curb appeal and maintenance (specifically, how easy it is to maintain). You want to make sure that the tenant's first look at the property is a positive one otherwise you could drive them away before they even step inside! Again, a small investment and a weekend of work on your behalf can drastically improve the look of your front yard – consider some nice native plants and trees (that are low maintenance and resilient), mow the lawn and replace any damaged pavers or bricks.

For both the front and back, no-maintenance artificial lawn is becoming very popular – it looks great and is very easy to look after! If you are considering this, make sure you take both the pros and cons into consideration however – it can get very hot, and doesn't hold up well with pets. Another alternative is to try and minimise the amount of lawn, or even offer a lawn-mowing package as part of the tenancy agreement (by adding an extra $10 a week to the rent, you can easily pay off the cost of hiring a gardener every few months to mow the lawns and weed the gardens). The house at the top of this article greatly increased its rentability and curb appeal with a re-paint, a low-maintenance garden, simple inexpensive fence and driveway. Image source: homestolove.com.au

 

7. Good photography and virtual staging

You can have the greatest property in the city, but if your photos don't do it justice, you won't stand a chance with attracting new tenants at a good rate. Getting high quality photography that shows off the best bits of your house is critical – you need to be able to show that your rental property is worth the rent amount you're asking for, and that it meets your future tenant's requirements. An increasingly popular option is virtual staging – this is where furniture and decor is digitally added to photographs of your empty property. Benchmark Specialist Property Managers have seen first-hand how successful virtual staging can be – properties that had been listed for several weeks were re-marketed with virtual imaging and were then rented within the week for a great price! You can learn more about this emerging concept here.

Virtual-Property-Styling-V3

Virtual staging is an easy way to let your future tenants picture how they can insert their own furniture into your investment property. 

 

8. A good property manager

Lastly, a good property manager is critical – they need to be proactive in getting your property rented out to the best possible tenant while minimising the vacancy time and ensuring you get the best rental rate given your property's condition and the current rental environment. Choose a property management agency that is local to the area so they can give you the best indication of what rental price you can get for the market conditions. They will also know what aspects of your property to promote to appeal to those looking in your suburb. Benchmark are a specialist property management company that services the northern suburbs of Perth, and our extensive knowledge of the area as well as dedication to delivering exceptional services to our landlords while maintaining one of the lowest vacancy rates across the city makes us a great choice if you're in the market for a property management company.

With a small amount of money and some time on your behalf, you can easily increase your property's rental value just by making a few strategic renovations. If you want further advice about how you can rent out your Perth property for a great rate, contact our experienced team today and see how we can help you!

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