Posted on 22. May, 2013 by Marc Courtenay in Business
As we all know it won’t be long until school is out and summer arrives. That is traditionally the beginning of the time that owners and renters are more likely to move to new locations. It’s also the time when the vacancy rate can fluctuate and the turnover rate increases. Whether your owner-clients are thinking about selling, raising the rent or just want to fill the vacancies faster, a spring makeover can be a big help. Here are a few simple ideas that can help bring the buyers and the new residents in droves.
First do all that you can to improve the buildings’ “curb appeal.” It doesn’t matter if it’s a house or a multi-family complex, the first impression that a potential buyer or renter receives when they drive by or up to the building can make a huge difference. If that first impression doesn’t say, “You or your potential residents are going to love living here” then get the help of some exterior consultants who can give you ideas. Planting lots of flowering plants, repainting the doors a universally popular color or small touches like quality front door mats can help.
The use of window boxes filled with geraniums, pansies and primroses can give that warm and “homey” look to an older building or house. Painting the front porch, trimming the trees and generally improving the landscaping can work wonders. Instead of spending a lot of money to paint the house or complex try pressure-washing it to see if that will be enough to freshen it up. Clear away any debris, trash and unsightly objects that send the wrong message. Replace damaged or warped screens on windows and make sure those windows are clean!
Patio furniture, play areas, awnings and shutters should also look clean, neatly arranged and well-maintained. Send the message to potential buyers and renters that you take pride in your buildings and you want your residents to enjoy a positive “quality of life” experience. If your houses or apartments are older consult with a company that specializes in renovating without losing the valuable architectural features and elements. It may be worth it to spend the money to remove and replace poorly insulated windows and doors, even if you have to take out a loan to do so.
Interest rates are the lowest in history and home improvement or equity loan money is more available. Now may also be a good time to clean or replace badly-stained carpets and railings. The goal is to take a building that may look old, moldy or dilapidated and to make it look inviting and qualitative. “Staging” is another good idea and there are realtors who are experts at doing just that. It can include some inexpensive but nice-looking patio furniture or updating the light fixtures inside the residences. If you get some second opinions from people who’ve had success at this you’re bound to experience more success yourself. You’ll also attract better prospective owners or renters, and that’s important too.