Does your rental property have good curb appeal? How well does your property interview during a showing?
Let’s compare your property showing to an actual job interview.
Suppose your interviewee showed up for their meeting with greasy hair, bad breath, dirty clothes, and grimy hands and offered to shake your hand. What kind of impression have they made?
Now let’s say that out of politeness, you completed the interview. At the end of the interview, the candidate says, “once you hire me, I’ll take a shower, brush my teeth, wash my clothes and clean my shoes.” Would you believe them? Chances are you’ve already decided you’ll find someone else.
Properties can make the same bad first impressions.
A potential tenant shows up to view a property; as soon as they enter, they experience stale smells, worn and tired paint, and a dirty, poorly maintained house. What kind of impression did the tenant have from the curb appeal? Not a good one.
If you tell potential tenants, “Don’t worry, after you sign the lease, I’ll get the property painted and cleaned.” Will they believe you’re a landlord who will take good care of the property or the tenants? Not likely. You lost them at the lack of curb appeal.
First impressions are telling.
A dirty, smelly property will attract a dirty, smelly tenant.
A clean, well-groomed person wants a clean, beautiful, well-kept property they’re proud to call home. When the market is saturated with rentals, the most beautiful property with the best curb appeal wins the tenants.
A dated appearance can also detract from the curb appeal.
“Betty” had a two-bedroom condo in a lovely building in Calgary’s prestigious Eau Claire neighborhood. She had bought the condo in the 1980’s when shiny brass fixtures, fluorescent lighting, and white kitchens were all the rage.
The condo was spacious, in the best part of downtown, within walking distance of every amenity, and the building itself had a private tennis court, gym, and party room.
The ads attracted lots of attention, and after two months and 30 showings, she got applications. Unfortunately, they weren’t the “A” list clients Betty had hoped for. When the “A” list clients entered the condo, they frequently commented on the dated kitchen and bathrooms. Some even said, “For the same price in the same area, I can get a condo with new stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops.” Everyone hated the big fluorescent light on the kitchen ceiling.
I asked Betty if she wanted to lower the price to a point where tenants would choose not to care about the dated kitchen and bathrooms. Or if she would consider a small facelift. Betty chose plastic surgery.
A month later, her contractors had installed brushed stainless-steel appliances, a beautiful beige granite countertop, a lovely, tiled backsplash, and updated the light fixtures and hardware.
Wow – what a difference! The renovations transformed what was once tired and dated into a beautiful condo in an upscale building. Within a week of the renos she had two applications from “A” list tenants. A week later her long-term tenant moved in.
Her renovated property had excellent curb appeal, which created instant results.
Improving curb appeal doesn’t have to involve thousands of dollars of renovations. A good spring/fall yard cleanup, a coat of paint on the front door, a thorough cleaning, or some updated lighting fixtures are small upgrades that won’t break the bank.
Your property only has one chance to make a first impression, and taking care of some of the small projects such as painting, cleaning, or updating hardware can have a huge impact on attracting quality tenants quickly.
What is one room or renovation you did on your property that increased its appeal?
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I am a property investor who is passionate about helping investors who self-manage to have profitable investment properties through resources and education. If you struggle with the wrong landlord forms, or worse yet, no landlord forms check out my 10 Essential Editable Landlord Forms that help you separate the good tenants from the bad and increase your property’s profitability.