There are hundreds, if not thousands, of rental listings on the internet in every town and city in America, and it’s more difficult than ever to make your rental stand out.
Fortunately, you may not have to funnel money into paid advertising or expensive upgrades to get through to potential renters.
Instead, add these budget-friendly ideas to your to-do list. With a little elbow grease, some new furnishings, and more, you’ll spend a minimal amount of money while boosting the appeal of your rental.
1. Repaint the Front Door
Nothing ruins a warm welcome like a dirty front door. It’s the first impression, and it’s often neglected. The front door can provide a sense of security, warmth, and trust. For good or bad, using a bright color draws attention to the door.
If the paint on your front door is chipped or dirty, it will say a lot about your ability to keep up the rest of the house.
2. Update Your Locks
A shocking 34 percent of burglars get in through the front door. Luckily, beefing up door security is another budget-friendly way to boost the appeal of your rental. Instead of purchasing an updated version of your current locks, save money in the long-run by looking for brands that use smart lock technology.
Kwikset’s Smartkey locks, for example, provide you with a budget-friendly way to change the locks when tenants leave—without hiring a professional. Kwikset’s technology enables you to change the locks yourself, saving the $200 it would normally cost to have the entire house re-keyed.
3. Give The Landscape a Minor Facelift
First impressions matter with a rental, but you certainly don’t want to go overboard with flowers, plants, and landscaping.
“Here is the paradox of curb appeal: you want your exterior to look great, but you don’t want it to look like it requires an excessive amount of maintenance. Most renters do not want to commit to the hours of yard work it takes to maintain a ‘showcase’ front yard,” according to 5 Easy Ways to Make Your Property More Rentable.
Instead, update the yard with items that need minimal to zero upkeep:
- Walkway: Create a pallet or stone-lined walkway from the driveway or sidewalk to the door.
- Sitting area: Add a sitting area in front or back. All you need is a small wooden bench and a side table.
- Small trees: Strategically plant a few small trees, which adds to the aesthetic of the home while helping control the temperature. “Plant deciduous trees so they will shade east-facing walls and windows from 7 to 11 a.m. and west-facing surfaces from 3 to 7 p.m. during June, July, and August,” suggests Michael Kuhns, Extension Forestry Specialist at Utah State University.
4. Partially Update the Kitchen
A full kitchen renovation is both costly and time-consuming. And, with tenants coming in and out, you may not want to splurge on top-of-the line appliances or brand-new cabinets when what you have works well and looks fine.
A little goes a long way in the kitchen. Simply replacing a few small items can brighten the space, give it a new feel, and attract potential renters. Here are a few budget-friendly ideas from HomeLight’s article, 8 Kitchen Ideas That Cost Less and Make You More:
- Lighting: Brighten the space with new bulbs and light fixtures. Ensure that your fixtures match the hardware in the rest of the kitchen.
- Hardware: Update all cabinet and drawer hardware—again, ensuring it matches with the lighting—and paint or re-stain the cabinets.
- Paint: Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls. The best kitchen colors are neutral, with bold colors as accents. But don’t rule out white; shades of white, including cream or bone, reflect light and make the space feel larger.
The best part is that you can make all these kitchen upgrades in just one day. Head to the hardware store in the morning, where you can purchase everything you need, and then install fixtures, lighting, etc. in the afternoon.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your rental standout. Add budget-friendly upgrade ideas like replacing hardware and building a Pinterest-worthy walkway to your to-do list to boost the appeal of your rental.