10 ways to make your rental prop­erty more ap­peal­ing

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - STATESMAN SUNDAY - By Cathy Hobbs

These days, it is eas­ier than ever to rent out your home. But with the in­creased pop­u­lar­ity also comes in­creased com­pe­ti­tion. How can you help your rental prop­erty stand out from the crowd? Those look­ing to cash in should keep some of these top De­sign Recipes ar­eas to fo­cus on in mind.

1. Pho­tog­ra­phy. Good qual­ity pho­tog­ra­phy should top your list. In the case of rental prop­er­ties, po­ten­tial renters ab­so­lutely judge a book by its cover, so you are go­ing to make sure your pho­to­graphs stand out.

Some pho­tog­ra­phy tips in­clude:

• Never have peo­ple, pets or clut­ter in pho­to­graphs.

• Don’t take pho­to­graphs at night.

• Be sure to show­case your en­tire prop­erty. Of­ten times if a pho­to­graph of a par­tic­u­lar space or room is omit­ted, po­ten­tial renters may sus­pect you have some­thing to hide.

2. Bath­room im­prove­ments. Con­sider your rental prop­erty to be on the same level as the lo­cal inn or bed and­bre ak­fast. Clean­li­ness should be first and fore­most. Be­yond this, mak­ing bath­rooms fresh and ap­peal­ing should be part of any im­prove­ments. Some af­ford­able fixes in­clude adding ad­di­tional light­ing such as sconces, re­plac­ing a toi­let and up­grad­ing faucets and fix­tures.

3. Kitchen im­prove­ments. Many po­ten­tial renters will likely only be com­mit­ting to a shortt ime stay. As such, the kitchen may not be fully uti­lized. Some essentials in­clude hav­ing a work­ing and clean mi­crowave, a fresh set of plates, glasses and uten­sils as well as a fully func­tion­ing re­frig­er­a­tor. Look­ing to up­grade? Af­ford­able up­dates in­clude re­plac­ing door han­dles and cab­i­net knobs, adding new floor­ing and paint­ing cab­i­nets.

4. Curb ap­peal. As most po­ten­tial renters may be look­ing to rent your prop­erty as a va­ca­tion re­treat, many may be fo­cused on at­mos­phere, both in­side and out. In the win­ter, po­ten­tial renters may be look­ing for out­door ameni­ties such as fire pit sand hot tubs, while in warmer months, an out­door grill will have ap­peal.

5. Stage your rental. Many po­ten­tial renters are look­ing for a rental prop­erty that fits a cer­tain aes­thetic. The bet­ter your prop­erty looks, the more it will ap­peal to po­ten­tial renters. This is where stag­ing comes into play. Look for ways to prop­erly style your rental prop­erty. Ideas in­clude af­ford­able art­work, area rugs, toss pil­lows and throws, as well as ac­ces­sories such as vases, cof­fee tab le­book­sand blooms. Also, don’t for­get good qual­ity bed­ding for bed­rooms. For those with smaller spa­ces, adding mir­rors can go a long way as far as help­ing to open up a space.

6. Paint. Paint­ing re­mains one of the most af­ford­able home im­prove­ments. If you have a space that may have too many cus­tom col­ors or needs a quick and easy re­fresher, con­sider adding a fresh coat of paint.

7. Clear out the clut­ter. Once you place your prop­erty onto the mar­ket for rent, it be­comes a prod­uct that will be com­pared to other prod­ucts. To ap­peal to the largest amount of po­ten­tial renters and keep them com­ing back again and again, cre­ate an oa­sis for them by clear­ing out your space of per­sonal items and ex­cess.

8. Neu­tral palette, bright ac­cents. When look­ing for col­ors to use in your space, neu­tral col­ors al­ways work best. Col­ors such as black, white and taupe help to cre­ate a sooth­ing en­vi­ron­ment and serve as the per­fect foun­da­tion col­ors. Bright ac­cents will help to perk up your space.

9. Wel­come pack­age. Cre­at­ing a sense of wel­come will help your guests feel spe­cial. Some of the most suc­cess­ful rental prop­er­ties greet guests with a wel­come pack­age that mayi nclude lo­cal foods and wines, as well as rel­e­vant guide books re­lat­ing to the area.

10. Re­views mat­ter. For many web­sites, the vol­ume of rental book­ings com­ing in is made and bro­ken on re­views both as it re­lates to quan­tity and qual­ity. Be sure to make a good im­pres­sion on your renters and be re­spon­sive to in­quiries and po­ten­tial is­sues.

ALL PHO­TOS COURTESY OF DE­SIGN RECIPES/TRIBUNE NEWS SER­VICE

Curb ap­peal mat­ters to many po­ten­tial renters.

In win­ter months, ameni­ties such as fire pits will likely ap­peal to po­ten­tial renters. Look for ways to prop­erly style your rental prop­erty so it looks its best.

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