Rental values are increasing due to low inventory and high demand throughout the San Diego rental market. This is good news for investors and rental property owners, but you cannot count on strong market factors forever. How can you continue to increase the revenue you earn from your investment property?
The answer is renovations, upgrades, and preventative maintenance repairs. When you’re proactive about protecting the condition of your property and improving its appearance and functionality, you’re setting yourself up for higher rents, better tenants, and healthier long-term returns.
Here are some of the updates we always recommend to our San Diego property management clients.
Prioritize Preventative Maintenance with Your San Diego Investment Property
Preventative maintenance impacts your revenue by reducing the potential for expensive emergency repairs. It also protects you against deferred maintenance. When you respond to problems while they’re minor and uncomplicated, you will save money on what could potentially become an expensive repair bill. Preventative maintenance plans will also provide for protection and oversight, which leads to longer lifespans for the systems and functions of your San Diego rental property.
Preventative maintenance issues that need ongoing attention include:
HVAC Inspections and Service Calls
Replacing a furnace and repairing an air conditioning system will be expensive. Adopt a preventative maintenance schedule, including an annual inspection. You can be sure your heating and cooling systems are working properly. You’ll likely have fewer repair requests, and you will optimize the functionality of your most costly units. Contract with an HVAC company that will send a technician to your property once or twice a year to conduct an inspection and take care of general preventative service.
Always Look for Leaks
Water damage is especially problematic for your investment property. A seemingly minor leak that’s left alone can quickly become a plumbing disaster. Inspections should include looking under sinks and behind toilets to ensure there isn’t evidence of leaking or dripping. Inspect your appliances, check your irrigation, and drain your water heater on a regular basis.
Preventative Maintenance and Residents
Residents have a role to play in helping you take care of preventative maintenance. Make sure they understand that all repair requests should be made as soon as an issue is detected. You don’t want them waiting to report things, this will only lead to extra work and higher expenses. You’ll want to enlist their help in changing air filters regularly.
Renovations and Upgrades to Increase Rental Income
When preventative maintenance is a priority, you’ll spend less on emergency maintenance and unexpected repairs.
The next step in earning more rental revenue is to increase the rental value of your investment. You can do that by making a series of strategic and cost–effective updates, improvements, and renovations to your rental home.
Fresh Paint is an Ideal Starting Point
Fresh paint is always an ideal improvement to make at your San Diego rental property. Instead of doing touch-ups here and there, paint the whole wall before a new tenant moves in. Most rental properties have every wall painted in some shade of white. That’s fine because you want to stick to neutral shades but consider something like gray or beige instead. It will still match any décor and furniture that your tenant may have, and it also looks better in your photographs when your rental property is listed online.
Increase Rental Value with Hard Surface Flooring
Most turnovers include carpet cleaning. If the carpet is old and worn, you might even replace it.
For an upgrade that will attract higher rents and better tenants, consider pulling up the carpet and replacing it with hard surface flooring. This upgrade provides several benefits outside of the higher rental value. You’ll find:
- It looks better. Hardwood floors or vinyl laminate or tile have a cleaner, more modern appearance. They’re more attractive to tenants as they search for a new rental home.
- The upgrade is better for prospective tenants who have allergies or pets. There aren’t any fibers to trap dog hair and dust. Odors are easier to eliminate as well.
- Tenants find hard surface flooring easier to clean and maintain.
- You will enjoy a longer lifespan when you have hard surface flooring. There’s no cleaning or replacing carpet every few years, so your turnover costs will decrease.
Hardwood or tile floors are ideal, but if your budget doesn’t allow that, even a high-quality laminate will give you the benefit of increased rental values.
Invest in Clean, Modern Kitchens and Bathrooms
San Diego residents will look for open, clean kitchens with energy efficient appliances and excellent lighting. Think about installing a backsplash to provide a modern twist and update your faucets, hardware, and drawer pulls. These are minor and affordable upgrades that often give your kitchen a brand new, completely renovated energy.
Bathrooms should look clean and new as well. Change out any mirrors and lighting that make the room look dated. The shower and tub need to be in good condition, and a low flow toilet is not terribly expensive to install. Provide a great shower head and look for ways to incorporate storage, whether it’s a towel rack, a larger vanity, or some shelving.
Interior and Exterior Lighting Upgrades
Upgrade your indoor and outdoor lighting when you can. Outdoor lighting is critical for safety purposes and helps your tenants to feel secure. A motion light can be beneficial, and if there’s a walkway to the parking area, consider lighting it up with solar lights or lamps. Inside, tenants will want light fixtures that match the hardware you have in each room. This type of attention to detail will help you earn more on your investment property.
The renovations you make to your San Diego rental property are likely to be personal. These are some guidelines based on what works well in general, but there may be some particular areas which will really have an impact on your rental value. Contact us at San Diego Residential Property Management, and we’d be happy to make some customized recommendations that are sure to increase what you earn.