The old adage “never judge a book by its cover” doesn’t seem to hold much weight these days. People make snap judgments all the time based on superficial details. In the case of property ownership, that means your exterior. Outdoor features communicate a great deal about your priorities to your tenants. Well maintained walkways, lawns, and public facilities show your tenants that you have a vested interest in the well-being of your property. Cracked concrete, overgrown lawns, and dirty public areas, however, can easily give the impression of carelessness. Aesthetically pleasing public areas can seal the deal with a prospective tenant, while run-down areas can scare tenants away before they even see the interior of a unit. For good or bad, this will always be a big point of difference between you and your competitors. With this in mind, we’ve assembled five outdoor features that you should seriously consider adding to your property.
Though it may seem obvious, lawns are a vital part of maintaining a vibrant outdoor space. A well-maintained front lawn provides a welcoming quality to prospective tenants, while open areas within the property itself help your property seem vibrant and alive. The better your outdoor spaces are, the more likely your tenants are to appreciate and make use of them, and the more likely they are to renew their lease. Your tenants should feel welcome to make use of outdoor spaces just as much as inside; a nice open lawn area will encourage them to do just that.
Making your property look natural and healthy isn’t just limited to grass lawns. Trees, flowers, and other native plant life can add variety and even save you money! Installing plants that are accustomed to the arid environment can drastically lower your water usage by requiring much less water. This is commonly referred to as “xeriscape.” Lower water usage means more money in your pockets.
A carefully managed water feature can add a very pleasant atmosphere to the surrounding area. Fountains and even artificial streams can lend a calm and relaxing air to your walkways and intersections. Meanwhile, public pools are always desirable as places for both relaxation and recreation. Most water features recycle the same water repeatedly, limiting water loss to evaporation and splash. Water features tend to require a bit more maintenance than other areas, but if you take proper care of them you are bound to garner appreciation from tenants.
Covered Patio area
Since tenants don’t have access to their own private outdoor space on most rental properties, they rely on the public areas to accommodate the same kinds of activities that would normally take place in back or front yards. A covered patio area is a great place to not only host tenant events, but apartment sponsored activities as well. Several features can be added to increase the value of this space, including barbeque grills, fireplaces, sun shades, and lots of chairs and tables for comfort. If done properly, your patio area can easily become one of the most popular public areas on your property.
Dedicated sporting areas tend to attract both families with active kids and older adults with time to fill. Tenants that play the corresponding sports are bound to appreciate their landlords providing space to practice just a short walk from their front door. This could also give you some free marketing, as tenants invite their partners and team mates to use your new facilities.
Ultimately, outdoor areas exist to sell your property to prospective tenants. They matter just as much as the units themselves, and if the exterior seems uninviting then your number of new tenants will suffer each year. Renovating your outdoor areas not only gives a good impression to prospective tenants; it shows the tenants you have that you care about improving their neighborhood. The more your tenants appreciate your rental property, the more likely they are to stay for longer. If you’re interested in renovating your property’s outdoor areas, contact us using the toolbar on the left.