Property Management 101: Knowing When To Update Your Property

Photo Credit: Jaroslaw Cebroski

If you’ve owned your investment property for a long time, it can be difficult to notice when it needs an update, and tricky to determine whether it’s worth the financial investment. Our first piece of property management advice is to walk through the apartment looking at it from the point of view of a prospective renter. Does anything stand out that may put you off?

Visible issues during showings can have a big effect on how people perceive the apartment and their idea of how it is managed. If an apartment looks run down during showings, potential tenants are far more likely to believe that the landlord or owner may have an “I don’t care” attitude.

Remember, the tenants you want will take pride in how they live and will be the first to notice an apartment that looks run down.

Areas That Commonly Need Addressing

Cleanliness

Pay particular attention to the kitchen and the bathroom as these can really stand out in a positive way when clean, and will really stand out in the opposite way when dirty.

Windows

Clean the interior of all glass, and the exterior where possible (balcony doors and windows).

Light bulbs

It is amazing the difference a burnt out light bulb can make in terms of how a room shows. Make sure to change any old light bulbs so that all rooms are as bright as possible.

Caulking

If the caulking around bathtubs and sinks is dirty or black, recaulk them. This is a very simple and inexpensive maintenance task that can make a big difference during showings.

Paint

Painting is very important, and should not be skipped unless the walls are in excellent condition. Freshly painted walls will completely change the appearance of a room. Avoid the use of strong colours, as they don’t suit everyone’s taste and can make empty rooms appear much smaller than they are. Use an off white, such as Cloud White, to keep everything bright and open. Also, never paint your ceiling any colour other than white!

Flooring

This one is a bit more of an investment, but, again, can make a big difference in the number and quality of applicants you receive. If your flooring is carpet, at a minimum, make sure it is professionally cleaned. Consider changing carpets to laminate wood floors as many prospective tenants in Vancouver will pass by apartments with carpet. Laminate flooring will almost always make a space look and feel bigger, brighter and cleaner, so can be a very positive upgrade. Often the cost of laminate flooring is comparable to that of new carpet. Remember, when changing flooring, it is essential to use the properly rated underlay (don’t use the cheap underlay under any circumstances in an apartment/strata condo). The work must be approved by strata, so ensure you start the strata approval process as early as possible.

Other simple updates like changing cracked faceplates or shower heads, replacing missing blind vanes or cleaning window coverings are all examples of those last little things that will have an effect on how your apartment comes across.

Remember, your ultimate goal is to get the best tenants possible at the best rental rate possible. Having an apartment that is clean and in good condition, and looks like it is cared for, is an essential step in obtaining that goal.

Getting the advice of a property manager is a sensible way to make sure you are showcasing your rental property in the best way. Call our team of property management experts to find out how we can help provide valuable guidance and recommend trades for handling these types of updates.