If you’re a landlord in Boston, you face pretty stiff competition when it comes to getting people into your place. There’s a big building boom going on, and that means your potential renters have lots of choices when it comes to where they will lay their heads. To attract renters to your house or apartment, you’ll need to make sure you have a real stand-out in your neighborhood. Is your property up to today’s standards when it comes to looks and convenience features?

Fortunately, updating a rental property doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. Carefully choosing your projects to get the biggest return on your investment is key. Take a look at our list of sure-fire rent boosters as you plan your next landlord upgrades.

1. Paint, Paint, Paint

If you can only afford to do one thing to your property, paint is the best way to freshen things up. Inspect the walls and patch any damage, then give it a nice coat of a neutral — but on-trend — color. Greige is big right now, and it’s the perfect background color for any renter’s decorating preferences. It will give your place a modern warmth and make things look clean and new. Best of all, it only costs about a hundred dollars for a couple cans of paint if you DIY this project.  

2. Replace the Flooring

Floors take a daily beating, and even high-quality carpet will look dingy after a few years use. Tear it out and replace it with wood or laminate flooring. Hardwood floors are a strong selling point, and they’re durable enough to hold up well for many years of use, making them a solid investment to get you through several rounds of tenants. It’s no wonder that hardwood floors are a top ROI generator for multifamily unit landlords

3. Increase Storage

Renters need all the storage they can get, so you can set your property apart by offering smart solutions that make the best use of the space. Consider adding shelves and customizable cubbies to closets, and make sure the bathroom has plenty of towel bars and hooks along with ample vanity and medicine cabinet storage. If there’s no closet near the entry, a row of hooks and a shelf here will be greatly appreciated.

4. Laundry Hookups

If it’s too expensive to provide a washer and dryer outright, consider having a plumber install appliance hookups if you have the space. This won’t cost much to install, but you can charge higher rents just for the option. Providing in-unit laundry is a huge upgrade, and you may be able to find gently used appliances on Craigslist or at an appliance retailer’s “scratch and dent” sale for a good deal. 

5. Curb Appeal

Never underestimate the power of curb appeal to impress tenants and help you keep your building occupied! A good power washing will make vinyl siding look like new, and it’s always a good idea to stain and seal decks to keep them looking sharp. Pull weeds, mow the lawn, and consider planting some flowers near the entry for an inexpensive punch of color that is sure to catch the eye of potential renters.

Before you invest in any upgrades, make sure to carefully price it out and estimate how much extra rent the investment will bring you. Ideally, you should break even on your spending before you would have to repeat the upgrade several years down the road. If the numbers add up, go for it — and you’ll have one of the best properties on the block.

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