If you own a home that you’d like to turn into a rental property, sooner or later you’ll run into challenges and obstacles. These challenges vary, but they will emerge – and how you deal with them makes the difference between a successful investment and something that could be better. As property management specialists, we help our owner clients deal with challenges on a daily basis. Over decades of combined experience, we’ve seen it all and helped clients deal with it all. Here are a few typical challenges that you might run into with your rental property that can make or break a home’s success on the market. Dealing with Bad Lighting How your potential tenants see your property goes a long way in determining if they’ll rent from you – or someone else. One common component of a home’s appeal is lighting. And to be honest, some homes have horrible lighting. Either there are trees blocking natural light from entering windows, homes that face to the north, rooms with only one (bad) light fixture, or not enough windows (or windows that aren’t large enough). Something has to give. You can remedy this by:
Landscaping to remove shrubs and trees that block too much light
Replacing single light fixtures with recessed lighting throughout the room
Opening up dark rooms by enlarging windows or replacing solid doors with glass-paneled ones
Handling Small Rooms We can’t often control the dimensions of the homes we own, but this does come into play – especially when tenants are looking for particular dimensions and need ample space. In a home with small room sizes, that can be detrimental. Sometimes, what you have to do is undergo targeted renovations. For example, if you have three bedrooms that are quite small, consider knocking out a wall between two of them to make a master bedroom with a guest room. That layout is often more appealing because then you can target people who are looking for 2/X homes, instead of 3/X homes and are expecting larger rooms. One modern trend is to also have a conglomerated dining and living area, instead of a separate dining room. You can make this happen by knocking out a wall that helps to define the dining room, and incorporate it into the living area or the kitchen. Finally, if there is a lack of storage in the home, consider built-in storage or putting a shed in the backyard.
Matthew is the CEO of Evernest. He is a student of the book Good to Great and is passionate about building the best property management company on the planet (and maybe even the universe if Elon Musk will hurry up). You can usually find Matthew at the baseball field with his son, at a dance recital with his daughter, or at his favorite restaurant with his wife, when he’s not in the office. And if you can’t find him in any of those places, it probably means he’s traveling.