It's one thing to own an investment property, it's another to maximise its profitability and make it a great long-term investment.
It may be stating the obvious, but the number of bedrooms is a significant determinant of a property’s rental value. In general, the more bedrooms there are, the more rent that can be afforded since the value can be shared between more people, or it can help justify the rent for a tenant who wants the extra room for hobbies etc.
A great way to increase the rental value is to add a bedroom. Sometimes a laundry is a far larger size than necessary, a very large bedroom can be split into two, or you can convert the extra living area into a bedroom. The input of a builder can help determine how much it would cost to renovate to add an extra bedroom, and you can then do the sums to make an informed decision.
First impressions are critical when people view your property. There are people who want to save money and are happy to live in a property that is not in first class condition. There are others, like professionals, who are happy to pay top rent, but expect the property to present at its absolute best.
There is no doubt that a well-presented property will achieve top market rent and will usually attract the best quality tenants, creating higher investment return. A good property manager will make sure the property is very clean and in its best possible condition before the property is shown at viewings.
Sunshine & Warmth
Even though they are looking in the Summer, people are already thinking about how cold the property will get in the Winter. For this reason, properties with little sun can be very difficult to let, even in the Summer market. Skylights or additional strategically placed windows can work wonders in adding sunlight and giving the property a lift, as can a white interior.
Installing a heat pump can also help make properties that don't get much sun more attractive to tenants and increase the rent, plus it can be put in dry mode and act as a dehumidifier, helping reduce mould and keep the property warm and healthy without the use of a heater, keeping tenants happy and hopefully staying longer.
Space is a premium everywhere, and so having built-in wardrobes in the bedrooms is advantageous. Built-in wardrobes in units and townhouses are expected by tenants, can be the deciding factor when choosing between properties, and can be willing to pay a higher rent if it means they have storage space.
Fix The Small Things
Before the property is advertised, tend to the gardens, mow the lawns and clean the windows, paths, gutters and outside paintwork. These are all things seen from the street. You don't want people to dismiss the property at first sight and drive on past.
People don't like leaking taps, sticking doors, broken light fittings, loose door handles, rotten floor boards, leaky gutters, tired walls that are in desperate need of a fresh paint coat, and the like. All of these things can distract potential tenants, gives the impression that the owner doesn’t care about the property, and it isn't worth the rent being asked for. A good Property Manager can provide you advice on what can be done to improve your investment, helping create better return.
If you present the property well from day one it also sets the standard of care and up keep that is expected from the tenants.
We've been in the Wellington rental property market for 30 years, we know what tenants want and are happy to pay more for. In Wellington, we have the highest average income in New Zealand, likely thanks to the government, film industry, and IT industry. It's worth investing in your property to increase the rent, plus the improvements will help keep your tenants happy and staying longer, so what's not to like?
For more advice, read our free ebook 18 Factors that Have the Greatest Influence on Rent.