Last modified on August 20th, 2013
By Aimee Miller
We all know that curb appeal can help fill vacancies faster. If your property doesn’t appeal to a viewer at first glance, there’s a good chance they will pass it by without looking into it any further. Not only will a more attractive property gain you more inquiries about your vacancies, but it will also enable you to find better quality residents who will be willing to pay more in rent in order to live in a beautiful home.
But how do you improve the curb appeal of the properties you manage? Often you are so familiar with your buildings that it’s actually rather difficult to see their flaws. When this is the case, it’s important to be able to take a step back and make a real effort to view your properties from the perspective of an outsider. What would the average stranger passing by on the street see that you’ve overlooked?
Take a Step Back
To accomplish this, it can be helpful first to take a literal step back. Walk across the street and view your property from a distance so that you can see its surroundings at the same time. Are there many dead trees surrounding the structure? Is the front porch sagging, or could it use a new coat of paint? Is the fence in good repair, and does the lawn look cared for? What single problem could you fix that would make a significant difference to the eyes of a potential resident?
Now Come Closer
Next, walk back over to the property and look a little more closely at the building itself, as well as the elements immediately surrounding it. If someone passes by on the street and is struck by your property, you don’t want them coming closer only to be turned off by smaller details. Are the windows, doors and siding clean? Has the porch been swept? Are the steps broken? Is the gravel from the walkway straying all over the lawn? Are there old tools or pieces of trash scattered in the yard? Many of these minor problems can be remedied quickly and inexpensively, so it makes no sense to lose potential residents over them.
Pick a Few Easy Wins
Once you’ve identified some areas that need work, decide what you’d like to address immediately. Check out this article from PropertyManager.com with 5 Easy Ways to Improve Curb Appeal. Ask yourself, what changes will give me the most visual impact for my time and money? Also consider, what changes will make a lasting impact that renters will appreciate. And naturally, once you’ve finalized on the changes, enter them as work orders using your AppFolio property management software!