Strategic staging, smart improvements and simple touches go a long way in creating an inviting atmosphere that attracts tenants, RentRedi’s Ryan Barone writes.

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First impressions can make or break closing a deal on a long or mid-term rental. So it’s important to put your best foot forward when presenting your rental home on the market. A few tweaks here and there can trigger those love-at-first-sight vibes and turn your rental into a hot ticket item. From glossy finishes and cozy layouts to simple plush throw pillows, here are some tips to boost the curb appeal of your rental property.

Level up the curb appeal

The first thing prospective renters see is the exterior of your property, so why not put a little extra effort into elevating your property’s curb appeal? Start with power washing the walls, windows, driveway, walkways and patio to make everything shine. If you haven’t painted the exterior of your property for awhile, it might be time to add a fresh coat. Simply painting the front door, trim, and shutters can give a newer, cleaner look.

The landscaping should also be well maintained and add to the attractiveness of the property. Keep the grass green, healthy, freshly cut and free of weeds. Trim trees and shrubs, add fresh mulch and colorful flowers to enhance visual appeal. Fences and gates should be in good condition and freshly painted, and any cracks or stains on driveways and sidewalks should be fixed.

Adding decorative touches, such as stone or brick borders, fence accents, updated hardware on doors and garages, planters filled with flowers, solar lighting and a stylish mailbox, can also make the property look more inviting.

Keep it clean

Impressing prospective buyers with curb appeal will get them in the door, but creating an enticing interior space is necessary to close a deal. The first order of business is to ensure the inside of the rental home looks clean and comfortable.

Freshen up the inside of your home by deep cleaning carpets, scrubbing surfaces, waxing wood floors, and washing the insides of the windows. Pay attention to the details, and tidy up spaces that you don’t typically see at first glance, such as the insides of closets, cabinets, refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances.  

Decluttering the space is the next order of business. Clutter can make spacious floor plans feel cramped and uncomfortable. Renters must be able to envision their life and their possessions fitting nicely in your space.

Remove non-essential furniture and personal knick-knacks, tuck away storage bins and clear off counters and other surfaces. Use creative ideas to overcome storage limitations if necessary. Think “model home” vibes, where less is definitely more.

Go for modestly modern

You don’t have to spend a fortune to give off an upscale vibe. Sprucing up your space with modern touches can be done on a budget and still impress. Swap out tired doorknobs for sleek new hardware, slap a fresh coat of paint in trending neutral tones and upgrade to energy-efficient LED lights.

If you have the budget, replace old appliances with new ones that have a more modern look and offer more innovative features. Alternatively, adding a shiny new toaster, coffee maker, or espresso machine to a countertop won’t break the bank but can have the desired effect. If you need to save more intensive renovations for later, minor changes now can still make an impact. 

Upgrade essentials

Amenities such as heating and air conditioning systems, laundry washers and dryers, and reliable internet connections are a must and should be as up-to-date as possible. These basic conveniences can set your property apart from others that lack them. Repairing or upgrading systems and appliances to more energy-efficient versions is also attractive and can reduce maintenance and utility costs in the long run.

Smart staging techniques

When it comes to winning hearts (and leases), smart staging is your secret to success. You’re not just selling square footage—you’re selling a dream: Lazy Sundays, lively dinner parties, and that “I’ve finally made it” feeling. Use neutral colors for walls and furnishings to create a blank canvas so renters can envision their own personal touches. Then, add a few accent pillows, rugs, and artwork that add color and provoke an inviting mood. 

If your property has extra rooms, lofts, or spaces that can be used for non-essential but highly desired purposes, take steps to showcase its potential. Stage the extra space with just enough goodies to spark inspiration. Some ideas include a home office, home gym, yoga/dance studio, game room or a mini-theater. 

When showing the property, maximize natural light by opening curtains and blinds, and consider adding mirrors to make spaces feel larger. Ensure the thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature and use mild air fresheners or natural scents like fresh flowers or baked cookies to please the senses. Strategic staging, smart improvements and simple touches go a long way in creating an inviting atmosphere that attracts tenants.

Ryan Barone is the co-founder and CEO of RentRedi, an award-winning rental management software that transforms the way landlords and tenants manage their renting experience.

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