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How to Improve Properties on a Budget

How to Improve a Property on a Budget
Image: © John Hix | Dreamstime Stock Photos

If the title sounds like an oxymoron to you, you’re likely not the only property owner who feels that way. After all, trying to update a property with a hundred units is a daunting task that often requires a significant amount of outlay, especially when you’re trying to keep up the Joneses. Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The good news is that you can make a significant difference in the eyes of prospective tenants with these relatively simple and budget-friendly solutions:

  1. Focus on Aesthetics. People want things that look nice. It’s in our nature. Simply updating the hardware in a unit can make a dramatic difference without spending a lot of money. Simply do some research online for clearance sales or bulk discounts on items like door handles, light plates, faucets, and knobs. Tip: Pick an upscale décor store online and research their top selling hardware options. Then do a search for the same style at online retailers like Cheaper Faucets, and achieve the same look at a fraction of the cost.
  2. Get a Fresh Coat. You will be absolutely amazed at what a fresh coat of paint can do for a unit. Choose a neutral color other than white, such as a soft sand or tan, and you’ll get a completely different look with a more modern feel for only pennies. Tip: Search postings such as those provided in Angie’s List for reputable painters at reasonable prices.
  3. Blinds Make a Difference. What type of window coverings are in your units? If you’re still opting for the awful metal mini-blinds, we need to have a talk. You can get faux wood, 1” and 2” slat blinds for very little more than what you’re paying for those hideous metal ones, and the difference in the unit will be amazing. Tip: Select Blinds has options starting at only $10 a window.
  4. It’s the Little Things. One of the most important factors to younger tenants? Technology. And, they will expect their apartment of choice to automatically have docking stations and mobile charging options built-in. The good news is that these are relatively inexpensive to purchase and to install. Just look online.
  5. Keep it Clean. It may sound silly that we’d even have to mention it, but you’d be surprised…Make sure the unit is thoroughly cleaned before you ever show it to a prospective tenant. This includes the inside of drawers, microwaves, and ovens; in between those brand new blinds; inside the baths, toilets, and all sinks; up the back-splashes; across every baseboard; and the most thorough vacuuming job ever. Tip: Leave a small splash of Pine Sol in each toilet. The smell permeates.

Remember that this doesn’t have to be done in one fell swoop. Spacing out the renovation to address units only as they come up for lease or are available will help with budgeting and make it a more manageable process. And, of course, if you need help handling it all, give us a call at 817-295-5959 or send us a request by email to