One of the most frustrating things I come across in the rental business is poorly managed apartments. I’m not talking about bad property management companies (that’s a whole other story), but bad landlords. The biggest issue is that everyone seems to want to have their cake and eat it too. Too many landlords seem to be under the impression that they can put a run-down, dirty rental unit on the market and get paid a premium rent. Time for a reality check.
The rental market is very strong right now. But people expect a quality product when they start spending good money for an apartment. Outdated kitchens and bathrooms, broken radiators, window ACs, landlord white walls and stick-down tile do not a quality unit make. If your property is located in an area that can handle high quality units, you’ll need to bring your units up to that level of finish if you expect to rent them out. You can’t lose track of the fact that you are competing with other landlords for tenants. If a prospective tenant can get a better unit two blocks away for the same price, why would they rent yours? Get familiar with your local apartment market through the newspaper or internet ad sites such as Craigslist to avoid this problem. Educate yourself so you don’t waste your time overpricing or under improving your units. It might hurt a little at first to spend the extra money to add something like a washer and dryer to the apartment, but it going to hurt a lot more if you have sit on a vacant apartment for two months, only to have to drop you rent price to attract a tenant.