Do looks matter?
When it comes to your Phoenix rental property, yes.
An attractive rental property is welcoming, inviting, and likely to get the attention of the best tenants. You’ll increase your rental value and decrease your vacancy time.
Curb appeal counts because it makes your first impression. When tenants scroll through your photos online, they’ll notice whether the outside of your property is attractive. When they arrive for their showing, the way your home makes them feel will impact whether or not they complete an application.
Leverage the power of that first impression by paying attention to your curb appeal.
If you’re not sure where to start, we have five effortless ways to improve the curb appeal of your rental property. None of these ideas requires a huge investment of time or money and if you need help organizing the work, don’t hesitate to contact us for some professional resources.
1. Install Desert-Friendly Landscaping
Arizona is hot and it gets more than its fair share of sunshine all year long. This is not a climate that will support lush, green lawns. You need to think about the local landscape and climate and create an outdoor space that’s low-maintenance for your tenants. Choose plants and flowers that will survive in this climate and not need a lot of water.
The easiest way to do this is to create some interest and appeal with native flora. These are plants that are naturally found in and around the East Valley. They can grow and thrive naturally, without a lot of human intervention and care. When you choose plants that can survive locally on their own in the hot, dusty climate that we have in Arizona, you won’t have to worry that all of your landscaping will die before your tenants even sign the lease.
Create a natural, pretty environment that tenants will find attractive. You can do that using stones, brick, shells, and even healthy plants.
Some good options include:
- Agave varieties
- Yucca varieties
- Cactus varieties
- Arizona hedgehog
- Hedge euphorbia
- Red echeveria
- Teddy-bear cholla
Create visual interest with the landscaping you choose by planting shrubs, trees, cacti, and small plants of varying sizes. You want to create balance, and landscaping focused on curb appeal will have diverse heights, widths, and textures along the ground. Mix up the short plants with the taller trees and use as many different plants and flowers as you can. You’ll attract butterflies, bees, and birds to your landscaping, which is always a positive when it comes to curb appeal and pretty homes.
2. Focus on Your Front Door
The front door of your rental home is one of the things that tenants and their guests will focus on when they approach the property. You need to make it count.
When your front door is covered in cobwebs and insects or it’s dirty and the paint is peeling, no one is going to feel thrilled about coming through it and entering the home. When you have a new, modern door that’s attractive and colorful, you’re likely to make a great first impression.
Sometimes, a simple coat of paint is all you need. A freshly painted front door will not only increase your curb appeal - it will provide an entirely new look and feel to your property. Updated paint is also a good idea every few years because it increases the durability and the lifespan of that door. The most extreme weather hits your front door, whether it’s sun or wind or those rare torrential rains.
Install a brand new door if you notice that more than paint is needed. When your door begins to deteriorate, it’s better to replace it with a new door that’s already primed, painted, and ready to be installed.
You don’t necessarily have to get a new door or paint in order to create some curb appeal. If there are strict budgetary restraints, consider installing new hardware to the door. A new doorknob or a knocker can really make the door pop.
Modern accessories will also make a difference. Hang bright lanterns or a wreath. Planters and door decorations leading up to the front door will grab attention.
3. Look at Lighting Upgrades
Curb appeal isn’t just a daytime goal. You want your property to look attractive at night, too. Prospective tenants may drive by after dark to get an idea of how the neighborhood feels and what the house looks like. You’ll want to provide a well-lit home that’s secure and comforting.
The right lighting will show tenants how perfect your property might be for them. Creating a warm glow is ideal; look for a porch light that shows off your new door. Put some solar lights in a path that leads to the front door or along the driveway.
Good lighting also helps with security. Tenants will feel safer when there’s adequate lighting outside, and statistics have proven that homes with outside lighting are less likely to be burglarized or trespassed upon than those that remain dark.
Consider a motion light on the side of the house or on the garage or any outbuildings. This will add to security and provide additional illumination for tenants who may be walking dogs outside or walking from car to home.
Luckily, lighting designs come in a wide range of prices and styles. You won’t have to spend a lot of money installing new lights. And, when you choose energy efficient lights, you can use that as a selling point. Tenants will have lower electric bills and they won’t have to replace bulbs every few months.
The right lights serve a functional purpose at your rental property and also an aesthetic one. Use them to create the right curb appeal.
4. Clean Things Up
When trash bins get left outside at the curb too long, they tend to travel on their own, somehow. Avoid that by pulling them in as soon as possible after the trash is collected, especially when you’re marketing and showing your rental property.
Make sure all the debris is cleared away from the front of the house, the driveway, and the walkway. Even the sidewalk in front of your home needs some attention. Tenants won’t want to see trash gathering in corners of the yard or lawn debris pushing up against the garage. Make sure the property is clean.
To be effective, you’ll want to do more than clean away the dirt, debris, and dust. You’ll also want to power wash the entire house as well as the driveway, sidewalk, and any paths. Power wash the patio if you have one and the deck. It’s not expensive and it can be surprising how much gunk gathers over the years. Tenants will notice the brighter, lighter feel when they come to see the home. They’ll appreciate that the cobwebs have been blown away from the corners of the entryway. They don’t have to see the insect carcasses that had been gathering on the window screens.
After you’ve power washed the property, clean the windows, too. Windows will have a huge impact on your curb appeal. Tenants won’t want to pull up and see bent and damaged blinds in the windows. They won’t want to see torn screens. If the windows are too dirty, they won’t be able to see much at all.
Give your windows a clear, spot-free cleaning. It’s not expensive.
5. Consider How Convenience Serves Curb Appeal
Now that the exterior of your Phoenix rental property is aesthetically pleasing and likely to be full of curb appeal, how else can you create the type of setting that will get the attention of great tenants?
Think like a tenant.
Your prospective renters are looking for ease and convenience. They want everything to look pretty, but they also want everything to be convenient and efficient for them. You might not think about smart tech and smart home features as curb appeal elements, but they can be.
Some of the things that tenants will appreciate when it comes to your tech-friendly curb appeal include:
- Keyless entries. These types of systems allow your tenants to lock or unlock their home without using a physical key and lock. You might be using a system like this to enable self-showings. If that’s the case, keep the keyless entry on your door. Tenants won’t have to worry about misplacing keys or making new ones. Instead, they can open the door with a code or a phone app.
- Video doorbells. Tenants love being able to see who is at their home before they answer the door. It’s a great way for them to keep tabs on the property when they’re not at home. They can be alerted that a package has been delivered, for example, even if they’re not there.
Curb appeal is pretty personal. If you’d like us to evaluate your home and make some suggestions, we’d be happy to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at TCT Property Management Services. We manage homes in the East and West Valley, including Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Phoenix.