Everyone has a limited budget for what they can spend on their investment property to secure the best rental agreement or sales contract, and that budget is usually tight. Details are what strike people, what cause an emotional gut reaction, and people make decisions based on emotions (which are simply justified by logic). Charm people with the details, and they’ll justify their emotional decision reacting to that charm. Here are ten improvements you can make to your rental or rehab property without breaking the bank, that will make for an excellent first impression for your buyers or tenants.
Improvement 1: Kitchen Finishes
People spend the overwhelming amount of their waking time at home in the kitchen (when they’re not watching television), and kitchens strike at people’s most visceral instincts of demanding order and cleanliness around the preparation of food. In other words, kitchens are unbelievably important to the decision to sign your rental agreement or sales contract. If you don’t have the budget to replace those ugly old cabinets, paint them with a semi-gloss, and don’t skimp on the second coat. For added flare, paint the knobs different colors, or replace them with stylish stainless steel handles or knobs. Consider replacing the kitchen faucet as well, if it looks anything less than sparkling.
Improvement 2: Ceramic Tile
There are three places in the house to consider for ceramic tile: the kitchen, the bathroom(s), and the front foyer. If you have to replace one or more of these floors anyway, use ceramic tile, because it’s not that much more than vinyl, and it makes a much better impression.
If you have the money to redo the floor of only one bathroom, do the master bathroom; sure, people want their friends and family to see their fancy powder room on the first floor, but for that emotional impact, you want people to feel 100% welcome in their bathroom.
Improvement 3: Toilet Paper Stands
Toilet paper stands are nauseatingly cute and yuppie-ish… and people love them. It makes them feel stylish and modern, and once again, people make decisions based on emotions.
Improvement 4: Shower Curtains
Showers without curtains look funny, alien, sterile, and unwelcoming. If you want to move people towards signing your rental agreement or sales contract, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to imagine themselves living in the house. Buy a (NICE!) shower curtain, and hang it.
Improvement 5: Distinctive Light Switch Panels
Light switch panels are cheap, so buy ones with flare, that draw attention. People will remark on how “cute” they are, and how they add so much “personality,” while their loudness drowns any shortcomings that become less obvious in the room. It’s important, however, that they be installed either throughout the entire house, or with some kind of consistent logic.
Improvement 6: Door Handles
Just like the light switch covers, you can draw attention and compliments with these, without spending a lot of money. Exercise discretion and find stylish door handles, that curve elegantly or spiral in an eye-catching way, or jump off the door and dance a jig. Most importantly, be consistent with their use throughout the house, and they’ll help draw attention towards themselves and away from any other shortcomings in the room.
Improvement 7: Mailboxes
Mailboxes are a nice touch, that make a great first impression before the rental applicants or buyers even walk into the house. The trick is to make sure that the mailbox stands out in some way and catches their attention; fun colors, a unique design, or any other special feature to the mailbox makes for a memorable and visual representation for the charm of the house itself.
Details are absolutely critical to capture your visitors’ attention, because they will create that necessary sense of personality and connection that they need to feel with your property. If they can’t imagine themselves living there, they won’t sign your sales contract or rental agreement, and it’s as simple as that. Use emotion to your advantage, work the details, and melt their hearts. Don’t forget, people make decisions sub-consciously with emotion, and then justify them consciously with logic.