When you want to maximize what you earn on your Portland investment property, you have to continue spending money on it. There will be repairs needed, replacements required, and improvements and updates that keep your property attractive, modern, and easy to rent out to qualified tenants.
There are recurring expenses too, such as the landscaping and the pest control, and the Portland property management.
It’s easy to get frustrated; this real estate investment is supposed to be making you money, not costing you money.
However, smart investors know that by investing money into your Portland rental property, you’re increasing its value. That means more money for you in the long term.
Where and how should you invest in your property?
We’re glad you asked.
Investing in Preventative Maintenance
Prioritizing preventative maintenance means reducing the number of expensive emergency repairs that are needed. It also helps you avoid deferred and unreported maintenance issues. All of these things are far more expensive than the preventative plans you put in place.
When we talk about preventative maintenance, we recommend you focus on the obvious systems and functions in your property; the roof, the foundation, the landscaping, the electrical wires running through your walls, and your appliances.
Two areas, in particular, need a heavy investment in preventative maintenance.
HVAC Service and Inspections
The weather in Portland depends on the day. We might have a lot of rain. We might have cold nights. There could be a sudden hot spell. Your rental property’s heating and cooling system will certainly work for your residents all year long. This is one of the most expensive systems in your home, so you want to make sure it’s running as efficiently and effectively as it can.
Preventative maintenance is critical. Have a technician come out to your property twice a year, each season, to inspect and clean the HVAC. This will ensure that any problems are detected early. You’ll know your tenants are unlikely to complain about their heat not working in the middle of January.
Plumbing Problems and Water Leaks
Plumbing can also add up to major expenses if you’re not paying attention. Inspect your water heater at least once a year. Test the pressure relief valve, and look for any evidence of rust or corrosion. Check for leaks and look at the intake screen. You should flush the water tank once a year to protect against having it leak or explode in the middle of the night. Tenants tend to call when they don’t have hot water.
Pay attention to even minor leaks and look for standing water or lack of drainage. Clean out the gutters twice a year, and make sure they are pointing away from the property so there’s no chance of water getting inside and causing mold. Clear any branches, dirt, leaves, or grass off your roof. Look at ceilings and walls for water stains, which could indicate you have a leak somewhere in your building.
Preventative maintenance is not expensive when you measure it against the cost of having to replace a furnace or a roof. Over the long term, it will protect the condition and the value of your rental property in Portland.
Improvements and Renovations Worth Your Investment
If you’re interested in maximizing the amount of your rental value and preserving the condition of your investment, you need to think about renovations and improvements - especially during turnover periods. A few cost-effective updates will go a long way toward increasing your rent and attracting the best residents.
Keep it simple. Improve the landscaping and curb appeal. Install ceiling fans and invest in home security technology like smart thermostats or video doorbells. Here are some of the common rental property upgrades that tenants really care about:
If you’re going to give your kitchen a boost, start by making sure everything matches aesthetically. When the finishes on your oven, stove, fridge, and dishwasher are the same, the kitchen will look modern and well-designed. If the appliances are old or you’ve had to repair them more than once, consider replacing them with new ones. You don’t necessarily have to buy high-end models, but something energy-efficient will be a great selling point when you’re marketing your property, and stainless appliances will likely increase what you can charge in rent. More and more rental properties have stainless appliances and even granite counters.
Tenants in Portland are willing to pay for low-maintenance features like tile backsplashes or new, shiny faucets and hardware. If you’re only prepared to make renovations to one part of your rental home, update the kitchen first.
A fresh coat of paint is an easy upgrade and should be made whenever possible. No one wants to move into a property that has chipped, worn, stained, or scratched walls. Invest in a complete paint job instead of touch-up work. It will make your property look new and fresh, which leads to better rents.
Hard surface flooring is quickly becoming preferable to carpet. This is no surprise. Hardwood, tile, or laminate flooring is easier to keep clean. It doesn’t trap odors and stains and it’s actually easier for you to clean and maintain during turnovers. Trade in that carpet for hard surface flooring. The investment will result in higher rental values for your properties. You’ll also have fewer turnover costs in the long term. Look for durable, affordable materials such as vinyl plank.
Invest in bathrooms when you’re looking for ways to improve your rental property. This may include:
Installing a new toilet seat.
Upgrade the shower head to one that can adjust the water pressure.
Replace cabinet hardware and faucets
Check the floors to make sure they aren’t scratched or worn and make minor improvements that tenants will appreciate, such as storage space. A cabinet or shelving over the toilet will grab the attention of prospective tenants. A large mirror over the sink with great lighting can also make a difference.
These improvements will help you preserve your property and continue to earn money from it. Don’t let your investment begin to look old and worn. Deterioration is never good for your bottom line.
Invest in Technology
Invest in technology when you’re renting out a home. This is becoming increasingly important to Portland tenants who are working remotely and spending more time at home. You don’t have to completely wire your rental with smart home tech. But, making a few investments will be good for you, your property, and your ability to attract residents.
Digital keypads and locks, for example, are replacing metal keys. This makes it easier for you to show your property when it’s vacant because tenants can see it on their own time, without you having to juggle schedules. It’s also great for allowing access to maintenance workers. Security features such as alarms and video doorbells are extremely popular.
Tenants are also looking for technology. Investing in online payment applications will help you in the long term because you won’t have to worry about collecting paper checks or risking that your rent will come in late.
Portland Property Management Services
When you think about how you can invest in your rental property in order to earn more and spend less on that investment, you have to consider the benefits of partnering with a property management company in Portland.
Working with an experienced and competent Portland property management company will add significant value to your investment. Smart real estate investors will tell you that a good management company is worth a lot more than its management fee. With the assistance of a property management expert, you can expect:
Accurate, competitive, and profitable rental values
Compliance with all local, state, and federal laws
Attention to tenant relationships
A network of reliable and affordable vendors and contractors who are licensed and insured
An investment in property management technology
Preventative, routine, and emergency maintenance
A set or consistent and documented procedures for every potential situation
Accounting statements and financial reports that are detailed, clear, and transparent
When you work with property managers, you’re getting more than the concrete services they provide during the leasing, management, and maintenance process. You’re also getting expertise. That’s hard to quantify, but it shows up when you’re not sure whether you should move towards eviction or you want to get a better understanding of a Portland neighborhood before you invest in a property there.
Investing in good property management means you will have more success with your rental property and your residents. You’ll earn more in the short term and the long term, and you’ll have a lot more peace of mind.
We know that you didn’t invest in property to spend money, you invested to earn money.
In order to maximize what you earn, you need to be willing to invest in your Portland rental property in all of these ways. If you’d like to talk about it, we’re available. Please contact us at PropM. We’re open 365 days a year and seven days a week, and we’re happy to help you.