They say first impressions are everything! For multifamily owners and property managers looking to attract and retain residents, improving the property’s curb appeal is a great place to start. That way, when a prospect pulls up, they’re immediately impressed. It also makes residents feel proud of where they live.
Enhancing your property’s curb appeal doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Here are six cost-effective ways to get started:
1. Power wash the exterior. Over time, dirt and mildew build up on the outside of a property. It happens little by little, so sometimes it’s hard to notice how bad it’s become. Use a power washer to blast all exterior surfaces of your property. Power washing is affordable and can have a transformative effect on a multifamily property. While you’re at it, power wash front walkways, outdoor patios, fences, pool decks, and driveways. Not only will power washing help beautify the property, but it can also help extend the lifespan of these outdoor elements.
2. Clean up the grounds. Pick up loose branches. Prune shrubs. Rake leaves and other debris. Mow the lawn. Weed overgrown gardens. Throwdown a layer of topsoil or mulch to make flower beds pop. You may have a pretty outdoor area, but if it’s hidden under debris and weeds nobody will notice! These simple fixes will do wonders for the appearance of your property, and often don’t cost a dime: just a little extra time and elbow grease by your commercial landscaping and grounds maintenance company.
In some cases, turf renovation might be necessary. This is particularly true in hot-weather climates, where droughts are frequent, and water prices can escalate quickly. Alternative uses for large grassy areas include additional parking, tennis courts, basketball courts, storage units, an outdoor pavilion or an indoor recreation room. Where there are noticeable footpaths in the grass, consider installing walkways.
3. Invest in lighting. People often tour rental properties in the evening, so you’ll want to be sure your building is well-lit. You don’t want your communities best features obscured by shadows! Cast your property in a more favorable light with a few lighting techniques.
Use a combination of uplighting and downlighting. Uplighting points lights upward to a focal point above; downlighting does the opposite. A combination of the two adds dimension and depth to a property. Wall lighting and sconces can also be incorporated to illuminate a walkway or entrance softly.
Retrofitting apartment lighting should be considered a significant priority at complexes everywhere as it provides impressive efficiency and added security benefits. Many communities rely on older fixtures to brighten pathways, landscaping, and the front of each residence. This is usually because community managers believe that upgrading an existing system would be cost-prohibitive. However, this is not the case. Instead, modern fixtures quickly pay for themselves with their superior efficiency, a brief payback period, and ancillary benefits like improved curb appeal.
Be sure not to overdo it with lighting. Fixtures should create a focal point and create a warm, welcoming vibe. Designers often suggest mimicking moonlight: only illuminate your front yard as intense as the moon would on a clear night. It should be enough to cast shadows without looking like a Hollywood movie set.
4. Add some color. Make your property pop with a few bursts of color. The spring and summer is a great time to add colorful flowers to front-yard gardens. Use colors that complement the color of your exteriors. Another easy way to add a pop of color is by painting the front door of the property. Painting a door is a time-efficient, budget-friendly way to refresh a breezeway. Consider a bold red or deep blue hue. This creates contrast and dimension.
It might even make sense to paint only the exterior as an accent. If however, you have a painted door, you need to remember that once the door is closed, the back of it may look like any other door in the house. If your entrance hallway inside the unit has lots of different doors leading from it, you may like to consider just painting it in the same white/off white that you have used for those doors. This keeps the look simple and is an elegant solution.
Start by cleaning the door and removing all hardware. Then be sure to use a paint that’s designed specifically for exterior doors. You’ll want a color that’s fade-resistant, water-resistant, and scuff-resistant. It’s incredible how much wear and tear front doors take!
5. Paving the parking lot. Take a step back for a minute – literally. Walk across the street and take a good hard look at your community. What do you notice? Does the driveway need to be resealed? These areas start to show wear and tear over time. Unsightly tree stumps or cracked pavement can be a significant turnoff.
Paving an apartment complex parking lot may not seem like the most exciting topic in the world, but it is an operation that must be performed with care and skill to minimize tenant complaints down the road. A poorly done job will result in unhappy tenants, damage to vehicles, and possibly even property damage claims. On the other hand, a properly paved parking lot will operate smoothly and without event for years to come.
As a property manager, you understand the importance of making a great first impression and delighting your tenants, so they continue to choose to lease options from you. Remember that the first impression doesn’t start with a handshake and greeting: the first impression starts the minute people pass your building on the street or turn in your driveway.
6. Valet Trash. Via doorstep trash removal service, we limit your resident’s trash involvement. Nightly, we leave your asset as the developer intended it. We understand & effectively serve all multifamily types: conventional, collegiate, senior, military, and condominium community waste needs. Beyond that, there is no cost to begin service. We treat every resident like they pay the bills because they do.
Now that it’s the busy summer season, with budget season around the corner, and people will be spending more time outside—so there’s no better time to invest in a few low-cost improvements to boost your multifamily property’s curb appeal. The time and money spend on projects like these can translate into even more significant gains when you consider the impact it will have on finding (and retaining!) high-quality residents over time.