Alright, let’s finish up on my rant on ideas to improve the value of your apartment buildings.
Click below if you missed part one.
8. Exercise Room
As I type this, I’m thinking about how influential having a little gym in the apartment building I lived in years ago kept me there, even though it was kind of a dump.
I can’t speak for people that don’t work out much, though. It might not mean much to them.
But yet and still, I’d imagine it would still be a draw for people that always want or plan to workout but hardly ever do.
Not as Expensive as You’d Think
I don’t think adding a little gym is expensive as you’d think.
The one where I stayed was nothing more than a Solo flex-like multi-purpose machine and a few elliptical machines and treadmills.
Of course, the utilities would come out of “your” pocket, so keep that in mind. The cardio machines would use up electricity, and you’d have water costs for the water fountain, if you
chose to install one in there.
Charge for Access to the Gym?
I don’t really think charging your tenants to get into the gym is a good idea.
I simply don’t know if it’s worth all of the other checks and balances you’d have to add in order to make sure that only people that paid for access can get in.
Plus, unless you have a lot of tenants in that building, you’re not going to make much money off of charging people for access.
I think it’s best to just add it as a convenience factor.
I’m sure it’ll at least help your vacancy rate for some people who like to hit the gym like myself.
And no, I’m not trying to brag. Heck, I get skinny if I don’t stay in there, so I’m far from a body builder.
9. Adding a Key Entry to the Building
This can be huge especially if the building is in an “iffy” area.
I know from experience that it adds a lot of peace of mind to know that someone just can’t walk off the street and get direct access to your front door.
This can definitely help your vacancy factor.
10. Security Gates
Having security gates up at the entrance to the parking lot will definitely help your tenants feel a little safer; which is definitely good for your vacancy factor.
People will appreciate the peace of mind of being able to get in-and-out of their car with a lessened threat of some maniac attacking or robbing them.
Just keep in mind that you’re going to have to pay for repairs to the gates, and that you’re going to have to pay for the electricity that they consume to operate.
Adding the security features I’ve talked about can definitely improve the “perceived” value of your property.
They can also allow you to charge a little more for rent than you’d be able to do without them being on-place.
11. Offering Free Wi-Fi
If you’re like me, when you first think about offering free Wi-Fi, you might’ve thought, “Hey, that’s an idea that would set my building apart from some of the competition!”
But hold on before you get too excited. There are quite a few reasons why you don’t see this offered that much in apartment buildings.
What if someone downloads something illegally on that network of yours in your building?
On top of the fees you have to pay for the commercial Internet account, you might have some additional expenses, too.
For example, if the building is big, you may have to buy some commercial Internet repeaters and/or boosters to make sure the signal is spread wide-enough to reach everyone in the building.
Repeaters can cost a couple hundred bucks, but the total amount you’d need depends on the amount of bandwidth you’d want to provide the tenants and the number of tenants.
When the Signal’s Down, Who They Gonna Call?
Nope, not Ghostbusters.
They’re going to call you, or your property manager.
If you let them get their Internet access on their own, they’re going to call their Internet Service Provider, not you.
I’m just not sure it’s worth the expenses and liabilities to offer Wi-Fi.
For what it’s worth, my opinion is that it’s just not worth it to provide free wi-fi to tenants.
12. Rent-Out the Clubhouse
If you have an area that can be used or perceived as a “clubhouse”, you could offer it to your tenants to rent for birthday parties and other gatherings.
If you make it nice enough and promote it properly, you might be able to make some decent income yearly this way if you rent it out enough.
Again, any revenue that helps increase the NOI increases the value of the property.
13. Argue Your Tax Assessment
If you have a good reason to feel that your property taxes are too high, it might be worth it to hire a lawyer to challenge your property
I’m definitely not a lawyer, and I don’t know what goes into arguing your property taxes down, so be sure to research this before taking action.
14. Installing Water-Saving Shower Heads
I know, I know, I should’ve put this one earlier in this post, but I’m just now thinking about it. Sorry.
Anyways, if you have to pay the water bill, you might want to find shower heads for the showers that have low-flow, but have high pressure.
Manufacturers tend to be pretty honest with the flow rates on the packaging of their shower heads from what I’ve read, so this might be a good way to save some money, and, you guessed it, decrease expenses and improve NOI!
All you need to do is put forth a little effort to get the right shower heads.
You should be able to find water-efficient shower heads as low as $35 dollars or so.
15. Rent Out Supplies
You can offer carpet cleaners and vacuum cleaners for rent at a fee.
Of course, you have to make sure you have a system in place for managing the rentals, but even with a lower end vacuum cleaner and carpet cleaner on site, you can probably make your money back after just a few rentals of them.
Added Benefit to You, the Landlord
On top of that, you’re providing an opportunity for them to keep the unit in good shape, and to take care of the carpet.
This is definitely a good thing for you, because you’re giving them a way to keep the carpet in good condition.
If they do a really good job at maintaining that carpet, you might be able to get away with just cleaning the carpet when they move out,
instead of replacing it for the next tenant.
16. More Tips for Improving Vacancy Rates
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that the lower your vacancy rate, the more Net Operating Income the property will have.
Study Your Tenants
With this in mind, you might want to take some time to study the demographics and profiles of the current tenants, especially those that have stuck around for a while.
This will help you focus your marketing strategy to aim it for the right people.
It can even give you tips on amenities and other things you can offer your tenants that could influence them to stick around longer.
Offer Incentives for Referrals
Being that birds of a feather flock together, you should also consider offering incentives to existing tenants if they refer someone that ends up becoming a tenant.
You may not want to rely on print advertising and traditional methods of marketing, alone. If you have a property manager managing the property, speak to them about administrating or creating a program like this.
After all, the more tenants are in units paying rent, the more money the property manager is going to make. So it’s to both of you guys’ best interest that you keep the vacancy factor down and keep people staying there long-term.
Kicking Tenant’s Out
Make sure you and/or your property manager are keeping an eye on who’s staying in the apartment building.
If you have people involved in illegal stuff or who are being disruptive, playing loud music to excess and such, you can’t let that stuff slide.
If you don’t address these issues, they’re going to influence people to leave.
And of course, if you have people moving out a lot, that’s going to hurt your vacancy factor, and hurt the value of your property as a result.
17. Simple Upgrades
Yes! I’m almost done! I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to make an article on this. My hands are hurting.
Landscaping and the Apartment Sign (If You Have One Up)
Anyways, small things like upgrading the sign that you have up on the property, and improving the look of the landscaping you have around the property can make a big difference in the feel and pride among those that are living there and prospective tenants as well.
Repave the Parking Lot
Another thing you can consider is repaving the parking lot, if you have one that needs it.
If it’s ugly, and has potholes in it, not only does it look ugly and hurt the appearance of the property, but it can also damage people’s cars.
I’m done! Finally!
Hopefully I’ve shared some ideas with you that can help you make more money with your apartment building. Best of luck to you.
By the way, if you disagreed with anything I’ve said, or have any additional ideas to offer, feel free to leave a comment.
I’m far from a know-it-all, and I welcome healthy debates.