Part of owning, operating or managing multi-family housing properties is making sure your units remain attractive to current and prospective residents. One of the best ways to ensure your property keeps its competitive edge is through strategic, cost-effective renovations. Providing updated units with attractive amenities is key to adding value in a very competitive market. From updated fixtures to upgraded appliances, there’s a lot you can do to update your properties, but which has the best return on investment? What will add value while staying on budget? We’ve explored the top five renovations to help you decide what is best for your property.
Who doesn’t love a cozy, well-lit room? Since 2014, upgrades to lighting were among the top four unit-specific amenities to be updated, according to NAA Research.¹ Can something as simple as new light fixtures really make that much of a difference? The truth is that they can. Installing new fixtures is relatively easy and a quick job that can be completed while residents occupy a unit.
With the wide variety of styles available, light fixtures can suit just about any taste – but be wary of changing trends that may become outdated quickly. Sticking to classic looks is a safe bet, but feel free to experiment if your target demographic appreciates something a little more edgy.
For a relatively low cost per unit, you can add extra visual appeal to your units with updated light fixtures – but light fixtures alone are unlikely to lead to significant increases in property value.
A fresh coat of paint does wonders for multi-family housing units. New paint provides an instant face lift, updating the look and feel of an apartment without major construction or renovation. A simple way to transform a space and make it feel like home for your residents is to avoid simple, white walls. We’re not suggesting bright orange accent walls, but warmer tans, sage greens and off-whites are safe bets that are attractive to most renters.
Paint comes in a range of prices, but many stores have color matching technology available as well as bulk pricing discounts if you are planning to paint multiple units. Although painted walls alone may not alone justify an increase in rent, fresh paint in addition to other renovations will contribute to a greater rental income.
High End Kitchens
The kitchen is the heart of every home. It’s a gathering space, a workshop, a place to take care of your family. Many renters enjoy cooking and spend a lot of time in their kitchens. Millennials, in particular, seek attractive kitchens because they’re cooking about five times each week. A dysfunctional or dated kitchen can be an instant turn away.
Does that mean you need to gut your kitchens and start from scratch? Certainly not. Installing new kitchen appliances is often one of the fastest and cost-efficient ways to instantly increase your rental income and property value. NAA reports that high-end kitchen appliances were the second value-add amenity added to multi-family units since 2014², second only to in-unit laundry.
We often hear questions regarding appliances for kitchen renovations. Our Kitchen e-book was designed to help property managers increase property value with modern, stainless steel appliances.
Adding hardwood floors to your units is a significant investment that will allow you to increase rent. Hardwood floors are in demand and residents are willing to pay for this renovation. In fact, NAA reports that 49% of residents³ are willing to pay an additional $75 or more each month after hardwood floors are installed. Although installing hardwood floors cost property owners $1,400 per unit on average, this renovation will pay for itself in 18 months if rents are increased by $75 per month. One thing to consider with this renovation is the cost of hiring contractor for the install.
Despite the higher upfront cost, hardwood floors are a smart, revenue-generating upgrade that will lead to strong retention rates and increased property value.
Adding in-unit laundry has been a consistently sought-after amenity by residents throughout the country. It’s often the number one thing residents look for in an apartment and one of the top upgrades chosen by property owners.
When property owners install in-unit laundry, they are able to increase rent by $50-$100 per month, per unit. Installing traditional in-unit laundry to buildings can be challenging. Construction and labor can be expensive, and costs to add vent runs, equip the building for makeup air and re-finish after the appliances have been installed can add up quickly.
Ventless laundry appliances are game changing. In-unit laundry is feasible for most buildings (both new construction, or existing buildings) when you consider ventless laundry as an option. Ventless appliances can be installed in closets or under countertops and don’t require additional construction. Installation is simple and fast, causing minimal disruptions to residents. Adding in-unit laundry is a smart investment in your property that will instantly increase your property value.
Your Trusted Appliance Advisor
FJS has been in the appliance distribution business for years. We specialize in in-unit laundry and high-end stainless steel kitchen sets for the multi-family housing industry. Our goal is to help you increase the value of your property with top of the line appliances and we’d love to earn your business.
Download our ventless laundry infographic for insider information about the features and benefits of ventless laundry technology.
¹ Adding Value in the Age of Amenity Wars – NAA 2017
² Adding Value in the Age of Amenity Wars – NAA 2017
³ Adding Value in the Age of Amenity Wars – NAA 2017