Multifamily property owners are often faced with the need to renovate in order to keep up with the times and attract new tenants. They want their property to look great, inside and out, without overspending to make it happen. That’s why making the right moves—and avoiding missteps—can help you maximize your remodeling budget for the strongest return on your investment.
Here are 9 big mistakes property owners should avoid—and what to do instead—when spending capital to spruce up multifamily rentals.
1. Not Knowing Your Market
A common mistake property owners make is choosing upgrades that don’t fit their building’s style, location, and renters.
Understanding the typical tenant of a building like yours can help you choose renovations that bring in the best ROI. Even though this is your time, money, and property—the tenant is the one who will decide if the home is worth the rent you are asking.
Asking current tenants directly in a simple survey is one way to find the answers. It gives you useful information, and also helps tenants see that you value the home they live in and they are getting their money’s worth.
Of course, if your multifamily housing property is on the high-end, then sparing no expense can bring in tenants willing to pay top-dollar for state-of-the-art living.
2. Replacing Doors and Windows Too Soon
Doors and windows play an important part in the safety, efficiency, and look of your rental property. But installing new ones is a large investment, so the decision to do so should be made carefully.
First, evaluate the condition of your doors and windows. If they still function safely and are energy-efficient, then perhaps a fresh new coat of paint is all that’s needed for now.
3. Planting Expensive Landscaping
Although attractive lawns and trees create a strong first impression that appeals to prospective tenants, this is not always the best place to spend renovation cash. Yes, curb appeal matters. But remember, weather and wear and tear can be tough on landscaping. Not all renters will help you keep your zinnias and knockout roses looking nice.
To balance the need for curb appeal with practical affordability, choose simple, easy to maintain, sturdy plants native to your region.
4. Adding High-End Kitchens
Outfitting a kitchen with top-notch features can literally cost tens of thousands of dollars—or more. If your multifamily property is luxury, this might make sense.
But if not, focus on just the areas of the kitchen that are most outdated.
Selecting mid-range appliances is a smart way to update the property in a comfortably affordable way. Small touches that stand out—such as new, reasonably priced faucets, cabinet knobs and handles—can make the kitchen look new without being overly costly.
5. Installing Hardwood Flooring
Gorgeous hardwood floors are always nice to come home to, but they aren’t exactly the best choices for rental properties. Remember, rentals tend to get a lot of heavy foot traffic from tenants and guests, and may need tough cleaning routines or frequent replacement.
Tile flooring looks beautiful and lasts a long time. If tile doesn’t fit your budget, affordable laminate flooring is great for high-traffic areas and comes in stylish, modern designs.
6. Buying Lavish Light Fixtures
Lighting can make or break the look and feel of an apartment. It is also important for safety, attracting new tenants, and even saving energy. But you don’t have to break the bank to brighten things up.
Important areas to add new light fixtures include the main living areas, entryways, and bedrooms. Budget-friendly lighting products and trends are easily accessible online.
7. Ignoring Curb Appeal
A gorgeous, well-kept rental not only attracts the right kind of tenant, but also adds overall value to your property. Many times, renters will respect your property more if they feel proud to call it home.
To create strong, lasting beauty, invest in top-notch materials built to retain their good looks for years without effort. Durable James Hardie® siding, attractive modern windows and doors, and pretty outdoor lighting create a strong first impression that is easy to maintain over time.
8. Overlooking Energy Efficiency
Ignoring energy efficiency in multifamily housing has financial ramifications for both the owner of the property and their tenants. Higher energy bills can lead to higher vacancy and turnover rates, and even decreased property value.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances. Switch out older lights with eco-friendly LED fixtures. Install low-flow shower heads and toilets to reduce the amount of water consumed on the property. Add caulking or weatherstripping to windows, or get new energy-efficient windows.
9. Hiring the Wrong Contractor
The remodeling company you work with is essential to ensuring you get the smooth, reliable renovation results you deserve. Look for a company that loves what they do and is committed to superior craftsmanship and customer service. Do your research, read reviews, and ask the important questions before hiring someone. Find out:
- What kind of experience do they have renovating multifamily properties?
- Are their insurance papers up to date?
- How long have they been around?
- Can they provide glowing references?
- What guarantees or warranties do they offer to ensure you’re pleased with the work?
Get Trusted Renovations from Chicago’s Favorite Contractors
When your Chicago area multifamily property needs a boost, Siding & Window Group is here to help. We’ll work with you to get smooth, sound upgrades like long-lasting, attractive siding that gives you excellent ROI for years to come.
Our customers are our top priority, and we’re dedicated to providing you with high-quality materials, exceptional customer service, and professional workmanship—down to the last bit of cleanup we do to make your property spotless when we’re done.
Check out our multifamily siding services to see how a fresh new exterior can boost curb appeal and draw in your ideal tenants. We look forward to hearing your vision—and making it happen.