The Carvajal Group Blog

Easy Tips for Improving Cash Flow for Rental Properties

April 23rd, 2011

There are several easy and inexpensive ways to increase rents at your existing investment properties in Austin, Texas.  Many of the tips below can substantially increase rents, reduce vacancy and/or save on regular maintenance expenses therefore increasing your net cash flow.

1.)    Fresh Paint:  more often than  not when a tenant moves out, a paint job is required.  Using earth tones rather than white paint can help set your property apart from other plain rentals.  Nobody wants to live a place that feels like a hospital.  Additionally, a light brown or tan paint have less tendency to show scuffs and reduce the likely hood of needing to be completely repainted with each tenant cycle

2.)    Replace carpet with laminate wood:  laminate wood not only looks better than carpet, it is generally cheaper and more durable.  It doesn’t absorb smells or stains, can be swept and mopped and can usually be easily be replaced and matched in sections if some is damaged. From extensive experience representing residential tenants, the vast majority prefer properties with little or no carpet.

(The Carvajal Group has  increased rents in the property above 25% since the remodel including new flooring.)

3.)    Ask your Austin Realtor to evaluate the market:  Generally, the summer month’s of May through August have been the best time to rent your investment property in Austin.  Students don’t want to move during the school year and people do not want to move while their children are in school.  While the Summer months are generally a very hot market, that is changing with the increasing demand for rentals in Austin, particularly in condo buildings.  If you are considering renting a property you currently occupy or you have a tenant that is month to month, you should have a Realtor evaluate the market.  See when most comparable units last rented so that you can avoid coming on the market when those leases are likely to expire.  Ideally, you want yours to be the only property of it’s kind on the market at the time it becomes available.

4.)    Get a chattel appraisal: Chattel is defined as non-property that is owned by the property owner but for the exclusive use of the tenants.  Examples of chattel are: appliances, flooring, draperies, light fixtures, cabinets, landscaping, and many other items. Chattel is anything owned and tangible, and not permanently attached to the property, other than real estate (meaning the actual building itself) or the land. Having your chattel appraised allows you to write off the depreciation of these assets on your tax return, helping to offset rental income.  There are several companies which will appraise the chattel in your rental properties and come up with an IRS approved derpeciation schedule.  Please contact us at (512)419-7770 if you would like the reccomendation of a company in Austin.

5.)    Maintain your property: Often times property owners defer maintenence on their properties.  While this may increase your cash flow in the current year, it is likely to lead to lower rents in the future and likely a lower sales price when you are should you decide to sell.  Well maintained properties generally get higher rents and and a higher class of tenant that will be more likely to take good care of the property while they live there.

The tips above are just a few things you can do to maximize your cash flow and ROI on your Austin investment property.  If you would like a  detailed market analysis and/or leasing and management proposal for your investment property in Austin.  Please contact the Carvajal Group at (512)419-7770.   We know the Austin real estate market better than anyone so if you need assistance with your Austin Home Search, please contact Jonas Lord @ (512)496-0215.


Tags: Austin Home Search · Austin Investment Property · Austin Real Estate · Austin Rental Property