If you own a Philadelphia Rental Property, you have probably had involvement in an appraisal. If you borrowed money to purchase your rental property, the lender very likely had an appraisal done. They might not have shared as much of it with you as you deserved; but it still was something that likely happened.
Also, if you are an active investor. Meaning, you would like to increase your portfolio of rental properties you are likely affected by appraisals.
In fact, an appraisal has possibly made or broken your landlord investment dreams.
Unfortunately, you have very little ability to control the appraisal itself. It will be done, and its valuation will be what it is.
But as any good Property Manager can tell you; you do have some control.
Damage Control. An appraiser will be going through your property, looking for liabilities, broken things and things on the verge of breaking. Somewhat like a home inspector would, just not as involved.
If you have an appraisal coming, its a good idea to manage these things. Doing so will raise the appraised value.
Square Footage. The appraiser will base findings on the square footage of your rental property. Price per square foot is a main component used to value. Most will measure the property; but a few will merely use the square footage listed in the Philadelphia Public Records. The problem is that many Philadelphia homes have additions that were never adjusted in Public Records. Make sure your appraiser has the correct square footage, otherwise you might lose "X" number of square feet of value.
Property Features. The appraiser will also be looking at the properties features, to compare them against other properties. Remember this when considering property upgrades. Not only can improvements increase rents and rent-ability; but they can also increase property values. It is also helpful to draw focus towards the property strengths. This can include staging.
Staging. Professionals like property managers, real estate agents, home inspector and even appraisers are still swayed by property staging. Flowers in a tree box, nice dish and bath towels can all improve an appraisal; just as old, wet news papers and flyers on a stoop can cost you thousands.