Rental Property Management Marketability vs Livability

Rental Property Management isn't just about finding a tenant by applying your mastery of Marketability skills as a property manager or as a seasoned, experienced landlord.

The long game is about Livability.

Marketability convinces potential tenants to consider your rental - Livability convinces the very best, top tier tenants to move there - and to stay. Think path of least resistance. "Why move if all your needs are being met?".

Marketability is an important skill for a rental owner to have and my property management company is built on our ability to present a rental properties better than our competition, or then a property owner can do for themselves.

There are a great many things we do to make a property more appealing to prospective tenants as we prep its marketing launch.

But the real money is with the properties we manage that are highly livable.

Not only do highly-livable properties rent for far more, rent far quicker, to better quality tenants and are vacant far less; but there is a noticeable tenant mindset shift.

The reason is multifold. - Happy tenants do make for happy property managers and happy rental property owners; but also a cared for property - one where the owner not only maintains its condition; but also has given deep thought on the livability of the space, establishes to the tenant just who is sitting across the table from them.

Livability removes the us/them view. It places the property owner or the manager and the tenant as partners. It shows quality of ownership, that character resonates in every interaction going forward.

Installing hooks, behind doors, isn't always marketable; but it makes the property more livable. In the case of a pedestal bathroom sink we need to find  balance as it is more marketable, than a bulky cupboard; but can be less livable because the tenant loses storage space.

Examples of improvements that make a property more Livable; but might not be considered Marketable:

  • Dimmer Switches. Lighting absolutely makes a property more livable and pleasant. A dimmer switch could be the difference between a tenant moving on at lease end or staying another term.
  • Hooks. A place to hang a robe in a bathroom, coats at the front door or clothes in a bedroom helps a tenant manage a property much better and can stop them from overgrowing it.
  • Cupboard Space, Shelving, Storage. These are all things a potential tenant may, or may not be considering when considering your rental property; but an existing tenant certainly will.

Here is the transcript of the video. Please post comments and questions below.

00:00 hi everybody this is Joe White just as
00:02 the grow real estate investing podcast
00:04 I'm here at one of properties a duplex
00:06 that my partner's class wife and I own
00:08 and is storing - pandemic and so I can
00:12 really having trouble getting
00:13 contractors to do some work so Matic
00:15 show you having to get my hands dirty
00:16 and I'm in the middle of actually
00:18 installing this cupboard up here and I
00:20 think it's a good time for to talk about
00:22 marketability versa livability and so the
00:26 reason why we decided to put this
00:28 cupboard in here is not because I think
00:29 a potential tenants gonna come in here
00:31 and see this little tiny cupboard and
00:33 think "oh there's an extra little
00:35 cupboard there how nice I think I might
00:36 want to rent this property" but it's a
00:39 small one-bedroom we don't really have
00:41 huge cause of space we really don't have
00:42 a lot of functional space from the
00:44 tenant so I think this will make it a
00:46 more functional space more livable I
00:50 think in a long run that will actually
00:52 benefit us and not only does it make us
00:53 feel a little bit better you know
00:56 relative to the tenant but also I think
00:58 a tenant might tend to take a little bit
01:00 better care of the property because
01:01 we're kind of taking a little bit better
01:02 care of their needs and I think they
01:04 might stay a little bit longer same
01:06 thing with this microwave that I'm gonna
01:08 actually install so long run this
01:10 microwaves this can it be another thing
01:12 I have to fix and my wife and I are
01:15 gonna have to fix for the tenant when it
01:16 breaks and I don't know if a tenant and
01:19 we're gonna actually install this so you
01:21 have to ignore my electrical work here
01:22 I'm actually gonna be cooking this up
01:23 live a little while because I'm not
01:25 really a professional no just go ahead
01:27 and go for it so I won't have you guys
01:29 in for this so I don't know if intents
01:31 gonna come in here and take a look at
01:32 this microwave and and say wow that's a
01:34 nice microwave I think I want to rent
01:36 this but I think it makes it more
01:37 livable because again it's a very small
01:39 space and you really don't have counter
01:41 space to really put in microwave so I
01:43 think this would be a smart solution and
01:46 same thing with this washer and dryer
01:48 that I installed the last week we wanted
01:50 to give the tenants a washer and dryer
01:52 I think that's marketable I think
01:53 someone's gonna see the ads he it has a
01:55 washer and dryer they're gonna be much
01:57 more apt to rent it but the problem is
01:59 is we end up losing some of the
02:01 livability because we had an open floor
02:04 design and it was kind of a nice unit
02:07 and then I ended up having to build this
02:09 monstrosity right in the mid
02:11 you know I tried to do what I could to
02:12 make a little bit nicer by making it a
02:14 sit up bar and put this bar place in
02:17 here which I think actually is pretty
02:19 marketable it's a nice little electric
02:21 fireplace and I think the tenants
02:23 sitting in the living room they'll
02:24 actually kind of appreciate this
02:26 so that would be marketable the island I
02:28 don't really feel is that marketable but
02:31 it makes it more livable same thing with
02:33 this air conditioner unit it's more than
02:36 enough to cool down this entire unit I
02:39 don't know if a tenant is going to come
02:40 in here and see this air conditioning
02:42 unit up in the window and appreciate it
02:44 for what it is but I think being a
02:46 ground floor unit - I feel a little more
02:48 comfortable having it there than forcing
02:50 a tenant to say put a window unit in
02:53 some of these windows here it would be a
02:55 little bit of a safety issue again it
02:58 makes more livable I don't think it
03:00 makes it more marketable
03:01 I don't think attendants can come in
03:02 here and say oh I don't know if I want
03:04 to rent this because I have to put a
03:05 window unit here I don't think they're
03:07 gonna appreciate that we put a thousand
03:09 dollar unit in there now this is the
03:11 same thing with these hooks so that's a
03:14 brushed nickel hook I don't know if you
03:15 can see I think a tenants gonna come in 03:17 here and it kind of goes with the
03:18 brushed nickel theme throughout the
03:19 property I think that is marketable I
03:21 think it also makes it more livable
03:23 however we're going to install we're in
03:25 the bedroom now I'm gonna install a hook
03:27 in the back to this bedroom door I don't
03:29 think a tenant is gonna come in here and
03:30ever see that we actually put a multi
03:32 hook on the back of this door it'll make
03:35 them have any more livable a little more
03:37 functional for them I think it's
03:39 something that that's required I don't
03:42 know if we'll ever necessarily get our
03:44 money back correctly but I think we will
03:46 eventually when a tenant can actually
03:48 live here a little bit longer yes that
03:50 is kind of some of these little things
03:51 so again just want to talk real quickly
03:55 about the funk difference between
03:56 marketability and livability

03:58 and as usual happy investing!

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Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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