Rental properties are an investment in the future. But it’s not a one and done scenario. In order to remain competitive in the rental market and comply with safe housing laws, ongoing attention to your property is essential. And, as your property ages and needs upgrades or repairs, use that time to consider the best way to reinvest into your property for the biggest long-term gain. Some changes you can make right away, other amenities are investments that require planning over time.

Immediate Changes

Consider making these changes to your rental policies right away.

Upgraded Pet Policies & Amenities

What is your current pet policy and what kind of amenities do you offer to appeal to pet owners?  The 2021-2022 National Pet Owners Survey found that seventy percent of U.S. homes own a pet, up from 56 percent in 1988. Pet owners increasingly view their furry companions as essential family members and seek properties that will welcome and value them. Pet owners tend to stay longer at one property and pay more per month due to associated pet fees. So, welcoming pets is a way to reduce the income gaps that arise with tenant turnover.

If you have the property space or contacts in the industry, you may also consider adding a few pet-specific perks such as:

  • Off-leash dog parks.
  • Pet washing stations.
  • Pet spas & doggy daycare.
  • Dog walking services.
  • Pet sitting services.

Intermediate Upgrades to Plan For

Millennial and Gen Z renters live fully connected lives at all times. Consequently, upgrading your tech amenities can really increase your rental pool and target rent price. Some amenities may require a little more time and investment, but strategic choices can bring in big returns.

Virtual and Automated

Consider these WiFi and technological upgrades:

  • Custom security that tenants can access via smartphone.
  • Smart thermostats for custom settings that tenants can control remotely.
  • Smart parcel lockers to prevent porch pirates and the inconvenience of the lines at the post office.
  • USB plug-ins throughout the home.
  • Keyless door entries connected to your phone.

Long-Term Investments to Consider

Not all amenities are easily implemented but keeping a list of future investments allows you to strategically plan for construction, appliance replacement, and maintenance work. Larger scale amenities you should consider are:

Property and Structural Upgrades

Storage Space

Finding creative ways to increase storage in a rental is a sure way to build in appeal. Well-organized closet space, bathroom vanities with maximum drawers and shelving, and even built-in cubbies under stairwells will increase the value to your tenants. Think creatively to see If there is a way to offer storage unit space with your properties rather than tenants having to rent a separate storage unit elsewhere.

Outdoor Space

Invest in quality decks, patios, and common spaces that could include fire pit gathering places, playground equipment, gardens, or walking trails. Outdoor space doesn’t have to be huge to be refreshing and appealing to a tenant.

Washer and Dryer

On-site laundry is essential for any rental. If feasible, offering in-unit washer and dryers will be an enormous selling point for convenience and efficiency for busy renters.


Air-conditioning is one of the most desirable amenities for any renter. Even in northern climates where the AC isn’t always necessary, your tenants will want the relief and be willing to pay for it when those temperatures climb. Consult an HVAC specialist and start working the cost into your budget.


A fireplace is one of the top ten amenities renters list when asked, especially in these cold, wet climates. Even if your property isn’t equipped for a built-in gas fireplace, there are quality stand-alone units you can install to increase the cozy factor in your home.


If your property is within the city limits, parking is one of the ultimate perks. No one wants to spend 20 minutes looking for parking after a long commute through traffic. In addition, secure parking increases the safety factor for your tenants.

Finding and keeping quality tenants pays dividends in the long term by reducing the potential for damage, lowering the rate of unoccupied units, and reducing income gaps. By investing in amenities that appeal to tenants, you’re increasing the return on each and every one of your properties for the long haul.

Partner With the Experts

There is a lot to think about when deciding to take on a rental property, and talking with an expert can help you make the best decision for long-term success. We keep our eyes and ears on the market to ensure your properties find and appeal to the right tenants at the right time. Call or text Darla Andrew today at 503.515.3170 to learn more about how we provide the support you need to confidently enjoy the rental process.