Make Your Common Area Uncommon
As a real estate investor you have probably seen many investment properties with many different common areas. These areas are places on the property that any of the tenants can use for various activities and also includes any area that all tenants use, like the parking lot or laundry area. If your property has a common area for social gatherings, you need to pay special attention to it and make sure it is appealing to your tenants. On the other hand, if you don’t have a gathering area for the tenants, you need to consider adding one, even if it’s a simple outdoor area with a cabana type covering.
Why Common Areas Are Important
Homeowners don’t have to worry about where their children are going to play or where they can entertain friends on a summer evening, they have their backyard or a porch area. However, renters rely on the property owner to provide them some sort of common area. The common areas of your property can mean the difference between potential tenants choosing your property or going to the one down the street.
Also keep in mind that hallways, trash areas, laundry areas and any other space that is accessible by all tenants is considered a common area and you should make sure they are just as well maintained as any other part of the property. You certainly don’t need tenants standing in the hall discussing the peeling paint or bare walls. Make your property feel like home in every aspect with nice lighting and decor in all common areas.
Outdoor Common Areas
If your property is going to be family friendly, you need to try and make an outside common area that is kid-friendly. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to bring in a swing set and make a sandbox. Parents will appreciate having somewhere for their children to play and you will attract more people to your investment property. If your property has the space, you should also consider an outside common area that your tenants can use for social gatherings. You don’t have to build a fancy building; you can have a simple shelter built with picnic tables.
The Social Room
If you want to see how a social room or community gathering room is used, visit a neighboring complex and look around. Many common rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, game tables, and much more. This type of extra draws tenants to your property. It gives them an added room that they can use to visit with friends or perhaps even schedule for a private event. Your property value increases, your rental income increases and everyone is happy.
When you start your first purchase of an investment property, keep the various common areas in mind and make sure you pay attention to each one. Parking areas need to be in good condition, laundry areas should function properly and be comfortable, corridors and walkways should appear homey and inviting and if possible, a gathering area inside and out should welcome tenants and be a place to relax and unwind. You will have more income and your tenants will stay with you longer.