There are a lot of decisions to be made as an investor when doing a "value add project" to your apartment building. There are a few reasons to do value-add projects such as justifying increasing rents (force appreciation), increasing the value of the property, attracting the type of tenants you want living at your property, etc. The obvious place to do renovations is in the interior. Although, I highly suggest working from the outside in (watch this video to see why). But, what about common areas such as the laundry room?
The laundry room is a huge selling point when marketing to potential renters. Here are five ways you can make your laundry room stand out:
- Update the laundry equipment. Getting newer equipment will help the tenants feel that the owner is taking good care of the property. Getting new equipment isn’t as hard as it sounds. You can partner with a laundry company such as wash.com which will provide the equipment in exchange for a portion of the revenue.
- Give more options with technology. This is more for the new generation of renters entering the market. They like their technology! There are several companies now with app-based technology so that the renter can pay for the laundry via the app and the app can notify the tenant when their laundry is completed. This is something you could advertise when you list units for rent!
- Keep it clean! Cleaning the laundry room once and expecting the tenants to clean up after themselves isn’t realistic. Be sure to have your property manager schedule a weekly clean-up of the laundry room. This will include taking out the trash, wiping down the equipment and other surfaces, sweeping and mopping the floor, and even picking up trash in the immediate vicinity of the laundry room. I would recommend having the cleaning team take before and after photos to help document the cleaning.
- Make sure the area is safe. Be sure all of the electrical has the proper coverings, the area is well-lit, there is proper ventilation especially if there are gas-powered appliances, and a security camera is always an added bonus! If the area isn’t safe, tenants will less likely to use the facility, and it is an indication of the condition of the rest of the property.
- Make it a social place. The laundry room is a common area where neighbors will engage in small talk and get to know each other. It’s an excellent place to build community within your apartment complex. Create a welcoming environment by adding nice paint colors in the interior, adding nice flooring or epoxy covering on the floor, paintings hanging on the wall, and if you have room, a sitting area.
We are currently finishing a laundry room renovation in Houston. The scope included:
- Replacing the broken window
- Remove the walls and door surrounding the water heater and rebuild the closet
- Texture and paint
- New prehung door
- Fix holes in drywall and paint Agreeable Gray
- Clean / remove mold in the ceiling and treat the area
- New front door with a window
- New LED light
- Epoxy floor covering
The project isn’t quite finished yet, but the tenants are already excited. Here is a video with the project summary: