The year-to-year rental increase in Texas is 1.7% while some cities like Austin are home to a  3.5% increase which is more than double the national average of 1.5 percent. As real estate’s largest portion of customers, millennials, rent far longer than generations before, the demand for rental property increases. With the demand for rental space comes the desire from tenants for nicer accommodations and more amenities.

Use these tips to increase the value of the properties in your portfolio without breaking the bank for the upgrades.

Improve Curb Appeal

The home’s exterior – including the landscaping, driveway and sidewalk – will set the expectation of what a potential tenant will find inside the property. Even with upgrades to the inside of the property, if the curb appeal doesn’t pop, you’ll quickly lose interest from qualified tenants. Use these inexpensive tips to instantly improve the curb appeal:

  • Pressure wash the home
  • Consider a new paint color for the shutters and front door
  • Add new hardware to the front door
  • Place window boxes with flowers beneath the front windows
  • Remove any shrubbery that hides the entrance area of the home

Paint The Interior

Painting the interior of a rental property is one of the cheapest and fastest way to give the home a new look. Not only is this an easy DIY project (saving money on labor), but a fresh coat of paint offers numerous benefits:

  • Updated look
  • Cover markings left by previous tenants
  • Rid the home of any lingering odors

The average cost to paint a rental property in Texas is roughly $225. That cost includes painting the walls, ceiling and trim with a middle- to high-grade paint. The average rental property in Texas is 870 square feet. So, for a couple hundred dollars and a few hours, you can give your property a completely new look.

Refresh The Kitchen

Complete kitchen renovations can be costly. While the kitchen is one of the most important spaces, there’s no need to invest tens of thousands of dollars for improvements. Consider these changes to give your kitchen an entirely new look:

  • Paint or refinish kitchen cabinets
  • Update kitchen cabinet hardware
  • Add a backsplash
  • Replace the sink or fixtures
  • Replace light fixtures

Adding any of these upgrades to a fresh coat of paint will give the kitchen a newly renovated feel.

Offer Private Washer And Dryer

Instant access to fresh laundry is the ultimate rental luxury. A recent report indicates an in-unit washer and dryer can pull in up to 10 percent more in rental income each month compared to units without the washer and dryer. Depending on how much space the rental property offers, you can choose to invest in two separate pieces or a stackable unit. The average price for a quality stackable unit will fall between $1,000 and $1,200, while separate pieces can be purchased for much less – as little as $250 each.

Create A Smart Home

Technology doesn’t always have to cost a fortune, but it will leave a lasting impression on qualified tenants. Invest in smart devices like electronic door locks, carbon and smoke detectors, home security system, and thermostats. These devices are sure to make your property more appealing to renters.

Before you invest major money in a rental property, consider these small changes that can offer a big return each month. Increase your monthly cash flow by creating a welcoming space to potential tenants and lease to higher quality renters who will value the upgrades.