Whether you own a 3-storey villa or a 2 bedroom apartment, when dealing with a rental property, there are 2 goals every landlord wants to achieve:
Implementing a good annual maintenance is a great way to protect your investment, but it won´t make your property stand out when competing on the rental market.
LET´S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME NUMBERS
Andalucia is Spain´s third in terms of foreign visitor numbers (after Catalonia and Balearics) with Costa del Sol as a centre of property investment. With more than 320 sunny days per year, it became the best rental market in the Mediterranean, both for holiday rents and long-term tenants. In 2019 more than 11.000.000 international visitors came to Andalucia, of which:
and the number of foreign residents is growing with each year. According to the studies by Idealista, the return on investment in rental housing has increased to 7.8% from 7.1% a year ago, mainly due to the increase of rental demand. The climate and lifestyle on Costa del Sol make this place highly desirable for investors.
Who Are Your Renovating For?
As a landlord it is important for you to know the demographics of your potential tenants. Depending on the location of your property, you will be renting your house to different types of people with very different needs: Families with children looking for properties in calm neighbourhoods close to parks and schools; young couples who are still not ready to buy their first apartment and want to try living in a the chosen area for a year or two; groups of young people usually for short term rentals near the beach or town centre; couples on retirement who are thinking of moving to the Sunny Coast looking for relax and tranquillity.
In the competitive rental market, repainting the walls and washing the carpets is not enough anymore. Doing the minimum, will lead only to the minimal returns, that is in terms of money and the time of tenant occupancy. One of the best ways to make money is to spend money – wisely, of course. Your tenants will pay more for more premium amenities and for taking into account their needs. To find new tenants easily and to make sure they will stay through multiple lease cycles (which means to MAXIMIZE YOUR PROFIT!) your rental property needs to stand out. As long as your house is structurally safe and in good condition, you will only need to upgrade it ´a bit´ to set your listing apart from others on the market.
The Importance Of First Impression
TO RENT FOR MORE, MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
Exterior. Yes, it all starts at the curb, the first impression of the property and a spot most investors neglect. It´s easy to forget to water the plants or groom the trees but in the climate of Costa del Sol that becomes visible in a very short period of time. A burned-looking yellow grass does not appeal to anyone and it only makes a bad first impression about the property and the landlord. If hiring a gardener is not an option, a simple installation of automatic watering system will do the job. Taking care of the property´s exterior goes also for the apartments. Yes, I know some of the maintenance is out of your hands, but you do have the power to complain and vote. Remember also about the appearance of your balcony, terrace or patio. Use some of the local most common plants on the coast, like oleanders (adelfas), bougainvilleas (buganvillas) or simply go for cactuses. Power-wash the outdoor tiles and make sure the exterior main door looks neat. Since outdoor living is very popular in Spain it is good to invest in some exterior furniture. A small dining table and sofa will make the space more appealing and welcoming. Oh, and don´t forget about exterior lighting! – no one likes to have a dinner in the darkness.
Renovations To Attract More (and better) Rentals
KITCHEN AND BATHROOM
What about inside? Most of the tenants tend to focus on the kitchen and bathroom. Old, half functioning and mismatched appliances will not appeal to them at all. It can also lead to more hassle in the form of unending maintenance calls and your temporary fix will always costs more money in the long run. Invest in a good quality, matching appliance package and make sure it has a warranty. Upgraded countertops really add value to your kitchen and appeal to renters willing to pay more for upgrades. There are so many options to choose from that will add value and style. Don´t got for laminated tops that you will probably need to change after a year or two. Invest in durability, functionality and style that will stand the test of time. Silestone, Dekton and Korian are the most commonly used in Spain with very reasonable prices. With cabinets, sometimes a fresh coat of paint and new fixtures will go a long way. Just make sure everything is matching and in the same style. Any extra food storage space is a good commodity and an appealing bonus to a rental property.
This is a tricky one. Here everyone has an opinion and you won’t please all potential renters. But also here is where you should remember about the demographics of your potential tenants. It’s always the battle of carpet vs. wood flooring vs. tiles. Brits will go for the carpets, Scandinavians for wood and Germans for natural marble. The options range from reasonable to pricey but all new flooring immediately raises the value and rent in a rental property. The most common type of flooring you will find in a Spanish property are marble or porcelain tiles. It keeps the floor cool in the hot summer times and it lasts ages. But bare marble can also make the space appear cold and unwelcoming. To make the rooms more cosy add rugs under the beds in bedrooms and under the sofa in the living room. It will also help you to define the areas and add some texture to the room. Note that these are rugs and not fitted carpets! Rugs are easy to be removed for cleaning in case of a stain or damage or if your tenants happen to have allergies. In the new built properties, more and more often you can see porcelain tiles imitating wooden flooring. It is a great option for a cosy look but without the standard wood maintenance. If you prefer to go for wood on the floor, remember to stay away from the cheap ´wooden-like´ tiles (tarima flotante) that imitate more plastic than wood and will definitely not allow you to put your rent higher up.
Your tenants will probably not have any furniture when they move in to your house – especially if they are moving from abroad or coming just for the summer. If you have your property already furnished, make sure it feels fresh and homely.
Remember what we said at the beginning? – in order to make some money, first you need to spend some. So please take out that sad looking half-destroyed sofa, remove those cushions and bed throws with faded colours and change those dusty curtains. None of your potential tenants will like to see outdated furniture, thinking that probably 100 other people were using them before. In this case the appearance is more important than the quality or brand. It´s not worth spending money on Italian made furniture and unique pieces. Unfortunately, not all the tenants will treat your property as their own and from time to time you will need to change single pieces of furniture. You need to make your interior LOOK expensive for a small cost. Try to use durable materials and washable fabrics. Remember that although
you aim for a homely look, this will not be YOUR home. Stay away from your personal taste and the latest trends in design. It is important that your interior looks neutral, timeless and it appears to most of the potential tenants.
Of course you will never make everyone happy, but try to avoid elements that to you seam to be nice but others will hate them. For example colours: a bright red wall in your interior space can make your potential tenant run away immediately. Stick to neutral colour palette like beige, whites, greys. Yes I know, it sounds boring but the key is to create a base and add to it more exciting elements. You can add more character to the space by placing decorative cushions, throws, vases and pots with a pop of colour. Such small elements are always easier to replace in case someone does not like them or gets bored of them.
The next step is to accessorize the space. Make it look rich! Spend some time and money on candles, flowers, clocks, books, decorative objects of any kind that will make this place look like home for the potential tenants. Make sure the space smells nice as well. The first impression is so important and the most powerful of our senses is the sense of smell.
Investment With a Fast ROI
The benefits of upgrading your rental property extend beyond appearances. Investing in furniture, appliances and finishes of better quality not only will maximize your rent but it will also improve your rate of return on holiday destinations. When competing in such an active rental market like Costa del Sol you need your property to stand out above others listed for rent. Quality upgrades done professionally will get your rental property filled faster and maximize the income on your rental investment.
Do You Want To Get The Most Of Your Property?
We are a team of creative designers with successfully completed projects all over Costa del Sol. We have already helped many investors in renovations of their holiday properties for long and short term. To become one of them, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hi, I have a 2 BR 2 BA condo in Marbella that needs updating and is near the beach. I am in the US and am trying to find someone to help me. It is a part time rental so the furniture needs to be sturdy yet beautiful with a coastal vibe. If you can help please let me know.