Six Upgrades to Make Your Rental More Competitive in the Market

March 24th, 2022 Josh Hatter
Rental Property Management in Charleston

With the pandemic soon behind us, most are trying to make up for all the time that they had to spend at home by acting on their wanderlust impulse, which has driven rental prices through the roof in some locations. If you want to maximize your rental profits and also minimize your vacancy rates, then read on for six inexpensive fixes that will bring you more income in the years ahead.


When it comes to a rental property, finding flooring that is highly durable and stain-resistant is a must. If your rental has flooring that is stained or peeling or just doesn’t look that fantastic, upgrading it will make a world of difference. With some of the new products on the market, it is hard to tell hardwood from tiling and vinyl flooring. And the cost of installation is less for some products than for others.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

One of the quickest ways to turn your rental from drab to amazing is to add a fresh coat of paint. Nothing can make a rental look more aged than dirty fingerprint marks on the walls or scuff marks everywhere. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to hide flaws and make a much better impression. Make sure to stick with neutral colors, however; renters tend to be turned off by bright or overbearing colors. Also, don’t forget about things like baseboards and door molding – bright white gives your rental a “cleaner” look!

Kitchen Cabinet Upgrade

Often in a rental, the most outdated items are kitchen cabinets – mostly because kitchen upgrades can be very expensive and it is easy to spend too much. However, people choose to rent homes over staying in hotels because they want the luxury of being able to cook while on vacation, and they want to do so in a nice setting. You don’t have to rip out the entire kitchen and build new; you can resurface the cabinets with new doors or you can paint the existing cabinets. Make sure to be careful about the paint that you buy, however; it takes a specific kind to adhere correctly and be durable enough for kitchen drawer and cabinet use.

Light Fixtures

It is amazing how much changing out a light fixture can completely alter the way a room feels. Lighting fixtures are usually a dead giveaway about how old a home is or when it was remodeled. By putting in new, whimsical lights or upgrading to things like chandeliers to add a more intimate feel to things like the master bath, you can make an immediate (and lasting) favorable impression.

Change or Add a Backsplash

If you ever wonder why backsplashes are so important, take a good look at a kitchen or bathroom that doesn’t have one. Backsplashes serve the purpose of their name – they stop things from sticking when they splash onto the wall when cooking or washing things in a sink. By either changing out the backsplash or adding one that is missing, you can completely transform the appearance of a kitchen or bath. Choose trendy materials and colors and you can change the entire look.

Spruce up the Exterior

The very first thing that renters see when they drive up is your curb appeal. The condition of your property’s exterior greatly impacts a renter’s immediate impression and can alter how they feel about the interior – and their entire experience. If you turn them off right from the start, they may feel misled by the images that you posted online. And once they have an unfavorable opinion, they will look more closely – and harshly – at other features. Make sure to add blooming flowers, a manicured lawn, and a coat of paint to the exterior to highlight things like molding and window ledges. The best way to leave a good lasting impression is by making the first one positive.

As a rental owner, you want to do those things that will make your rental more competitive in the rental market, but not price your upgrades so high that you end up having to sink your profits into paying off debt. These quick fixes will help to maximize your profits by minimizing your vacancies. Another key to your bottom line is hiring the right rental property management in Charleston to take care of those fine details that mean the most. Contact Stay CVP today to get started on the path to getting your rental the most traffic.

Josh Hatter

By: Josh Hatter

Josh Hatter moved to Charleston from the Washington, DC area in 1999 to complete a Business Administration degree at the College of Charleston. He graduated from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina with an MBA in 2010.

After spending nearly 20 years of his professional career growing businesses primarily supporting the US Navy, he decided to rent a single bedroom out of his home in 2016. Since that single bedroom nearly 6 years ago, he has grown his portfolio into several businesses owning investment short-term rentals both alone and with partners, as well as managing a portfolio of nearly 100 bedrooms for clients to help them meet their long-term investment property goals.

He loves supporting his clients, growing their investments and hosting thousands of guests as they visit Charleston through his property management company, Coastal Vacation Properties.