If you’re planning to buy and hold rental properties in DC, Northern Virginia, or Maryland, you are probably looking for ways to increase rental property value— allowing you to get the most out of your property while keeping your tenants happy. If you can get high-quality tenants fast and provide an excellent rental experience to your tenants, you can make more money as a landlord and create a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.

Here are some of our best tips for getting the most out of your rental property.

Prioritize Curb Appeal

This might seem cliche, but it’s so true: first impressions count, and curb appeal is incredibly important. Prospective tenants often take one look at the outside of the property and use their first impression to decide whether they want to live there or not.

Your budget can help determine how much attention you put into curb appeal. If you can’t spend much money, focus on doing what you can: keeping the lawn and/or shrubs neatly trimmed, putting a fresh coat of paint on the front door, adding some flowers, etc. If you can spend more money, the siding, windows, and roof make an enormous difference.

Put Extra Effort Into Your Showings

When trying to sell a high-value property, real estate agents and homeowners often put lots of effort into showings. They make sure everything looks beautiful, welcoming, and inviting. They ensure the home is well-lit with its best features on display. They ensure that every corner of the home is clean and that it smells nice. They might even add small touches like fresh flowers.

Most landlords don’t consider these things, but these are all best practices for showing a rental too. Again, first impressions make a huge difference and show that you’re a landlord who cares about his or her tenants. Make sure the blinds are open, the lights are on, and the home or apartment is clean. Put on a candle or use a room freshener—not an overpowering fragrance, but just something to make sure it smells nice and clean. You can even bring in a plate of cookies, a houseplant, or fresh flowers to make it look welcoming.

This can help you fill your unit faster and provides a little something extra for your tenants, which is important especially if you want to charge a higher rent for the property.

Replace Anything that Needs to Be Replaced!

Some landlords try to get the most money out of their properties by letting things go a little bit too long before replacing them. Maybe a faucet is outdated and doesn’t work perfectly, but it’s still functional, so why replace it now? Or maybe the front door lock sticks a little bit and you have to wiggle it just right, but it still works, so you don’t want to buy a new one for the property.

However, that’s where many landlords go wrong. Your tenants will use that faucet every day, multiple times a day, and if it has an annoying quirk, their frustration will build over time. They won’t be as inclined to renew their lease and they definitely won’t want their rent to increase when they renew. These little problems are especially frustrating for tenants because they don’t necessarily warrant a maintenance call to get it fixed, but they do affect the tenant’s satisfaction and their impression of you as a landlord.