Have you picked up July’s edition of UNITS, from the NAA? This month’s issue is all about the curb appeal, from their annual Curb Appeal Awards to the accompanying Curb Appeal Checklist. In honor of the issue, and the fact that we’re only halfway through summer apartment hunting season, here are our top five tips for optimizing the curb appeal on your units. Enjoy!
If your building or complex utilizes a sign, it is essential that your sign be well taken care of. A sign and its surroundings are the most immediate and constant way of showcasing the identity of an apartment community; as such, the sign should be clean and look freshly painted, with well-maintained foliage (including colorful flowers that differ from nearby competition) surrounding it. In Seattle and surrounding areas, mildew can build up during the winter–make sure to pressure wash or clean the sign in the spring or summer.
2. Don’t skimp on the re-painting and landscaping, especially during summer months.
Sometimes there’s just no substitute for a fresh coat of paint on a building, especially if it’s been awhile since the building was last painted. Fresh, beautiful paint lets tenants and passers-by alike know that management is invested in the upkeep of the building–it’s unmistakable. Another essential factor during the summer months is landscaping. Don’t let plants die or overgrow in common areas; well-groomed foliage that compliments the apartment’s identity is essential to keeping up the curb appeal. And if you’re going eco-friendly, consider native plants that won’t require extra watering.
3. Light your outdoor spaces well.
What good is a gorgeous building and impeccable grounds if no one can see them (and they look unsafe) after dark? As a landlord or apartment manager, it is essential that you keep outdoor walkways and spaces well-lit. Bright and cheery signs, foliage, and walkways are an instant advertisement for your rental community–it shows potential tenants that the grounds are regularly maintained, and that their safety is important to apartment management. Of course, there’s no need to light up the night like Disneyland; low-wattage lights (solar-powered or with CFL bulbs) will do just fine.
4. In smaller complexes, consider oversized or quirky unit numbers.
This tip is from an Apartments.com blog post–and we love it. If you’re still working to create an identity for your smaller building, unit numbers that are extra-big, placed directly on the unit door, or are slightly unique in some other way, can add just the right amount of quirk to an otherwise ordinary-looking building. Of course, even as you spice things up, remember to keep apartment numbers legible and easy to find–we don’t want new tenants and visitors wandering around in circles.
5. If you have a leasing office, make sure it’s clean, welcoming, and easy to find.
Speaking of getting lost, have you ever tried to find your way to a leasing office that was a little hard to find–perhaps it wasn’t so well-marked? It happens more often than you’d think–and if your complex has a leasing office, you mustn’t let it happen to you. Leasing offices should be well-marked by way of shiny, well-lit directional signs, painted paths, anything that leads prospective tenants directly to your door–and once they get there, the entrance to the office should be welcoming, with a clean entrance and a cheerful welcome mat. The little touches do matter–and if you do it right, tenants and prospects will feel good about the upkeep and competence of your office before they even walk through your door.