Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Everything But The Kitchen Sink thumbnail

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

You should not judge a book by its cover, but you might as well create a good one. A cover cannot tell you for sure if you will like reading the book. However, the cover does help you decide if it is a book you want to try. First impressions of ourselves, our businesses and/or our real estate are no different. Just like a reader, a renter does not know everything after a first impression, but they can know if they want a second one or not. One of the simplest and most cost effective ways to capture a renter’s interest is with minor kitchen remodels.

“They’re where people spend time in their homes,” architect Steve Straughan said of kitchens and bathrooms. Many of us start and end our days in those rooms. A quality renter should be curious to see if those essential rooms will give them what they need. Unlike other rooms in a real estate property, the kitchen more-or-less is as designed. A potential tenant doesn’t see numerous possibilities like where to put a couch when assessing a kitchen. It’s the room they’ll use often but can change the least, so a good property manager should ensure they’re providing what quality tenants will want.

Simple kitchen updates can be incredibly impressive to prospective renters. Installing new cabinets, refinishing current ones, reflooring, etc. can all be done affordably and with great return on investment. If you manage a property that has country wood-looking cabinets from 1982, renters aren’t imagining storing dishware inside that. A quick update to those cabinets can not only modernize the apartment, but it can also give the feeling to the renter that they’re getting something brand new.

The same goes for appliances. Good tenants will always appreciate a kitchen with appliances included. Fridges can be a hassle to purchase or relocate, and thus, many will have little issue with paying an increased rent so they can have a kitchen that feels and is new without them having to purchase or lug anything heavy. You may even be able to increase the security deposit. Providing quality appliances also helps avoid future troubles of an appliance breaking down or other damages.

All these minor updates can result in a great return on investment. In cases of selling rather than renting a property to a new owner, kitchen remodels can even have returns over 100 percent. So don’t miss out on an easy business move, and ensure you give renters the first impression that’ll make them interested in more. You’ll still have to ‘write a good book,’ so to speak, but at least you’ll have that cover part handled.


Stephen Gillikin is a writer, performer and renter living in LA county. When he's not outside enjoying the scenery of southern California, he likes spending time indoors with his cat, Cat.