Frequently I get calls from prospective clients with high-end, waterfront, or other luxury homes who want to know if their upscale abode is viable as a rental property. The answer is absolutely!! People do lease homes that command rents over $3,000, $4000 and even higher! There is most certainly a market for upscale and specialty homes.
Competition is tough, so bring your A-game
It is certainly not a vast market, so you must be competitive, but people in high income brackets do rent higher priced homes all the time. Perhaps they are moving to the area for a new job and want to explore the city before buying. They may want to ensure that they like the area and the new job before making it permanent. Maybe they want to try out your neighborhood before buying a home there and a limited commitment is very appealing to them. They may even want to buy YOUR home when the lease is over.
Hampton Roads Rental Market
In Hampton Roads, we have many military installations. Many military members and government contractors who know that they are not going to be here for more than a year or two and they don’t want to risk a purchase. Some senior or “high-ranking” military, NATO members can well-afford your desired rental rate. People here for short commitments still desire to live in a home that is commensurate to their income bracket or lifestyle preferences.
Live the American dream
Our city hosts many visiting NATO members and other foreign military members from around the world who want to rent luxury homes during their stay here. I’ve noticed that many times, they view their tour in the US as an adventure and they really want to live the “American dream” while they are here.
Maybe where they are from, they are not near the water, but in this area, they can be near the beach or even better, ON THE WATER!! They are willing to pay higher rents for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay and enjoy all that our area has to offer and that may include a luxurious home like yours.
In Hampton Roads, if you own a home in Great Neck, Ocean Park, North End, Shore Drive, Cape Story by the Sea, you are likely sitting on marketing gold. Certain school districts like Cox High School, First Colonial High School and sometimes even Princess Anne High School are extremely hot with visiting NATO and foreign military markets. The average lease request is 3-years for many of those.
Smaller slice of the pie
Because these discriminating tenants make up a smaller slice of the renting public, you must be extra vigilant in your preparations to lure them to yours. If you want a high rent, your home should be in tip-top shape. High-end isn’t just about location or the community features, your home should be updated, well-kept and have amenities in great shape, trendy colors and consist of quality materials that attract folks willing to pay a higher price tag. You should have a plan in place to address maintenance concerns quickly and with quality work.
Fewer showings = Showings must rock!
Your showings will be less often than homes priced under $2,000 a month, which is the bulk of the rental market in Hampton Roads. This means that when your house is shown, it should be immaculate and show like a model. The prospective tenant pool that is going to look at your home are not going to be impressed if they come to view your home and it isn’t living up all the hype online. These renters are particular, but they are willing to pay top dollar if the product meets their upscale desires.
Show up the competition by planning to show up the competition
So you MUST be ready with your A-game before the big listing date, and your agent must take phenomenal high-quality photographs of your home, the community, the views from your home and provide amazing descriptions that convey the pure bliss that will be experienced by anyone that is so fortunate to rent YOUR home.
Out With the Old
- Get rid of brass or other unsightly fixtures that date your home. Click: Brass Replacement Options
- No wallpaper unless it’s really, really, really awesome wallpaper and I will let you know if you are mistaken on that matter.
- Get rid of clutter. Moving is an excellent time to purge items that you don’t need, buy new furnishings for your new home, but use them NOW to help stage!
- Update fixtures that may be dating your home – like faucets, lighting and door knobs. They may be tax deductible since your home will now be a rental home.
- Amenities at your home should be in perfect working condition. Don’t have items that only work half the time. This is not acceptable for someone paying for a high-end rental.
- Get systems serviced and perform preventative maintenance regularly. Make sure your home’s systems are going to last the test of time. Tenants paying high rents don’t want to deal with frequent repairs in a home that is promoted as luxury.
- Update any dated window coverings – no vinyl mini blinds – shades, shutters, faux wood blinds, cellular blinds, stylish well-hung curtains are great!
Think curb appeal! Power wash ♦ Stain deck ♦ Lots of fresh dark mulch ♦ Weed beds ♦ Plant flowering annuals ♦ Remove any junk ♦ Treat lawn and fill in bare spots ♦ Keep lawn clear of leaves ♦ Views should be clear if you have one ♦ Paint as needed – no peeling paint, no dingy paint ♦ Paint your front door a fresh color – maybe a color that pops ♦ Edge ♦ Add borders ♦ Screens should be clean and have no holes ♦ Roof should be clean ♦
Your home should become a showplace! Walls should have no scuffing, no dirt and trim should be white and show no dust ♦ Paint neutrals if rooms have wild colors ♦ Home should be immaculately clean – including windows ♦ Window coverings should be stylish ♦ Fixtures should be updated ♦ Add pops of style like a tiled backsplash ♦
Start packing up! Surfaces should be clear so that rooms look spacious for showings ♦ Stage your home ♦ Have soft relaxing music playing for showings ♦ Don’t be present for showings ♦ Have no pets at home during showings ♦ Close toilets ♦ Home should be bright and cheery ♦ Put a big beautiful wreath on your door and a big “welcome home” mat on your doorstep ♦ Have a fresh scent throughout the home ♦ Open blinds ♦ Hide personal belongings ♦ Hide cords ♦ Light candles if you are only leaving for the showing ♦
You can do it!
So if you thought you couldn’t rent your high-end or specialty home, you were oh so very wrong! Follow the guidelines above and do all that you can to prepare your home for the persnickety market, and then it’s all up the real estate gods after that! With all homes, the opportunity exists to turn any house into an investment property, a nest egg – an income producing asset!
An investment property can be a great retirement plan, if you want steady monthly income to draw from. Let tenants pay down the mortgage and help you build equity and wealth. And don’t forget the tax benefits you may enjoy as a landlord.
The best property management marketing plans in Hampton Roads
The most important aspect in all of this is to find someone with a great reputation to manage the marketing and management process for you and find you well-qualified tenants that will take great care of your home and it’s beautiful amenities. Also make sure the lease that your property manager will use covers all the extra amenities that your home has.
It so happens that I know someone who can do that for you – if you live in Hampton Roads. Call (757) 481-0448 and we will help you prepare, find you quality contractors as you need them and stagers to help you beautify! It’s full-service with Stephanie Clark Property Management.
Mary Kenworthy – Property Manager for Stephanie Clark Property Management