Mr. Tony Valentine is a landlord is an Innercity Landlord whose style I admire. His mixed-unit three-unit building has different color walls and coördinated accents that give the distinct impression they were skillfully selected. Carefully crafted interiors and exteriors wake people up. They are subliminal cue that order exist and things are under control. I invited Tony to share his thoughts on the best practice of good design. Here’s his story:
“My father was a businessman who owned and managed income property. He taught me, by example, to treat your tenants respectfully.”
“After finishing Art/Design School, I began to help him more with managing and with aesthetic concerns. I added contemporary color to our traditional off white units. Some prospective tenants did not like it, but others did very much. Unknowingly it created a separation between us and other properties. We didn’t necessarily make more rent, but we were able to rent faster with a more sophisticated and satisfied tenant.”
“As my wife and I started to buy and restore our own income property, we looked for quality older buildings, in areas with a future. What we bought were rundown buildings waiting for someone to appreciate them again.”
“During restoration, we’d make small spaces feel much bigger and special, by opening up rooms, playing with the [tallest] of walls and ceilings and adding color. By doing this we added drama and personalized each space. This added an intrinsic quality that became financially valuable. For example, before restoration of our Ft. Bragg Victorian, one rented for $550 per month. After restoration, it rented for $1,550 (furnished) with a 2-year lease.”
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