I put this question to some friends and these are the ideas we came up with:
Equity Boosting Ideas for Long Term Property Landlords
1. Plant small bushes/vines and train them over time. You could end up with a beautiful focal point that draws interest, shows pride of ownership, and results in lower vacancies.
2. Consider installing a thermal solar water heater, wind turbines, and/or solar electric systems (when economically feasible).
3. Harvest rainwater and utilize graywater to reduce water and sewage bills.
4. Teach your kids how to look for opportunities to 1031 the property for another asset that required less work but gave a higher return.
5. Replace worn out components with more durable components that had long useful, maintenance-free lives. Some examples are steel roofs, tile floors, brick and stone facades, etc.
6. Plant quality shade trees in strategic locations. This would provide passive solar cooling for tenants and potentially increase your property values as well.
7. If units have a master utility meter, then install submeters so tenants pay for gas and/or electric they consumed.
8. Make potentially useable space rentable. (i.e., finish the basement/attic, create storage space in the backyard, etc.)
9. Install your own coin-operated laundry machines in common areas.
Hopefully these ideas will inspire others from you. Let me know what we missed. Please leave a comment below.
Special thanks to www.BiggerPockets.com contributors:
Brian Hoyt, Real Estate Investor · Arlington, Texas
Jon Klaus, Real Estate Investor · Dallas, Texas
Nathan Emmert, Multi-family Investor · South Jordan, Utah