Best Upgrades for Rental Property (and Who Should Do Them)

Whether you have been investing in rental properties for many years or are new to property investment, you know that rental properties need upgrades from time to time. Renovations are essential to keep investment properties in good condition, maintain property values, and attract good tenants.

So, how can San Antonio property owners know which upgrades make their properties rent-ready and improve returns? Once you have decided which upgrades you want to make, who do you hire to oversee the renovations? Our San Antonio property managers have the answers!

10 Best Rental Property Upgrades to Protect Your Investment

Every renovation or update is an investment. Therefore, it is crucial to make clever decisions on the best upgrades that will give you a good ROI. However, what you have in mind for your property is not necessarily something that will appeal to tenants or pay off long-term. Let's have a look at a few rental property upgrades that are worth considering.

1. A Lick of Paint

One of the best upgrades for rental property appeal is a fresh coat of paint. A quality paint job is one of the highest returns on investment (ROIs) that you can make. With fresh paint, your rental unit almost immediately looks newer, cleaner, and fresher without a massive capital outlay.

Keep your color palette simple and neutral. Opt for something that will appeal to more potential tenants. If you have several rental properties, choose a color to suit all the properties and have the color registered at your local paint store. This will make it easier for contractors to easily source the correct color when they do touch-ups and renovations in the future.

2. Liven Up the Lighting

Beautiful lighting can help to make a positive first impression on potential new tenants. Replacing lighting fixtures is a relatively affordable method of bringing your investment property into the present, making it look modern and more cared for.

However, there's no need to choose high-end or costly fixtures. Make budget-appropriate choices that look nice and will last. Consider moving over to energy-efficient lighting choices. This will help reduce the utility bill and save you and your tenants the hassle of regularly changing lightbulbs.

3. Improve Aesthetics and Convenience with New Flooring

A solid strategy for increasing the value of your rental property (as well as making your life easier) is to switch from carpets to a durable flooring option. Because carpets require deep cleaning between tenants and must be replaced more frequently, choose between tiles, solid wood, wood laminates, and vinyl flooring.

To achieve a "wood" look, it's not necessary to go with high-end, real wood flooring. Ceramic or vinyl flooring can stand the test of time and doesn't require the same level of deep cleaning as carpets between tenants.

Person replacing vinyl wood floor planks

4. Replace Worn Counter Tops

Beautiful new countertops in the kitchen can give a property an immediate facelift!

Granite is usually the first thing that springs to mind when considering countertop upgrades. It is a costly option, though, so you might be overcapitalizing on your rental property by installing granite countertops.

For properties that don't justify the expense of installing granite, consider new Formica or laminate tops instead. You get designs with a granite appearance that look great! These countertops are heat-resistant, durable, and can last ten to twenty years.

5. Renovate Kitchen Cabinetry

Do you want to know how to improve rental property income? If the kitchen cabinets like a bit tired or outdated, upgrading them will improve the look of your rental property and likely bump up the rental fee you can charge.

You might need to replace the cupboards and hardware entirely, which could be a costly upgrade. However, if the cabinets are in good condition, simply refinishing and changing the hardware could make a lower-cost change for the best.

6. Upgrade Plumbing Fixtures

If your rental property's kitchen and bathroom fixtures are ten years old (or older), you should consider replacing them. Faucets, sinks, and sprayers can appear old and dingy in a short amount of time, especially with heavy use from multiple tenants. Plus, leaky faucets can cause the loss of gallons of water and unsightly stains.

Choosing modern-looking brushed-nickel or oil-rubbed bronze fixtures will immediately update the look and feel of your property.

7. Install Water-Saving Fixtures

While we are on the topic of kitchen and bathroom upgrades, consider installing water-saving faucets and shower heads. Save thousands of gallons of water by installing low-flow toilets too. This helps renters reduce utility bills!

8. New Windows = Energy Efficiency

Another improvement that answers the question of "how to improve rental property energy efficiency" is to install new windows. This can help lower utility bills as well as have a significant impact on the aesthetic appeal of your investment property.

If your property's location allows, consider installing double-pane windows. These are great investments and can potentially lead to an increase in rental income.

Rental Property Upgrades: Who to Trust?

Property managers are the best resource to recommend potential upgrades to help your properties stay competitive and command ideal rental prices. The best San Antonio property managers also help you avoid updates that might seem like a good idea but could ultimately be the wrong thing to update for rental properties.

Remember: The best upgrades for rental properties must appeal to renters and contribute to your long-term income. Therefore, your personal preferences or renovations you want to make to your own home might not always translate well into successful rental properties that stay in demand.

How Can MHN Property Management Can Help You Realize Optimal ROI

MHN Property Management works with property owners to make smart recommendations at the right time!

  • We have affordable (and durable) options for flooring, paint colors, and more features that can keep your properties looking good and generating excellent income.
  • Don't waste time and energy juggling contractors, getting estimates, and checking on the quality of work. We have the right resources to conduct upgrades through verified vendors and team members.
  • Our team also knows the best timing for upgrading a property to minimize vacancy times and maximize your returns.
  • We know what renters look for in rental homes and the updates or features that will keep your properties competitive long-term.

If you're not sure where to start to update your rental properties, we're here to help!

Entrust the Right San Antonio Property Managers with Rental Property Upgrades

There is such a thing as the wrong property updates! Choose residential property managers you can trust to deliver excellent maintenance and renovation services for your success. Contact MHN Property Management today to learn how we can help you get the most from your rental property investment!


MHN properties has managed our house in San Antonio since December 2014. Everyone on the team has always been professional and courteous. They are prompt in responding to questions and maintenance requests by the tenants. We feel like they have taken great care of our property! In addition, our property has not been empty since they took over the management. We would highly recommend MHN properties to anyone!

Adam Nyitray