Whereas most articles on this website concern personal residence renovations, this article takes a slightly different line: improving rental properties.

According to the National Association of Realtors, roughly 42% of all rental properties are managed day-to-day by the owners. These “mom and pop landlords” are the backbone of the rental economy in the US, providing value and housing to a sizeable share of the country’s 48 million renter households.

And just like regular homeowners, rental property owners want strong ROIs from their improvements. This article surveyed your options for rental property improvement to come up with a few creative ways to earn more money that also benefit tenants and the surrounding community.

Revitalize Your Parking Lot by Giving it New Uses

The U.S. is home to an estimated one billion parking spots. Because of well-intentioned mandates like “minimum parking requirements,” most developments (including residential and commercial rental properties) come stock with a sizeable, largely unused parking lot.

These lots are a hassle to maintain for property owners and yield very little income when left underutilized.

A simple solution to improve your parking lot is give it new uses by enrolling with a proximity network like REEF. They license vacant spaces from property owners. They then activate and operate modular businesses on your space, like delivery kitchens and micro-fulfillment centers.

You earn income and grow your business, just as other small business owners operating in your parking lot grow their business. It’s a turnkey solution that helps business owners, adds amenities to the surrounding community, and revitalizes your once-underused parking space.

Build Storage Units on Your Property

Urban dwellers are constantly on the prowl for more storage. As the average size of rental units decreases, and the average retail habits of consumers increases, more people will need storage solutions.

If you have extra indoor space in your rental property – like undesirable basement or attic suites, old mailrooms, etc. –consider building storage units. You will need to hire a building inspector to review the space first, and potentially update your insurance policy to cover theft losses, but past that, the process is relatively straightforward.

Section the space into rentable units. Keep the spaces clean, tidy and temperature-controlled. And value-add by installing bike racks, boat racks, and coin-operated moving carts.

Exercise Your Creative Talents with In-Demand Furnished Units

Have a flair for décor and home design? Consider exercising your creative talents by furnishing units for rent. Pre-furnished units can fetch a higher rental price (15% – 20% more) as many short-term contract workers need a turnkey rental unit for their stay and do not mind paying a little extra.

The ROI can be pretty impressive as well. All told, furnishing a rental unit should only cost around $2,000, a cost you can easily make back within a year of rental.

Beyond the three improvements above, you may also consider:

• going energy-dependent by installing solar panels

• partnering with a tech-forward parking network to revitalize your parking garage and attract parking customers

ª and offering tenant convenience services like cleaning and daycare

In short, there are several improvement projects you can undertake to help you add revenue and boost your property’s appeal.