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6 Affordable, Easy & Impactful Multifamily Property Renovations

Making upgrades and updates to your multifamily rental property can help you maintain a happy relationship with your tenants, and may even provide the added feature that makes your property stand out to other potential renters. Upgrading can be expensive though, with the average cost to renovate a small kitchen averaging $5,000-$20,000 per unit alone, the costs to improve your property can add up quickly. Thankfully there are some areas you can update on a budget that still have a big impact for your tenants and/or the property’s curb appeal.


Adding a fresh coat of exterior paint is possibly the easiest and most effective way to dramatically improve and change the look of your property. A re-painting project can be completed entirely in a day or two, depending on the size of the property and crew that you hire. The short timeframe needed for painting is especially beneficial for larger complexes and buildings with tight parking, since it means the smallest period of time that tenants are displaced by painting equipment, and less opportunity for vehicles to shuffle around with the chance to accidentally get paint on them.


If you have plans to raise rent at your property, the direct benefit that upgraded appliances provide for your tenant can be seen as a trade-off for the increase. Updating dishwashers, washers and dryers, and air conditioning units can also help save your tenants on their utility bills. Many newer appliance models include the option for smart features that can be controlled via an app on the resident’s phone, and add a more high-tech, upscale feel the interior.

In-unit laundry facilities are one of the most desired amenities among rental units, and the addition of a washer and dryer (or stackable) can bring in rental rates of $50-$100 more per month. If the building is not set up with in-unit hookups, the cost of installing them can be spaced out by having the work done between tenants. Contracting resource estimates that the instillation of water, electricity, and gas lines in order to add hookups can generally range anywhere from $700-$2,000 per unit, depending on the amount of labor required.


Small-scale landscaping projects such as adding flower beds or trees, can help give the exterior of your property a fresh look. The location of your property, along with watering and seasonal needs, can help you decide which plants will have the most longevity. Fencing and lighting can be added to enhance and protect these areas.

Common Areas and Amenities

Updating or adding common areas can be another great way to make a big impact no matter your budget. Projects can be kept small and DIY, or turned into large-scale renovations with pavilions and furniture.

Outdoor upgrade ideas:

– Add grill space

– Update outdoor and pool furniture

– Set up a greenhouse and community garden

– Install a koi or small garden pond

– Construct a playground for kids

Power washing

Having the exterior of your property power washed can help refresh its look without doing a full-scale paint job. Walkways and parking areas can usually also benefit from a thorough powerwashing to clean and brighten these high-traffic areas.


The kitchen and bathroom areas of your property are some of the most expensive to renovate in full, but you can still update the look of these rooms by changing cabinet pulls, or even changing the cabinet doors themselves. Other high-impact upgrades that can be done on a budget include installing new sinks, toilet seats, and shower bars. Built-in lighting and light plate covers, window fixtures and blinds, and door handles can be updated throughout the entire rental and help unify the unit’s style.

While the exact cost of your project will depend on the size of your property and scale of the project, many upgrades and additions can be completed in phases over time to make them more affordable.

Before investing in upgrades, consider the specific location and tenant base of your property to be sure the project you choose will be most impactful and provide the best return. Also keep in mind that your upgrade may need permits, which are an added cost and can take time to obtain before work can begin.

Work cost estimates obtained through‘s True Cost Guide. 

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Elly Johnson stands at the forefront of content research and online branding at Utopia Management. As the Content Marketing Manager, she delves deep into understanding local real estate and rental markets, fueled by her passion for travel and keen research skills. Elly is dedicated to empowering individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about where to reside. A proud alumna of the University of South Florida, located in the vibrant heart of Tampa Bay, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her academic background and extensive travel experiences uniquely position her to provide insights that resonate with diverse audiences.

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