Nice outdoor space like this brings curb appeal for rentals


It’s easy to spend so much time focusing on your property’s amenities and interior aspects that you overlook its visual appeal. But enhancing curb appeal for rentals is one of your best marketing strategies. With excellent curb appeal, you can draw in different types of residents and fill empty units faster.

This guide covers what apartment curb appeal is and why it’s important. It also provides 10 ways you can boost your property’s own curb appeal.

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What does it mean when a property has curb appeal?

Curb appeal for rentals is the visual attractiveness of the outside of your building. And curb appeal design includes everything from the color of your building to the architecture and the landscaping. All of those elements contribute to your building’s curb appeal.


Why is curb appeal so important?

Curb appeal is important because it helps attract more prospective residents. If your building looks really nice on a rental listing site, let alone in person, you’ll notice more prospects submitting inquiries and booking tours.

Additionally, increasing your property’s curb appeal comes with the opportunity to increase rent. Just be aware of your local renting guidelines and send rent increase notices to your residents. 


What is the ROI on curb appeal?

Having empty units can quickly diminish your net operating income (NOI). But with a visually attractive exterior, you’ll have more people interested in your property.

Curb appeal attracts residents of all ages. Having more interested potential residents means you’ll be able to fill vacancies much faster.

The question is: Just how much should you invest in curb appeal?

Enhancing curb appeal for rentals doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the most effective tactics are affordable. And many of them (such as a fresh coat of paint) only have to be done once a year or so.

Think of how much it costs you to have a vacant unit for more than two weeks. In order to prevent that loss, it makes sense to spend a healthy amount now to save more in the long run. Just don’t go installing any waterfalls on your property that will cost more to maintain than a few empty units would!


curb appeal for rentals starts with ample plants


10 ways to increase curb appeal for rentals

All of these methods are easy to implement. While some of them may seem like common sense, you’d be surprised how few properties take advantage of the impact curb appeal can have. You’ll want more than just an attractive property you can advertise on social media.

How do you increase curb appeal for an apartment? By investing in:

  1. A fresh coat of paint
  2. A high-tech entry system
  3. Well-manicured landscaping
  4. Diverse plants
  5. Attractive lighting
  6. Clean windows
  7. Window box planters
  8. Fresh pavement
  9. Outdoor community space
  10. Roof and gutter maintenance


1. A fresh coat of paint

What is the easiest way to add curb appeal? By sprucing up your building’s paint color.

There’s no need to be dramatic here; you shouldn’t necessarily change your grey and white building to blue and pink. However, what you should do is make sure the paint on the outside of your building isn’t chipped or peeling.

Paint fades after a while, so you should repaint every few years. And it’s perfectly fine to repaint your building using the same color scheme.


2. A high-tech entry system

Curb appeal for rentals isn’t limited to superficial colors and texture. The technology you have on display at your building can pack a punch, too — and potential residents will take note.

Make sure the access control system at your front door or gate looks modern and fresh. A rusty or outdated call box could be a huge turnoff to prospects who instead want to see a 21st-century smart video intercom.

While residents will be reeled in by the visual attractiveness of your rental property, an access control system that boosts security and convenience will seal the deal on why they should go with your property.


Watch how ButterflyMX works:


3. Well-manicured landscaping

This is as simple as making sure your lawn is mowed. It’s recommended that your lawn is mowed at least once a week. In addition, all weeds along pathways and the edges of your lawn should be trimmed as often as possible.

Consider using a weed killer for persistent weeds that grow back within just a day or so. A neat lawn signifies that you take good care of your property and your residents.


4. Diverse plants

In addition to a clean-cut lawn, you can increase curb appeal for rentals with trees, bushes, and plants. Big trees casting cool shade over the grass are especially appealing and will look great in real estate photography.

Consider planting flowers along the front walkway of your building and all along the first floor. Flowers like hydrangeas are beautiful, colorful, and incredibly easy to maintain. Ideally, all of your plants follow this formula. After all, more beauty and less maintenance means you spend less on groundskeeping staff.


colorful hydrangeas that add curb appeal to a building


5. Attractive lighting

For safety reasons, the front of your building and your walkways should always be well-lit and inviting. Beyond that, however, decorative lights can increase curb appeal for rentals.

Decorative lights include solar lights that you can line your walkways with. Solar orbs can be placed near plants and trees and along the borders of your property. In addition to looking pretty at night, solar bulbs won’t cost you a dime in electricity.


6. Clean windows

Following the front facade of your building and your lawn are your windows. Depending on how many units you have, there could be hundreds of them. And the best way to boost curb appeal for rentals is to make sure each and every one of them is clean.

There’s nothing glorious or easy about window cleaning. So, you’ll want to hire window cleaners to get the job done properly.

However, there is a hack you can use if this seems like too daunting (and costly) a task. Instead of cleaning every unit’s windows, consider only cleaning the windows along your front lobby or main entrance area. These are typically the biggest windows on your property and are the first thing people see when they enter or tour your building.


7. Window box planters

For at least one unit per apartment, consider implementing window box planters. Window box planters are essentially flower pots that attach to the frame of your building’s windows.

Pretty much anything can be planted in them, including vegetables. But we recommend something that only needs rainwater to survive. Consider plants such as lavender or geraniums.


8. Fresh pavement

Don’t tolerate any extraneous cracks in your walkways or parking lots. They make your building look old and uncared for. Consider repaving these areas every five years or when the cracks are noticeably bad.


9. Outdoor community space

An attractive outdoor setting surrounding your property is great, but what’s even better is an outdoor space that residents can actually take advantage of.

Your outdoor community space could feature:

  • Benches. This is especially relevant with a bigger property and a lot of yard space. Consider placing benches along the walkway to your building or near trees.
  • Picnic tables. These are great for families to congregate at, whether it’s for lunch or to relax.
  • Gazebos. In addition to looking nice, these are also great gathering spots for residents (and they make for nice photoshoots).

Picnic tables make for great outdoor community space that boosts curb appeal for rentals


10. Roof and gutter maintenance

When it comes to clearing up your roof, make sure to remove unnecessary satellite dishes and antennas that may have been put up over the years. The less clutter, the better.

Additionally, make sure your shingles are aligned and that your roof is up to date inspection-wise. Gutters should be cleared out regularly, especially during the fall.



  • Curb appeal is the visual attractiveness of your property.
  • Improving curb appeal for rentals means more potential residents will be interested in your property. The higher your curb appeal, the faster empty units in your building will be filled.
  • With reasonable upgrades, the ROI on curb appeal is worth it.
  • When it comes to increasing your property’s curb appeal, focus on a mix of both visual and practical additions.


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Nick Manzolillo

I'm a Rhode Island-based writer fascinated with real estate development, the inner workings of the real estate industry, and how real estate and technology blend together.

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