Rents are at record highs across the country. But even if apartment owners manage to fill most units most of the time, finding other real estate revenue streams will only increase cash flow month on month.
Consider some of these options that could help boost your results.
1. Offer extra storage
Storage units can cost between $100 and $300 per month. Whether you’re building your own storage space on-site or entering into an agreement with a nearby self-storage company, offering secure storage space to your tenants for an additional fee can help you generate additional revenue.
2. Allow pets
If you didn’t allow pets on your property before, allowing them now would likely increase your pool of tenants, as many people started or added to their furry families during the pandemic. Charge a pet fee so you can raise funds to clean and repair the unit after the tenants (and their pets) leave. Unlike security deposits, pet fees are non-refundable — and pet owners are more than willing to pay them for their furry housemates.
Already have a pet policy in place? Consider adding a menu of services for pets and their owners, including dog walking, pet sitting, or pet grooming services.
3. Rent additional parking spaces
If you have a large enough property and already assign one spot per unit, offer rental options for a second spot for an additional fee. If there is a transit station nearby, consider renting spaces or placing meters in a section of your lot to allow commuters to pay to park during the day.
4. Add a billboard and collect ad revenue
Zoning laws—as well as a little courtesy to your neighbors—will determine whether you can add billboards on the roof or outside of your building. If you have a multi-level building, your roof could be a new source of passive income. If you haven’t been contacted by an ad agency yet, contact one yourself to learn more about setup and earning potential.
5. Install vending machines
If you have a common area for them, vending machines have long been a convenient way to grab a drink or snack. Adding a refurbished appliance to your hall, laundry room, or other common area will cost around $2,000 if you buy it outright. You can also rent one from a vending machine, which will take a share of the sales. Your tenants will appreciate having easy access to cold drinks and delicious snacks – bonus if you install a machine that allows payment by credit card rather than just taking coins or notes.
6. Rent washer/dryers for laundry in unit
Coin or card laundry has always been a reliable source of income for building owners. No resident will mind having an extra washer or dryer added to the laundry room, so consider adding or upgrading appliances to your property.
But if there’s a washer/dryer in every unit, you can rent the appliances out to tenants for an additional fee each month, which many will likely be happy to pay. According to HomeAdvisor (part of ANGI), it costs between $350 and $600 to install a washer/dryer connection. Depending on the type of device you buy, it’s likely that the installation will pay for itself within a year.
7. Rent a spare unit as home office space
Short-term rentals are a good way to replace long-term leases, but it’s understandable that you might not want the hassle of people coming in and out so often. Instead, consider renting vacant units as remote office space. Someone in your building right now might jump at the chance to rent, say, a studio to use as office space. With minimal furniture and a functional kitchen, they are in business.
The larger your property, the more opportunities you have for alternative sources of income as a real estate investor. But even owners of small buildings can make more money each month by finding additional ways to add value to the tenant experience.