The Best 2020 Rental Upgrades | Philadelphia Property Management Tips

By Rentwell

Updated March 29, 2022

'Should I update my rental property when there is so much uncertainty? If I do, what updates are going to make a difference, and what upgrades will just cost me money pointlessly?' There are a lot of variables that go into deciding on upgrades whether or not we still happen to be knee-deep in a global pandemic! Upgrades are a big deal. Thankfully, you've got Philadelphia property management experts on your side!

We've gathered some of our top suggestions here for you that might help make the decision a little easier, and if you still aren't sure, give our property managers a call! Our free rental analysis process also takes into consideration any repairs or upgrades you can make to ensure you make the most from your rental property, so we can give you custom recommendations if you get in touch with our Philly property management pros!



🎶 One of these things is not like the other. 🎶 

Of course, you probably don't have bare dirt hanging out at your rental property—but even dead grass, unkempt edging, and 'pet patches' can take a property from a 10 to a -6 in curb appeal.

Think of it as a whole 'exterior appeal package,' because that is the first impression a renter is going to have of your property. Typically, the exterior of the property is one of the first listed pictures—so you don't want to lose someone before they ever see the inside because they're worried about how much work it would take to have a nice lawn, or the fact that their condo has a pile of bricks where grass should be!

  • Plant some flowers.
  • Spread some grass seed.
  • Add some cheerful window plants.

Then, rest easy knowing our leases and regular property inspections ensure the investment you make in your landscaping is well-maintained.


Paint is always going to be one of the fastest and most cost-effective upgrades for a rental property. A coat of paint, when done well, can revive a set of outdated cabinets, make a space look bigger and brighter, and generally give a great 'like-new' feeling to any room.

On the other hand, some paint can dissuade renters—especially if it isn't a traditional color. Keep it neutral, look at trends in recent home magazines, and do away with the pink (or maybe upgrade to its mature sister, coral). We're not saying pink isn't a great color, mind you; my niece loves pink (especially pastel)! However, it's highly likely that my niece isn't going to be renting your property any time soon: she's 11.



Carpet is, like, so 90s.

  • Renters want to know that spilling a glass of rosé isn't going to cost them a security deposit.

  • Renters with pets know how much easier it is to keep anything-but-carpet clean.

  • Carpet is usually a hassle for investment property owners, too.

The life expectancy of carpet is way lower than hardwood flooring, and there are a variety of fantastic, affordable laminate options as well! As both your Philadelphia property management expert and your friend, we're calling an intervention: ditch that fug rug, and upgrade to higher rental rates with some nice, hard floors!

Security Systems

Security options give renters peace of mind—especially if there has been an increase in 'concerning incidents' in an area. It's Philly: anything can happen! You never really can guarantee the safety of a neighborhood—but you can guarantee that your renter can connect to and enjoy an already installed system for peace of mind.


Stone countertops are sort of like laminate flooring: they're more expensive, but they last longer and don't succumb to wear and tear nearly as easily.

Set a hot pan on a laminate counter, and you're going to have a bad time—and an unsightly blemish that is more expensive to fix than it is worth. Granite countertops and laminate flooring typically command a higher rental rate for these reasons! They are the luxury upgrades found in apartments that will make it easier for you to compete for renters seeking a high-quality property to call home. 

Smart Upgrades

Affordable and fast, smart upgrades can make a big difference. USB outlets, LED lighting, keyless entry locks, and garage door openers (if you have one) all make life a little more convenient for your renters. Plus, it's easier for you to show the value and convenience of your property. Add a smart doorbell or allow your renters to provide their own with an approved install. These little things add up, and take your investment property from one of many on the market to one of few.

Property Management

Consider the benefits of hiring a Philadelphia property management partner like Rentwell an upgrade!

  • Our resident benefits packages make it easy for your renters to maintain the property and keep their deposit.
  • Plus, we offer an online portal and access to our skilled, on-call maintenance team, so your renter doesn't have to wait while you call for quotes!
  • That peace of mind that there is a whole team of professionals behind you makes renting your property as easy as wolfing down a good cheesesteak. 

Are you getting your rental property ready to go on the market? Don't forget to use a Makeready Checklist to ensure your property is rent-ready after installing your new upgrades!

There is a lot that goes into making a property ready, and you want to start your new renter off in a quality property, so they are more inclined to take care of it. We've got your back: contact us to get your free copy of our Makeready Checklist to get your property prepped and ready to roll!

Topics: Landlord Learning Property Preparation Philadelphia Property Management