by Mindy Jensen
Black Friday is tomorrow, just in case you have been living in a cave. Stores used to open at 5:00 a.m. Then 4:00 a.m. Now some open Thanksgiving night. You may not need anything for yourself, but there are a lot of opportunities to save money while helping your investing business.
Do you give your tenants a holiday gift? How about birthday gifts? Stock up on small appliances like slow cookers, toaster ovens, coffee pots and blenders. Wal-Mart has small appliances starting at $9.72 and Target‘s prices start at $17. At Kohl’s, you can find them as low as $8.
Grab a few DVDs, throw in some gourmet popcorn and hot chocolate, and make a gift basket to say thanks for being a great tenant. Add a comfy blanket (also on super sale at Target and Wal-Mart), and make it a cozy home gift. Small things like this go a long way when it comes time to renew the lease with a rent increase.
Are you having a hard time renting out a unit during these slower months? Maybe a TV would sweeten the deal? TVs are on sale this whole weekend.
What’s the state of your appliances? Both Home Depot and Lowe’s have appliances on sale. If you’re thinking about replacement, now’s the time. Both stores allow you to purchase now and schedule delivery up to 90 days out.
With one vacancy spread over 30 properties in 7 years, I would take his advice.
When was the last time you replaced any of the frequently-used items in your vacation rental? I’m talking pillows, blankets, towels, etc. Can’t remember? Then head out for some Black Friday bargain hunting at Target or Wal-Mart and start stocking up. Target has pillows on sale starting at $3 and you can find them at Wal-Mart for $4.88.
Games and toys are on sale, too. Offering plenty of kid-friendly items will keep kids occupied so adults can talk. Vacation rentals never seem to have enough things to keep kids busy. Happy renters are repeat renters.
How is your supply of DVDs? Wal-Mart has DVDs starting at $1.96. Target has them starting at $4. In fact, most stores have DVDs on sale, so keep an eye out for them no matter where you are shopping.
Hey rehabbers, I didn’t forget about you. It’s difficult to stay on budget — you never know what you’re going to find when you open up a wall. Save money where you can, so when you come across an unexpected repair, your profits aren’t blown.
Both Lowe’s and Home Depot have appliances on sale. I mentioned it above in the rental section, but it bears repeating. You can order your appliances now, and schedule them for delivery up to 90 days out. Save money now without having to find a place to store your new appliances. Win-win.
Need to stock up on tools? Lowe’s has a TON on sale. From air compressors to power tools to hand tools, it’s the perfect time to add to your tool chest. You can never have too many tools. I bought my air compressor at a grocery store 12 years ago during a Black Friday super sale. It’s still powering my pneumatic tools — and I use it a LOT. At a $99 purchase price, it has cost me $8.25 a year to own it.
But wait, there’s more! Finishing touches are also on sale. Vanities, faucets, tile and carpet.
Frugality Wins Every Time
I didn’t write this to advertise for the stores mentioned above. Goodness knows they will be busy enough without my help. But I’m a frugal gal, and I’m guessing you started investing in real estate to make money. Saving money here and there helps you make money down the road.
Customer service is dead, so small touches with your long-term tenants really make a big impression. Extras in short-term vacation rentals can get you repeat visits. Rehab budgets are routinely busted — I know mine is. There’s always a repair that turns out to be bigger than you expected. Trim costs where you can without totally cheaping out.
So come back tomorrow and let me know what fabulous deals you scored on your shopping trip!
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