Guest blog by Donna Erf, owner of MTD Property Management, Inc.
Beautiful, functional, and easy to maintain; those are the three optimal qualities for landscape design and installation on multi-tenant rental properties. At the most basic level, you want the outdoor areas of your property to attract tenants.
First, you want your landscape design to be beautiful. Curb appeal is everything in a competitive rental market and having beautiful curb appeal sets your property apart from others. Second, you want your landscaping to be functional. Open space turf should be valuable to tenants in a meaningful way. Last, the landscaping should be easy to maintain. Neither you nor the tenants should have to spend a lot of money to care for the property.
If you can incorporate these three qualities into your landscaping design, you will easily find new tenants for your property.
The question is, how can you do it? Is there a way to create a landscape design that is lovely and inexpensive? Yes. There is. Below are a few ideas and a broader strategy on how to achieve optimal beauty, functionality and maintenance in your landscaping plans while following cost effective and sustainable ideals.
Enjoy the read.
Simple landscape ideas to attract new tenants
These simple changes are easy to implement. They will be cost effective, and their impacts can be profound and long lasting.
- Choose native plants
Using native plants in your landscape can reduce costs and labor because these types of plants do not need as much watering and fertilizing. Moreover, native plantings are more resistant to pests and diseases found in the area, plus they provide food and habitat for local wildlife. When deciding which native plants to use in you landscaping plans, you may prefer native drought-resistant flowering plants.
- Use a range of plant types
Make your properties more charming by including diverse categories of plants:Cover Crops and Mosses: Reduce the size of your turf spaces by having some of the grass replaced with cover crops or moss. One suggestion is to plant clover; it is an evergreen, it is tough enough to handle foot traffic, and requires less frequent mowing than grass. Adding ground cover crops to the yard will prevent weeds and protect the soil.Perennials: These plants come back every year, which means you can save yourself the cost and trouble of replanting them.Dwarf shrubs: are easy to grow and need little to no pruning. They look good if placed under windows. Some of them have lovely, scented flowers that can add to the charm of a property.
- Add lots of hardscaping features
Hardscaping features are the nonliving elements of the yard. They add character to the yard and reduce the surface area you need to cover with plants. Hardscaping will help cut down on the amount of water, herbicide, fertilizer, and labor needed. Excellent examples of hardscaping features for rental properties are a fire pits, rock gardens, stone retaining walls, and paved pathways.
- Create outdoor sitting areas
One thing tenants expect to see in landscape designs are areas that let them spend time outdoors without worrying about heat and too much direct sun. The more ways tenants can enjoy your property, the better. Outdoors sitting areas could be as simple as benches and yoga spaces or as elaborate as pergolas, trellises, and outdoor kitchens. When designing outdoor spaces, do not forget lighting for the entire landscape to add evening safety and ambiance. Good lighting allows tenants to enjoy the spaces into the night.
Self-sustaining landscape design for your rental property
While implementing the ideas in this blog is outstanding, you will get the best results if you adopt a holistic approach. Holistic landscape design ensures that all parts of the landscape are in harmony with one another. It is the best way to create self-sustaining landscapes.
A self-sustaining landscape is one where water usage, power consumption, and maintenance costs are lowered to nearly zero. The landscape is built using a regenerative design system that allows the plants in the landscape to thrive with very little human input.
If you have ever heard of permaculture (or permanent agriculture), you may know about self-sustaining landscape design. Although the term is new, permaculture is not a new thing. It is simply landscape design that follows the rules of nature.
This type of landscape design substantially reduces costs while increasing the tangible payoffs for your tenants, the surrounding wildlife, and the soil. Because permaculture works with nature, rather than against it, it delivers several outstanding benefits, such as:
- Quantifiable reductions in the costs and effort needed to maintain landscape, less watering, weeding, and fertilizing.
- Remarkable improvements in plant health and production; apparent in more flowers, massive and healthier fruit.
- The visible growth in the population of beneficial wildlife that visits or lives on the property; pretty butterflies, songbirds, hummingbirds, bees, and dragonflies.
- Eliminates reliance on toxic chemicals; this helps heal the landscape. It also results in healthier soil and near-zero waste.
- Greatly enhanced landscape beauty and function.
- Tenants will have more time to enjoy the landscape and access to a constant supply of fresh vegetables.
Permaculture injects an inverse relationship between the cost of landscape maintenance and the benefits derived from landscaping. As benefits increase, the expense plummets.