How to increase your income without raising rent

Written by Sarah Block on . Posted in edited, For Landlords, Income Ideas, paid

Being a landlord has always given me a sense of pride, hope, and entrepreneurship.

There are so many possibilities in how to make money as a landlord, even without raising the rent, and even without having long-term tenants. The money-making possibilities are endless and exciting.

Related:  How to increase passive income in 2017

Top 10 ways to increase income without raising the rent

1. Add a vending machine

Adding a vending machine to the laundry area, storage, or common area of your property could add significant income. For example, adding an automated vending machine to one apartment building generated $2,500 a week in revenue. People pay for convenience. A vending machine with food, detergent, Chapstick, and toiletries saves people time, and if they run out of something they need right away, the vending machine is a convenient choice.

New vending machines can be expensive, but smaller properties can buy one used for a few hundred dollars and start generating a new income stream immediately.

2. Charge pet rent

In the United States, 68% of households own a pet. While it is understandable to not allow pets in your rentals, a large portion of renters are cut out. By allowing pets and catering to them, you open a floodgate of opportunities. You can charge a monthly pet rent or a pet fee. Tenants will happily pay a little extra to allow for their pet. As a bonus, you can offer dog walking for tenants. Work with a local dog walker. In exchange for a referral, you can get a percentage of the profits.

Related: Pet Deposits, Pet Fees and Pet Rent — What’s the Difference?

3. Use Airbnb during vacancies

Do you have a vacant unit? Don’t stress. Rent it out by the night instead. You will make more per night than with a long-term renter, and you have flexibility with showings. No, you won’t be able to show when you have guests, but you can schedule around the guest calendar. A unit with rent at $1,300 per month might bring in $150/night as a vacation rental. It would only take about nine nights to make up the lost rent.

4. Charge for shed storage

Storage is coveted by most renters. So don’t let your shed go to waste. Even small storage sheds can bring in an extra $35-$50 a month, while larger sheds can bring in as much as $200 a month. Move that lawnmower somewhere else, and take advantage of the extra income.

5. Rent out the garage

When I bought my three-flat, the previous owner was renting out the garage for $200 extra a month! In areas where parking is limited, this is something you need to take advantage of. The amount you can charge per month depends largely on the area. In metropolitan areas, it isn’t unheard of to charge $100-$200 a month. Uncovered parking spots can be rented out for an extra $50-$100 a month.

6. Lease a billboard

If you have a larger building, leasing a billboard can be quite lucrative. One BiggerPockets blogger told the story of a $25,000 fire-damaged apartment building that was getting $2,000 per month per side for a billboard. Imagine $4,000 extra income a month for no extra work.

7. Offer upgrades

Make life a little easier for your tenants by offering upgrades. Think hotel services like dry cleaning, laundry, maid service, or lawn care. People pay extra for their lives to be easier. If they were going to be outsourcing those services anyway, it’s a big bonus to have those available through their landlord or property management company.

8. Lease a cell phone tower

Would you have an interest in earning a passive six figures? That’s well within reason when leasing out space to a cell phone tower. Leasing out space to a cell phone tower averages $1,300 in rent a month. In San Francisco, you can earn as much as $2,500 a month!

9. Provide furnished rentals

Furnished rentals can fetch a higher rental price per month than unfurnished. Corporate, short-term, and cross-country tenants are more likely to rent a furnished apartment and will pay more for it. An extra bonus is that during tenant vacancies the unit can be rented on Airbnb or VRBO. The rent will increase, on average, 25-30% for a furnished unit.

Related: Can I get more money from a furnished rental?

10. Add solar panels

By adding solar panels to your rental property, you can become the utility company. Adding solar panels can generate income in three different ways: 1) increase rent to include energy, 2) sell excess energy to utility company, or 3) charge an electricity bill to tenants for using the solar energy.

In conclusion

Rental income is not the only way to generate money with your rental property. There are many options for adding passive (or not so passive) income to your monthly income. Why not take your rental business to the next level by adding a few new streams of income?