I wrote a post several years ago about painting your rental property. Despite having been an investor for over 10 years at that point, I think the main idea in that post was my attempt of creating order out the often messy business of owning and managing rental properties.
I proposed that no matter how much it cost or how much work it was, you should always repaint your units to one color (beige or tan). The thought is that this streamlines the turnover process and makes decisions easier.
Now with over 500 homes under management with Rental Management Guys, my attitudes have changed. While order and consistency is nice, it is a bridge too far. It is a goal that is not achievable and frankly not necessary. So what changed? I started seeing that speed and cost control my trumped the need for uniformity in both my rental properties and the ones that we manage.
Now, we simply match the existing paint on the walls. If we don’t have an old can from a previous paint job, we take a chip into the paint store or Home Depot and have them color match. Using the same color allows us to one-coat the walls and paint out a bedroom in an hour. We can power through a small apartment in 1 day. This saves on expense and time.
One exception. If we have a room or two that are a different color than the majority of the unit, we do change those to the main color. This sets us up for a faster turn next time with only a marginal amount of additional work (we often have to double coat those rooms).
We have also stopped buying the cheapest paint at Home Depot. This $10-15 per gallon savings may seem worth it, but across 3 gallons, that is only $30-45. For us, that is equivalent to 1 hour of labor. I think by using cheap paint, you can easily burn up an extra hour over the course of day of painting. Plus, the more expensive paint seems to wear better.
Take a minute to think about how you are painting your rental property. Its Ok to change your mind or re-examine your long held beliefs on how to own and manage your rental properties.