Cash flow is king for real estate investors and higher rental rates mean more profit. Rental rates, especially in apartment buildings, are mostly the same from unit to unit. It can be difficult, if not 

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impossible sometimes, to charge more for one unit than for an identical one across the hall. The market has set the rental rate compared to other housing in the area but there are ways to set your individual unit apart from others that can attract a higher paying tenant. By getting into the millennial mindset and catering to their lifestyle you can increase your cash flow with just a few adjustments.

One of the least expensive and easy ways is to install so-called “smart” technology that allows tenants to monitor their apartment with their handheld device or notebook. Look into installing a smart thermostat which can be controlled remotely with a smart phone. You can also install video monitoring equipment that allows remote tenants to view the interior of the apartment while at work or on vacation. These “smart” upgrades cost very little and most anyone can install them and appeals to this millennial generation.

Have you thought of changing around your lease agreement and making it more flexible? While a 12-month lease is mostly standard in the industry have you thought of a three month? Even a month-to-month? Shorter lease terms will attract more tenants, especially those who are willing to pay more each month to not be locked into a long-term agreement.

Where is your property located? Instead of focusing on just the features of your unit, market the neighborhood. Is the unit close to downtown? Public transit stations nearby? Parks? Entertainment and dining? Don’t just concentrate on an updated kitchen and new paint but make sure you let the prospective tenant know there’s more to the area than just the unit itself.

If you want higher rents but don’t think you can charge them, try making just a few adjustments and experiment. You might just find a higher paying tenant who decides they do want to sign a longer term lease after all.