If some or all of your real estate holdings are in areas where renting rather than owning is common, then it’s likely your units are similar to the ones in the neighborhood. Typical zoning laws that allow for a duplex or four-unit property will almost always have rows of duplexes sitting side by side; and they all pretty much look the same.

Your rental property is located where renters reside due to various factors such as being near retail shops or a shopping mall, near college campus or public transportation. But whatever the market, you’ll always be in competition with other landlords for tenants when your lease eventually expires. To find tenants faster and for more rent, you need to stand out.

To highlight your property when surrounded by similar units, you need to treat your rental in the same manner as a professional real estate agent would when listing a home for sale. You simply need to follow some basic steps when preparing a rental unit.

Make sure the unit looks better than the others. Take care of any lawn maintenance and keep the lawn mowed and precisely edged. A coat of exterior paint is something that should be a regular maintenance item every few years but if you’re looking for a tenant who might pay more than a fresh coat of paint is in store. And speaking of paint, hire a painter or buy a few gallons of interior paint and spruce up those inside walls.

If your unit is furnished, make sure the traffic flows and get rid of clutter. Having two end tables surrounding a single chair might look good but the initial impression makes the interior appear crowded. Another real estate agent trick? Before your tenants arrive at the property, make sure all the lights are on to brighten the property. Finally, a good solid cleaning of floors, baths and kitchens is a good idea.

These easy tips will help your property stand above the crowd which will bring more potential tenants to view your unit and will pay more to live in a place that appears much nicer both inside and out; even if the next door rental is an identical home.