If you want potential tenants to run the other way and never come back, just show them a yucky bathroom. Even if the rest of the apartment is spotless, a dingy or scummy bathroom will make the unit far less appealing to residents. If you don't have a lot of money to put into remodeling your bathrooms right now, at least use these inexpensive tactics to make them look more attractive.
Cover rusty mirrors with mirror contact paper.
For some reason, the mirrors on bathroom cabinets tend to get rusty very quickly. There's an easy fix, and it only costs a few dollars at a home improvement store. Mirrored contact paper is a stick-on product that has adhesive on one side, and a mirror-like, shiny surface on the other. Purchase a roll, and measure your bathroom mirror carefully. Cut a piece in the exact size and shape of the mirror, and stick it on. Your mirror will look like new.
Apply grout whitener to tile.
Worn and discolored grout makes a tile floor or shower surround look pretty yucky. After scrubbing the grout and letting it dry completely, apply a grout whitening product to shine it up. Grout whitener is essentially like paint – it completely covers and hides the discolored grout. If your grout is cream or tan, don't worry. You can purchase these shades, too. They all come in easy-to-use, roll-on applicators. Keep in mind that the whitener will take a few hours to dry. You'll need to make this improvement a day or two before potential tenants come to look at the apartment.
Add some colorful window treatments.
Moisture often makes bathroom window frames mold or crack. Often, the blinds in bathrooms become worn quickly, too, since tenants may open and shut them more often than in other rooms. You can make the whole room look brighter with a set of colorful window treatments. They'll cover a less-than-attractive window, too. Pick a friendly, widely appealing color like pale blue or bright yellow. Make sure you choose a water-resistant material made especially for bathrooms, so the curtains don't mold in the moist environment.
In addition to the simple improvements above, you can also make the bathroom look more inviting by placing a mat on the floor, adding a shower curtain, and hanging a wall decoration or two. Even if the tenants replace these items with their own once they move in, having some appealing items in the bathroom will draw attention away from its flaws when you're showing the unit.
A residential property management company like NorthStar Cleaning & Property Services can give you even more ideas on how to improve the look of your properties.