As a landlord or property manager, your main aim is to have tenants in your property. If you have a vacant lot, you aren’t making money from it, affecting your annual revenue. The longer it sits empty, the more it is going to negatively affect you and your earnings. That’s why it’s important to try and get a tenant into your rental property as quickly as possible.
However, it isn’t always easy to reduce your rental property vacancies, and you can’t force someone to move in. That’s why you must use effective strategies to bring the tenants to you.
Continue reading the following nine strategies and try them yourself to fill out your own rental property vacancies.
Make your rental property attractive
If you’ve never staged your rental property before, then it may be time to, especially if it has been vacant for a long time. Staging a rental property is the process of making your property look more attractive by adding some flowers on the dining room table or placing a few fluffy and vibrant scatter pillows on the sofa and beds. It helps prospective tenants envision what it would be like if they were to live in the property.
When you stage your property, you need to focus on both the inside and the outside. The more perfect it looks, the more likely you are going to fill your vacancy. Ensure all the photos on the websites you’ve listed the website on have been updated with the staged property and that you have used a good-quality camera in the right lighting. If you do arrange a viewing with a prospective tenant, ensure the staging is up to date then as well.
Invest in the right property
If you’re considering purchasing a rental property for the first time and you want to ensure you don’t have any vacancies when it is up and running, you will want to buy one that people are willing to rent. One of the worst things you can do is purchase a property in a bad location or too big in a neighborhood that doesn’t have many families.
Before you choose the property you want to invest in and eventually rent in the future, you will need to do some research. Look for good neighborhoods with a growing population or areas where many people are looking for rentals. Another thing to look out for is an area where there are many offices and stores because people like to live close to where they work. You don’t necessarily need to choose the most expensive areas, so ensure you are tactical before buying.
Be proactive with your tenant
If you already have a tenant in your property, and you are happy with them or worried that you wouldn’t be able to fill up the vacancy after they leave, then it may be time to try and get them to stay. It is best to be proactive and do what you can to get them to stay before they even think of leaving. You can do this by asking them around 90 days before the lease expires if they plan to renew it. If they say yes, then there is no problem, if they say no, then it is time to try something new.
You might be able to get your existing tenant to stay anyway by offering them a concession, such as a free month's rent. If this doesn’t work, then at least you’ve got three months' notice of your tenant leaving, so it provides you with plenty of time to find a new tenant before they move out.
Charge below-market rent prices
One of the most competitive things when it comes to the rental market is price. Prospective tenants are going to look for the highest quality property with a lower amount of rent. So if your property has been vacant for a while and you want to fill this vacancy, then it may be time to lower the price a little bit. As long as your property still offers people what they want, if you decrease the rent, they are more likely to apply.
You don’t want to lower the rent so much that you are losing out on revenue. Instead, you just want to ensure it is slightly under the average market price or similar properties that are in your area. Prospective tenants never want to miss out on a great deal, so once you have advertised the lower rent price, there is no doubt you will get applications quite quickly.
Secure long-term leases
This may seem a bit obvious, but if you have a long-term lease with a tenant, then you have a lower chance of having a vacancy. When you offer your property for short-term rentals, while it can be beneficial in some cases, there are higher chances of vacancies, especially during months when there aren’t many tourists in your area.
If you don’t want many vacancies, you’ll need to signal in your advertisement that you are looking for a tenant that will stay with you in the long run. You can require at least a one-year lease, but state that you are looking for someone who will stay in the property for longer. When you are interviewing potential tenants, ask them about their plans for the future and how long they are planning on staying with you. If you choose the one willing to stay for longer, you have a lower chance of having a vacant property for a while.
Online tenant screening
Sometimes you may be in a rush to fill your property’s vacancy, but you shouldn’t just accept anyone as a tenant. This is because some tenants may not be reliable when it comes to paying rent, and they may end up breaking your contract and leaving. Without the right tenant, you may actually end up having a vacancy again sooner than later, so you want to ensure you go through a thorough online tenant screening process to find your ideal tenant.
When you screen your prospective tenant, you will be able to find out quite a few things about them, such as their credit, criminal, and eviction information. You don’t want to choose a tenant who hasn’t paid their rent in the past and has ended up being evicted. Instead, you want someone with good credit which pays their rent on time each month and has glowing recommendations from past landlords.
Make well-timed repairs and improvements
Being a quality landlord is the key to retaining tenants in your property and avoiding any vacancies. This means you’re attentive to any of their needs, especially if any problems arise while they stay there. For example, if the HVAC system has been making a loud noise and the electricity bills have increased, you may want to get the system serviced as soon as possible, so it runs smoothly.
There is nothing worse than a landlord who makes you wait for any repairs to the property, so you don’t want to be one of those. If you don’t handle reasonable improvements when needed, a tenant will feel less inclined to renew their lease with you. By simply going the extra mile, you’ll be able to secure a reliable stream of income and avoid having to go through the painful process of finding another tenant.
Modernize with property management software
Being a landlord or property manager isn’t an easy job, especially if you have to take care of multiple properties. There are often many tasks you have to get through on a daily basis, and it can be hard to organize them all and ensure you are looking after each of your tenants. That’s why you may want to consider using some technology to simplify your job, and this can be done through property management software, such as Hospiria.
If you need a calendar to remind you when to collect rent or even a system that does it for you, you can get this all through property management software. Not only does it make things easier for you, but it is also preferred by tenants. It’s also a great way to stay organized and ensure you can produce the right documents when asked. Tenants definitely appreciate this type of attentiveness and would rather stay with you than go elsewhere.
Ensure good communication
Communication is everything in any relationship, and this is the same with tenants and landlords. If you are going to come over to see the property, you need to let your tenants know this rather than turning up unexpectedly. This is the one thing you cannot do, and it will no doubt increase the number of vacancies you have in your properties. Instead, you need to give at least 48 hours' notice, and your tenants will certainly appreciate this.
Another way you can ensure good communication between you and your tenants is by checking up on them via text message or calling them to see if everything is okay, or if there is anything you can improve. Don’t do this too often, but maybe every three or six months is a good amount of time. You should always be on hand and responsive if your tenants ever need to get in touch with you as well.
Vacancies are something that no landlord wants for their property, and it can be disheartening if you can’t get a tenant to rent it out. However, you should never give up, and by trying one of these methods, you are sure to get a few more applications.
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