Filling a rental property vacancy can be a challenging task for landlords and property managers. The success of your rental property business hinges on your ability to attract and retain quality tenants.
Fortunately, with the right strategies and a proactive approach, you can reduce the time your property sits vacant. In this article, we will explore essential tips for filling your rental property vacancy quickly and effectively.
6 Tips for Avoiding Long Vacancies
As you look for ways to fill your rental properties with quality tenants, make sure you’re casting a wide net and paying attention to each individual element of your listing, screening, and pricing.
Here are several tips that will ensure you do just that:
1. Price it Right
It could be argued that no aspect of your listing is more important than the pricing. Setting the right rent price will make or break your results. The question is, what system are you using to reach the right rate?
If you’re just guessing, you’re either over-shooting (which is limiting the number of interested renters), or you’re under-shooting (which is leaving cash on the table). This is where having an experienced property manager on your team can help.
Companies like Los Angeles Property Management Group will actually conduct rent surveys to monitor the rental rates of similar properties. Based on this, they can set an accurate rate that attracts qualified prospects.
2. Maintain Good Curb Appeal
Remember that first impressions matter. If you want to get more listing activity for your property, you need to be cognizant of the factors that influence a potential renter’s first impression. Curb appeal is one of them.
A well-maintained property creates a positive impression and attracts more tenants. Address any necessary repairs and consider giving the property a fresh coat of paint. Likewise, keep the landscaping neat and make sure the exterior is inviting.
3. Take Professional Listing Photos
Most people are visually inclined. In other words, they’re going to form their opinion about whether or not they like a property by the photos they see. So, while a detailed listing description is important, it’s not nearly as impactful as good photos.
Whatever you do, don’t DIY your listing photos. It’s worth spending the money it takes to hire a professional photographer. Not only will their picture quality be better, but so will little factors like how they frame the shots to make the space look bigger, brighter, etc.
4. Screen Tenants for the Right Traits
When screening for tenants, it’s not enough to find someone who has a good credit score and a high enough income. You should also be on the lookout for traits that indicate stability.
If a renter has lived in five different properties over the past five years, there’s a pretty good chance that they aren’t going to stay for more than a year. But if you see a renter with a history of staying in the same place for a long time, that’s an indicator that they could be a good fit.
5. Communicate Quickly and Thoroughly
As a landlord, it’s tempting to think that you’re the one with all the leverage. After all, they need you – you don’t need them…right? Well, not so fast.
To understand the importance of quick communication, you have to view the search for a rental property through the lens of a renter. The average renter is casting a wide net when searching for a place to live. It’s not like they’re applying for one place at a time and then waiting to hear back from an individual landlord before moving on to the next property. Nope – they’re looking at five, 10, or even 15 different places at once. Often, the first landlord to send over a lease agreement is the one whose property they choose.
Now, can you understand why fast and thorough communication is so important? By prioritizing speed of communication, you’re much more likely to find potential renters before they move on to other options.
6. Offer Incentives
Consider offering incentives to attract tenants more quickly. These incentives could include a discount on the first month’s rent, covering certain utilities, or providing a furnished unit. Incentives can be especially effective during slow rental seasons.
Incentives don’t even have to cost that much. It could be something as simple as waiving a fee that you normally charge, which doesn’t actually cost you anything, to begin with.
Adding it All Up
One of the keys to keeping your rental properties profitable is to keep them occupied with tenants who pay on time, take care of your property, and are happy to stick around for the long term. Hopefully, this article has armed you with several tips and tactics you can use to fill your properties with good tenants and avoid long-vacant stretches. Good luck!