Ideally, we want a low vacancy rate or none at all because we don’t enjoy the idea of losing money. Being put into financial risk is definitely a fear of many investors. The one thing about the rental market is that it has its highs and lows. There are ways to be prepared for this and ways to recover.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to rental properties in a high vacancy phase:
1. Ramp Up the Marketing
Increase exposure of your properties. Focus on what property isn’t doing well, and increase the advertising for that property as much as possible. Prepare an advertising strategy because it will attract higher quality tenants in a shorter amount of time. Have high-quality photos that are detailed, not blurry and shows the property in the best light possible. If you are looking for tips and advantages of utilizing professional photos for your listings, we have a blog post on the importance of it! It’s important to be realistic and not try to trick potential tenants. Breaking trust can ruin credibility as well as your chances of getting the property rented out. Also, get the property listing on as many social media platforms and websites as possible. One important thing to note is that marketing a property should not be a one and done situation. Content gets buried on the internet often because new content is constantly being created and pushed. That’s just a general rule for any marketing in any industry. Constantly re-promoting something and even finding different ways to promote the same thing creates constant exposure.
2. Keep an Open Mind
This means listening to feedback to try to improve. You will never improve unless you know what to improve. Who better to listen and learn from than the people you are providing your services to? Of course, sometimes, it’s better not to listen. However, you might find a lot of helpful feedback that will allow you to find ways to grow. Also, changing your mindset or your approach can help highly. If your vacancy rate is low, there might be things you’re not doing or even doing wrong. When working with rentals and owners, it’s easy to get into this systematic, one-sided mindset of “finding a tenant for the landlord.” Thinking more specifically or catering to your tenants is a new approach, so thinking in terms of, “finding a new home for a tenant.”
3. Stay Flexible
Especially in a time where the rental market might be struggling, being flexible with your potential tenants is a plus. Work with the tenants, and cater to them if possible. If they would like to view a property at a time that is after hours, it might be worth it to take the extra step to compromise. Of course, this is a tip that is flexible in itself. It’s all personal preference. More opportunities occur when you’re not limiting yourself. This is just a general rule of thumb for life. Another factor is not rushing your tenant. Yes, there is a demand to get a tenant into the vacant property as soon as possible. Rushing them is going to scare them away or make them not want to go through with the process. If it’s necessary to rush them, don’t push too far. Recognize the line to not cross. This plays back into inviting clients to view or to talk to them at times that they are available.
4. Keep Owners Informed
The owners are depending on you to get their property rented out. Let them know of what decisions they need to make to increase the chances of getting the property off the market. Whether it’s price adjustments, renovations or maintenance, it is always helpful to make sure they know what the best options are. Sometimes, upgrading an appliance or a feature of the home can increase the curb appeal which will attract tenants.
5. Be Prepared Prior And Never Skip Screening
Maybe try qualifying your potential tenants before showings. If they do not qualify, do not waste time showing them the property. This might seems like a backward mindset, but wasting time on unqualified tenants actually might end up costing you more time and money. Never skip screening a tenant. This helps you find an ideal tenant who might occupy the property longer. It will also avoid costly evictions in the future. In addition, make every applicant a priority. Being quick with responses can yield faster rental. Plus, this builds your credibility and increases referrals.
6. Offer Incentives/Gifts
One way to market your property and increase interest is to offer an incentive such as a free television or free rent if a tenant moves in by a certain date. This, overall, will cost less than having no tenants for a much longer period of time. It’s a smart marketing tactic. Everyone loves a good freebie or a great deal. While offering incentives to attract tenants, it’s also important to recognize the tenants that are loyal and have stayed over and over again. Giving them small gifts or some perks will possibly make them feel satisfied and want to renew their lease. Also, you can give gift vouchers or gift baskets to tenants upon signing. It makes them feel welcome.
7. Don’t Get Desperate
It’s easy to feel defeated when a property has been sitting on the market for months. Negotiate well, but do not give into the fastest or the first offer that comes in your direction. Know when to compromise and how much to compromise before you just lose profit. Make sure your decisions are worth it for you and for your owners.
Remember to keep your spirits up and provide great customer service because it builds your reputation. It’s about the connections and referrals that will help your properties get rented efficiently and fast! In a perfect world, a 100% vacancy rate would be wonderful. That’s not always realistic. It’s critical to know the market and adjust according to the market. Remember that the extent and quality of your marketing can make or break your rental chances.
Resources: Mashvisor, TransUnion