Property vacancies are not good for landlords. No rental income means you pay the expenses and debt straight out of your own pocket. Vacancies can also put your property at risk.
Minimizing vacancies helps you take care of all the property expenses. This includes marketing, cleaning, repair, and maintenance. It’s a fool-proof way to increase profitability.
Beware of lowering your standards. You don’t want someone to move in because you want to cut costs. Inadequate tenant screening may quickly backfire. Accepting any type of renter could result in getting tenants that fail to pay the rent, and evictions can become costly.
In this post, you’ll learn about various approaches and strategies that aim to rent your unit quickly. We’ll also help you not to forget about the essential actions for security. It’s never worth skipping steps like meeting with tenants and screening their background.
Use digital advertising in a smart way
Digital marketing opportunities grow every year. Using smart online strategies to fill up vacant units is strongly recommended. Check out the following list of tips to help you along the way:
Try to reach enough people.
In a way, it’s a game of numbers. You want to reach as many people as possible to raise the chance of finding the right tenants.
Let’s say that your ads reach 200 people. Out of this pool, only twelve people take an interest, three actually contact you, and only one of them meets your criteria for a suitable tenant. However, that candidate found a more suitable rental and already signed the agreement. Reaching more people would be the only solution here.
Add attractive photos.
A key part of creating a compelling listing is to include high-quality photos depicting the best of your rental. The photo quality standards for rental units have climbed over the past years. Many smartphones come with great cameras. That makes it easier for regular landlords to take pro-looking pictures.
Take pictures of all the important spaces inside the unit, including the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. It’s recommended to add shots of the exterior. The surroundings are important for most renters.
You can also consider hiring a professional real estate photographer. No camera with great specs will replace years of experience in the industry.
If there’s anything the prospective tenants should know about your rental, tell them straight away. You should still keep the advertisements attractive, just in the absence of withholding important information, especially the negative kind.
For example, light sleepers appreciate getting information about a noisy railway just next to the building. Honest communication advances the vacancy filling instead of hindering it.
Keep good renters
One of the goals is not to have vacancies in the first place. While you can’t control everything, fostering a good relationship with your current tenant is a good start. Tenant retention ensures a steady rental income. Here are a few ways to boost this metric:
Provide a great living space.
Consider making some upgrades to your rental unit. Sometimes simple solutions may significantly raise your tenants’ quality of life. Ask about their lifestyle choices and preferences. If they aren’t anything too specific, making these enhancements will help you market the rental property to the next renters as well.
Offer a longer lease at a reduced rate.
This is a simple, yet effective way to boost tenant retention. Offer your tenants a chance to renew their lease at a reduced rate.
For example, provide savings on their one year lease when you originally talk about a renewal for only six months. The lower rental profits balance out by reducing the risk of vacancies.
Make sure the property is in top shape
Putting in a little effort can make a huge difference. Here are some of the practical steps you can take to fill the vacancies a little quicker:
- Adjust the thermostat to a comfortable ambient temperature
- Check all the corners for dust and tiny pieces of trash
- Clean the windows of any fingerprints and smudgy areas
- Vacuum all the crumbs and dirt in the drawers left behind by the former tenants
- Keep all the floors clean
- Make sure a lot of natural light reaches the rooms
- If you have a fireplace and it’s cold, light it up
Set the right price
Do the homework about current market conditions in the property’s area. Setting the right rent price is one way to ensure that your vacancies fill up fast. When your rent is too high, you’ll get fewer applicants and you’ll experience longer vacancies that make you lose money.
Screen prospective tenants
Screening is an important process. It’s completely tied to properly filling your vacancies. When you have tenants that are unable to pay the rent or abuse the rules, you’ll quickly find yourself facing the same question again. How do I fill the empty units?
- Ask about the reason why they are moving in the first place.
- Get to know about their financial situation. Aim to have tenants that make at least two times more money than the monthly rent.
- Ask for references from their former landlord or employer(s).
- Meet them in person. While a lot of communication has moved online, it’s essential to speak to your potential tenant’s face to face.