As a homeowner or investor, your rental property vacancy rate directly impacts your ROI. These 9 tips can help you reduce property vacancy, thus increasing your return.
Your rental property vacancy rate is something you need to keep an eye on if you want to have a healthy ROI. After all, vacancies mean no rent collection, which, in turn, means a reduced profit. The more this happens, the harder it can impact your business.
As a landlord, you know that you either need to find new tenants as soon as possible or keep the ones you have. Let’s take a look at 9 ways to make this happen and reduce your rental property vacancy rate.
1. Understand Your Market
Having a good idea of your market is essential. As renters begin searching for new homes, they are becoming well-versed in the rental rates in the area. You should be, too. Your property should be listed at a comparable rate as others in the area. If it is priced too high, it will turn potential tenants away. If it is priced too low, it will make people wonder what is wrong with the place – so don’t appear desperate.
2. Market Your Property Properly
As you market your property, you want to do so in a way that gets it in front of the right people. Get your property seen – and then spark interest by showing how valuable the property is. Focus on the features, the amenities, the surrounding community, and more.
3. Have a Thorough Tenant Screening Process
Good, high-quality tenants are gems. They pay rent on time, treat the rental property with care, and usually choose to renew their lease. These individuals don’t seem to be very transient. Investing in a thorough tenant screening process means you have a better chance of getting these great tenants.
Not only do quality tenants reduce your risk of missed rental payments, but they also reduce your risk of having to find new tenants after the lease is up.
Your tenant screening process needs to look intricately at important things like:
- Employment history
- Rental history
- Criminal records
It’s important to know what to look for in your tenant screening report. Perfect your tenant screening process, and you will find high-quality tenants which, in turn, will reduce your property vacancy rate.
4. Make Repairs Promptly
If you want good tenants, then your tenants need a good landlord. When something breaks or an issue arises, your tenants need to feel like they can count on you to promptly make repairs. They need to feel confident that if the refrigerator stops cooling the day before Thanksgiving, that they can call you, and you will take care of it.
Not many tenants have that confidence in their landlord. When they find it, they want to keep it.
5. Offer Incentives or Move-In Bonus
Sometimes offering a little can be the difference between a vacancy and no vacancy. For instance, if you have prospective tenants who are torn between your property and one on the next block, offering a move-in bonus or another incentive could be all that is needed to help them make their decision.
If you make them feel like they are getting a deal, they may be more likely to sign the lease.
Just for the record, we are not talking about giving up huge amounts of money here. You can offer 10% off the first month’s rent, a free tv after lease signing, or even a gift card to a local dining favorite. It is all about making them feel good.
6. Suggest an Extended Lease Term
The standard lease is for one year, but it is not unheard of for tenants to sign a two-year lease or one even longer. There are both pros and cons with this type of offer – and all should be weighed and considered, such as:
- An extended lease avoids the possibility of a higher vacancy rate for a while.
- You may find that the new tenants with the three-year lease are not the most ideal after all.
Why would this work?
To make this an easier decision, consider offering an extended lease to a tenant you already have. If you have a quality tenant whose lease is almost up and they want to renew, why not offer an extended lease? You know how they are as a tenant, and it would keep you from having to worry about your vacancy rate for a couple of years.
7. Develop a Healthy Rapport With Your Tenants
You don’t need to go and have coffee with your tenants every Saturday but keeping the lines of communication open is a good thing. When you develop a healthy relationship with your tenants, you make it comfortable for them to contact you when there is a need or issue with the property or have a personal struggle that affects their ability to pay rent.
If you make reaching out to you a welcoming experience rather than a dreaded one, you may keep your tenants longer.
8. Begin Marketing Before the Vacancy Happens
You don’t want your property to stay vacant too long. When a tenant gives notice that they won’t be renewing their lease, it is time to start marketing your property. You may have to get creative to show the place, and you will need to allow time in between to get it move-in ready, but this may save you from having to wait another 30 days or more to rent out the unit.
9. Hire a Property Manager
Finally, hiring a property manager is one of the best ways to reduce your rental property vacancy rate. See, property management companies have everything organized and streamlined, so there is minimal downtime between tenants. Perhaps the best part is that you do not have to worry about doing any of it because it will all be handled for you.
At Real Property Management Evolve, our team of professionals work to keep your rental homes filled with high-quality tenants at every step of the way. From top-notch tenant screening to fast repair response times and tried-and-true marketing practices, we take all the steps necessary to ensure that you reduce your rental property vacancy rate and increase your profits.