A landlord is first and foremost a business owner, and once units are rented, a nice stream of income can flow in. Because of this, tenant vacancies are one of the main impediments landlords strive to avoid.
That said, renting to “just anybody” to fill the void isn’t a good option either; doing so could open the door to a host of problems that result in lost income, lost time and a lot of unwanted stress.
Here are 6 ways to fill tenant vacancies by maximizing the odds of attracting and keeping high quality tenants:
1. Create Professional Stock Photographs
Photos of a property are often what draws people to inquire about it, so landlords should take steps to ensure they have a batch of high-quality photographs for each property. Photos should show the unit clean, empty, well-lit and at the best possible angles so that renters can envision themselves living there. Once these photos are taken, they can be easily reused any time the unit is vacated.
2. Use Well-Written Descriptions
Words matter, and how a rental unit is described can also contribute to drawing in high-quality renters. Time should be taken to craft an informative and appealing description that, along with the photos, allows the reader to envision themselves enjoying life in the unit. A descriptive paragraph followed by an easy-to-read bulleted list of the property (and neighborhood) features can be extremely effective.
3. Add an Incentive
If the rental market is at a competitive time, then tenant vacancies are going to be more difficult to fill. Offering a financial incentive can be very attractive to potential renters. Offers like “$100 off first month’s rent” or “free high-speed internet” in the headline will almost always get attention.
4. Spread the Word
There are a number of free ways to list a property, and a successful landlord will take advantage of them. Internet sources like CraigsList.com and Zillow.com as well as social media venues like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can all help with marketing your tenant vacancies. Local newspapers, real estate offices, rental agencies and management companies will promote rentals for a fee.
5. Start Marketing Immediately
Ideally, tenants will give a 60 or 30-day notice before vacating. Using this window of time to the fullest maximizes the odds that a quality renter will be lined up to move in right away, avoiding the need for a tenant vacancy. Current tenants should be advised ahead of time that the property will be shown to prospective new tenants during this period. Written notice may be required; landlords should check their state’s laws on this matter before showing the property.
6. Use Tenant Screening
Lastly, landlords should screen interested applicants using a professional tenant screening service. This is one of the best ways to help ensure that a quality, trustworthy renter is ultimately chosen.
Renting property is a business, and tenant vacancies put a damper on cash flow. Landlords can use these six effective strategies to connect with quality tenants that pay rent reliably and treat their property with respect.