A big expense for all landlords out there is vacant properties. Lost rent, maintenance and repair fees, cleaning costs, and advertising can all add up the longer the unit sits on the market. This lost expense can really take a toll on your company, so finding ways to better reduce your vacancy rate can be key in your success of bringing in more profit. There are many actions that can lead to high vacancy rates, but there are also specific steps you can take to reduce the vacancy rate of your rental properties. Here are 8 ways to do so:
1. Keep it clean
A clean looking house is where people want to live. If the common areas of your rental property are filthy or unkempt, it will give people a bad impression of your property. Having a clean house for people to rent will create a draw for nicer tenants because nice tenants want to rent nice places. To keep the property looking nice, adding a fresh bag of bark mulch or adding a fresh coat of paint will do the job.
2. Know the Market and Find the Right Area
Knowing the market might just be the most important factor in reducing your vacancy rate during trying times. Most tenants know what a fair rent payment would look like so it’s important to make sure you aren’t priced too high. The truth is, the quickest way to fill your property is to simply reduce your rate, however, you also don’t want to be too cheap. If your property is a nicer property, try charging on the higher end of the spectrum and visa versa. Vacancy rates are definitely on the higher end of the spectrum in Tennessee but there are still things you can do to benefit your vacancy rate. Knowing the market and how to work with it can help you get ahead of the pack. It is also important to find the right areas to rent homes in. Some areas have greater draw than others and will allow for easier rent cycles. On the other hand, not all areas are like this and will need to have more work done to rent the property if you happen to have a property in an area like this.
3. Act Immediately
The day your tenants vacate is the very same day your handyman/contractors should be visiting the property to assess any possible repairs that may need to be done and taking action on them. You should also act quickly to begin advertising and doing everything you can to get your property seen and rented. Every day that passes while your contractor “gets around to it” will cost you money; the clock is ticking and bills will continue to pile up as your property sits vacant.
4. Price Right
Pricing your rental property the right price is key to reducing your vacancy rate. If you’re asking for rent that is too high, you’ll soon find you don’t have many applicants, leading to longer vacancies and more money out the door. To find the right price range you should be charging, look at comparable properties to help give you an idea of what a fair price would look like. “Guesstimating” a price to charge is not advised. It’s important to know exactly how to price your investment so you can maximize both your return on investment and maintain a competitive price.
5. Screen for Long-Term Lease Agreements
Long term rentals will be, in-turn, vacant less often as their turnover rate is inherently lower. Additionally, the longer tenants stay at a property, the deeper their roots grow and the more they will want to make their stay more permanent. You can provide incentives to tenants to get them to sign for a longer lease such as: offering a reduced rate for a two-year rental or lowered utility bills. Whatever you are willing to give works. Maintaining filled rental properties should always be the goal. Afterall, filled units provide the greatest return on investment.
6. Make Timely Repairs
Making timely repairs for tenants helps them to see you as a proactive, on top of it, company. It will also create a higher customer satisfaction rate which can influence current and future tenants. Making timely repairs means you take action right after something goes wrong at the rental property. Depending on what the issue is, can depend on how long it should take to be resolved.
7. Create Scarcity
When you go to advertise a unit for rent, let the tenants know the unit isn’t going to sit empty for long. This lets the tenant know that they might miss out if they don’t act fast. Fear of loss is a major source of motivation for people to take action.
8. Get to Know Your Tenants
Getting to know and becoming friends with your tenants might just be the best way to keep your tenants longer and create a more positive vibe for your company. For tenants, it is harder to leave a friend’s house than it is to leave a rental ran by someone you don’t know or don’t like. Take the time to learn more about your tenants and do your best to make them feel at home. This will make it harder for them to want to leave and will help the overall success of your business. After all, relationships are key to any successful business. It’s all about the people you know and the way others see you. So be positive and inviting!
For more ways to reduce the vacancy rates of your rental properties, contact Keyrenter Chattanooga and we can give you further recommendations!