Our Keyrenter Leasing Team has put together some of our best tried-and-true tips to avoid unwanted vacancy, especially during the off-season, for you to implement into your own rental and save you money:
1) Complete all cleaning and repairs before marketing the property
Rental homeowners should make sure to complete cleaning and repairs on their property prior to marketing because it can help increase the appeal and value of the property to potential renters, making it more likely to rent quickly and for a higher price. Additionally, showing the property in a clean and well-maintained state can give the impression that the homeowner is responsible and attentive, which can increase the trust and confidence of potential renters in the property and the landlord.
2) Invest in Professional Photos and/or virtual tours of the property
In today’s market, more and more tenants are shopping with their eyes or signing leases “sight-unseen”, meaning without even visiting the property first. To that end, it’s extremely beneficial to make an incredibly strong and professional first impression of your property to make it stand out from the rest of the options on the market. Professional photos and virtual tours can showcase the property in the best light possible, highlighting its best features and making it more attractive to potential renters. They can also give renters a better sense of the property layout and flow, which can be difficult to get from simple text descriptions or poor-quality photos.
Additionally, professional photos and virtual tours can help rental homeowners stand out from their competition, as many other properties may only have basic or poor-quality photos. High-quality images and virtual tours can make the property stand out and make it more memorable to potential renters, increasing the likelihood that they will choose to rent the property.
Moreover, in the current market, where the internet and technology have become vital tools for both landlords and renters, professional photos and virtual tours can be easily shared online and across multiple platforms, reaching a wider audience. This can help rental homeowners to attract renters from a larger geographical area, and increase the chances of renting the property faster.
3) Consider allowing pets!
Rental property owners should consider allowing pets in their rental because it can increase the pool of potential renters. It has been estimated that about 70% of renters have pets and may be more likely to choose a property that allows them to bring their furry companions with them. Additionally, allowing pets in the rental can result in longer-term renters, as tenants may be more likely to stay in a property that allows them to keep their pets.
However, it’s important to note that allowing pets in a rental property can also come with additional responsibilities, such as potential damage to the property or additional cleaning and maintenance. As a property owner, it would be a good idea to establish clear policies and guidelines for pet-owning tenants and possibly charge an additional deposit and monthly fee.
4) Determine realistic rent expectations
The amount in rent you might be able to get in rent for a unit in the summer months is certainly not the same as what you might be able to get during the off-season. Make sure that you are aware of the fluctuations that occur in the market value so that you are as realistic as possible when it comes to determining a going rate for your unit. During the off-season, many landlords lower their rental prices to attract renters. However, if you price your property too low, you may not be able to cover your expenses. On the other hand, if you price your property too high, you may not attract any renters. Make sure to do your research and find out what similar properties in your area are renting for during the off-season.
5) Consider a shorter or longer lease term
If you are experiencing vacancy during the slower months, like December or January, it would be in your best interest to avoid signing a 12-month lease with your future tenants. If you do, you may find yourself in the same situation all over again when the new tenants move out the following winter. Instead, consider offering them a 6-9 month lease, or even a 14-16 month lease term, which will move the property back into peak rental season when it’s time to put it back on the market
Be flexible with move-in dates:
Many renters looking for a new place to live during the off-season may not be able to move in immediately. Be flexible with move-in dates and allow renters to move in at a later date, if possible. This can make your property more appealing to renters who are looking for a place to live in the future.
Another way to attract renters during the off-season is to offer incentives. For example, you could offer a free month’s rent, waived application fees, or even a gift card for the local grocery store.
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