7 Tips to Avoid a High Rental Vacancy Rate

Rental vacancy is a real headache for any real estate investor. Ideally, you will want 100% occupancy rate for your rental property. Realistically, that will not always be the case. Most real estate investments cannot afford the costs of rental vacancies. Whether you are paying your mortgage or simply need a monthly rental income, a high rental vacancy rate will put you at financial risk.

If you have high rental vacancy rates, or if you want to avoid rental vacancy, read the following 7 tips.

Related: 5 Risks That Come With a Rental Property and How to Mitigate Them

Tip #1: Know The Market

If you have not already, research the market. You should be able to find out what the range rent is. Ask around. What are other landlords charging?

Do not rent above market price, tenants will know if you are overpricing your property. At the same time, do not underprice, otherwise possible tenants might start wondering why your property is cheap. Make sure it is priced just within the market range.

Researching the market also includes pursuing possible tenants, preferably long term ones. Keeping your rental vacancy rates low means you should always be on the lookout for possible tenants. Stay well connected in your local real estate market. Be the first option someone considers when they are looking to rent a property.

Related: How Much Can I Rent My House For?

Tip #2: Advertise, Market, Promote, And Sell

Promote your property by highlighting its special features. What is the location like? Are there any nearby shops, restaurants, decent schools? Differentiation is key; how do you set yourself from other properties in the neighborhood? Why you?

When it comes to marketing your property, you can go traditional or use modern day approaches. Today, marketing a property traditionally is still widely used. Techniques such as putting a sign up in your yard or window may attract local passersby. More traditional techniques such as word of mouth are highly effective. You may use referrals from tenants, friends, family, other landlords, and fellow investors. If you have a vacancy, make sure all of your social and business circles know about it. Even if they themselves are not looking to rent a property, they may refer you to someone they know.

Today, many landlords are going online. List your property on Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia, and Hotpads. Use social media; things as simple as posting a status update on Facebook or sending out a Tweet can open up an opportunity for you.

You may also want to consider scheduling an open house event. Make it easy for possible tenants to access your property and see it for themselves.

Tip #3: Be Alert

As soon as your current tenant gives you notice that they are moving out, start looking for new tenants right away. Start advertising your property immediately and show it to possible tenants. Remember that you have the right to show the property to possible tenants as long as you give notice. If you have successfully marketed the property, you should start receiving calls and emails. Answer those promptly and communicate well. If you do not, another landlords may, and you may lose out on an opportunity.

Tip #4: Keep Your Property Clean And Homey

It is a no brainer that tenants expect a decent property to live in. Make sure that your property is clean to give a good impression. Additionally, make sure the property is ready to accommodate new tenants by promptly running needed repairs and renovations. If you are showing the property to possible new tenants, and you already have someone occupying the property, kindly ask your current tenants to make it look nice for the show.

Curb appeal is also very important. Your exterior should be an extension to what is on the inside. After all, it is what possible tenants see first. Make sure to keep it attractive and well-kept. If you have a front yard, make sure it looks neat and lovely. If you are renting out a property in a building complex, check that the entrance is clean and welcoming. Keeping your exterior appealing will market the property for you!

Related: 6 Rental Renovation Tips to Know Before Spending Any Money

Tip #5: Offer Incentives And Rewards

Offering incentives and rewards will help keep your tenants for longer periods of time. Try to avoid raising the rent unless you need to and think about offering paid utilities. Small numbers may make big differences for tenants. The more you offer, the less likely they are to look for better deals and move out, the more likely you will keep your rental vacancy rates low.

You may consider rewards such as reduction in a month’s rent if they sign a long term lease. This will help you retain your tenants and keep them happy. If your current tenant is moving out, you could offer them a hundred or a few hundred dollars reward if they refer you to other tenants.

Tip #6: Be Nice

This is the simplest tip on the list yet one of the most effective. Get to know your tenants and show them you care. Be timely with appointments, running repairs, and providing help in general. Do not be the landlord who always happens to be there. Make sure to give the tenant some space.

Take note that you do not need to be the tenant’s friend, but you do need to be friendly. The more pleasant and accommodating you are, the less likely you will dispute with the tenants, and the more likely your tenants are to stick around.

Simply being nice will give tenants one less reason to consider moving out.

Tip #7: Consider Listing Your Property With A Realtor/Broker

If you are feeling lazy, register your property with a realtor and have them do most of the work. While expensive, this method could get you the right exposure and save you the hassle of doing everything yourself. It has proved to be a successful way to keep your rental vacancy rates low. Is it worth it? That is up for you to decide!

If you’d like to learn more about real estate vacancy rates, read this article by FitSmallBusiness!

Keeping Your Airbnb Rental Property Vacancy Rates Low

Many of the tips mentioned above apply to Airbnb rentals, but keeping an Airbnb rental vacancy rates low can be a bit tricky. Airbnb occupancy rates tend to fluctuate depending on the season. Since the service depends mainly on tourist customers, if it is not a high tourist season, you may have high rental vacancy rates even if you follow our suggested tips.

However and in general, if your city is attractive, if your property is central to tourist attractions, if you keep it clean and renovated, and if you have good Airbnb reviews, you should be able to maintain low rental vacancy rates.

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