But what if you own a rental property that is not attracting enough tenants, and therefore not earning you enough profits?
There are a few methods that any landlord can use in order to improve the performance of his/her rental property and increase its occupancy rate to the desired level.
Tip #1: Focus on Advertising and Marketing
One of the most important factors that determine your occupancy rate, or that can be used to heal your occupancy rate and get it back up to an acceptable level, is the factor of advertising your rental property.
Advertising a rental property might not seem like a task that requires a lot of considerations. I mean, everyone is looking for a place to live, and if you’re offering a property at an average or below average rent price, then someone will definitely want to rent it, right?
Advertising and marketing is a form of art, and there are many things to be taken into consideration when trying to advertise a rental property in order to achieve a higher occupancy rate.
One of the main aspects related to your rental property, and one of the most important aspects of real estate in general, is the property’s location. When advertising your rental property, you’re not only trying to advertise the property itself, but you’re also trying to advertise its location. Focus on the main attractions in the area, especially the ones within a walking distance from your rental property.
Even a property in a really bad condition can achieve a very high occupancy rate if it has a good location and if that location is highlighted in the property’s advertising efforts.
Listing the Property
In addition to the location of the rental property, you will also want to focus on the location of your ads. By location of your ads, we do not mean the location of the “For Rent” signs, although those also matter but are less relevant. You need to choose your medium carefully when trying to list your property for rent. While there are many websites that offer their listing services for free, most websites perform much better in certain areas than in others, and you might not want to waste time, effort, and possibly money on listing your property on a website that no one uses in your area.
Research the websites and the mediums that you’re using and make sure that they will give you the coverage that you need in order to get your occupancy rate off the ground.
Targeting the Right Tenants
If you own a luxury home that you’re trying to rent out to college students, then it’s no wonder your occupancy rate is below 5%. While college students might find luxury homes to be very appealing and would love to live in one, in reality, college students can’t afford a luxury home. It’s that simple. If you’re buying a property to rent out in a college town, then you’re probably better off purchasing an apartment or a studio to rent out.
Knowing what type of tenants are more likely to rent your place should be at the core of your advertising efforts. Try to target these tenants with ads that will appeal to them and their lifestyle, and within a short amount of time, you will start noticing a difference in your occupancy rate.
Tip #2: Make Your Rental Property Feel Like Home
While advertising your rental property might bring you a lot of coverage and interested tenants, most people will want to see the inside of a property before they move in and start paying rent.
In order for you to convince the prospective tenants that they’ve found what they’re looking for, and for you to see the numbers of your occupancy rate rising, you need to prepare your property to be viewed by the tenants.
While cleaning the property and tidying it is generally a good idea, it might not be enough to make your rental property stand out and feel unique when compared to other properties in the neighborhood, especially if you’re planning on maximizing the rental price that you’re going to charge on the property.
One of the main methods that will play a role in convincing your tenants that this is the property that they want to live in is to design the interior of your property appropriately based on the season. If it’s winter time, for example, then you will need to make your property look warm and cozy, with dark colors and less empty spaces. Each season has its optimal design for increasing the occupancy rate, and you should learn more about them in order to make your tenants feel at home.
Tip #3: Stay Engaged
Of course, no matter how well you advertise your rental property, and how well you manage to convince the tenants to rent it, your occupancy rate will remain low in the long run if you’re not investing enough time in managing the rental property and tending to your tenants.
An unhappy tenant will often leave negative reviews on your property, and this can be the biggest factor affecting your occupancy rate. Alternatively, keeping your tenants happy will result in them leaving positive reviews on your rental property, leading other prospective tenants to become more interested, which will lead to a higher occupancy rate, and possibly even allowing you to ask for higher rents without affecting the occupancy rate.
In order to keep your tenants happy, you need to provide them with all the necessary services, tend to them, and keep the property in a good condition to be lived in.
If you don’t have the time to run and manage your own rental property, then you should at least allocate a portion of the property’s rental income towards professional property management services that will keep your property maintained, tend to your tenants, and even manage several other aspects of your rental property.
Incentives and Gifts
Another way to keep your tenants happy and your occupancy rate high is to make the people who stay at your property feel special. By leaving gifts, like baskets of chocolate, or perhaps a few bottles of good wine whenever the property goes through a key turnover, you will make sure that your tenants have a good impression from their first day in your rental property.
It is very well-known that first impressions matter. And your tenants might even be inclined to go ahead and leave a positive review from the first moment they walk through the door only to find a few gifts waiting for them. This will lead to positive word of mouth, which is another huge factor that heavily affects your occupancy rate.
There are several factors that can make or break a rental property. In order to maintain a healthy occupancy rate on your rental property and keep the cash flow coming, then you will need to get involved in the processes of advertising, decorating, and managing the property in order to obtain people’s interest and keep your tenants happy.