We all know a vacant property is an owner’s worst nightmare. When your property is vacant, you aren’t earning any rent, and your ROI is dwindling by the day. It’s important to limit your vacancy time as much as you can. There are things that can be done to get your property leased quickly and off the market. This will save you time, money, and stress.
Make Your Property Move-in Ready
One of the first things you can do to get your property leased quickly is to get your place move-in ready. This will have a huge impact on how quickly you’re able to rent your home to best tenants. As well-qualified renters are looking through listings and going to showings, they aren’t going to bother with a home that isn’t ready to be occupied immediately. Go through the property before you list it. Check all faucets, light switches, and toilets. Make sure everything works, and make sure the home looks inviting and rent-ready. You want your tenants to be able to imagine moving right in. This will help you rent your home quickly and save money on vacancy costs.
Be sure the home is clean and fresh inside. It should smell good, and there should be plenty of excellent lighting. All of the clutter should be picked up, and there shouldn’t be any personal items belonging to you or your former tenants taking up space in the property. Don’t let anything block doors and windows. The home should be inviting and embrace a feeling of peace and comfort. You will not be able to quickly rent a home that still needs work, looks dirty, or has clutter piled up in every corner.
Create Curb Appeal to Rent Your Home Quickly
First impressions are everything. When tenants come to see the home, they want to feel excited about it. If a home looks dilapidated or old and tired from the outside, prospective tenants won’t even bother going inside. This is why curb appeal is important. You’re competing with a lot of other rental properties, so make sure yours stands out.
Curb appeal that’s on point includes a lawn that’s green and freshly mowed. The landscaping should be clean, crisp, and pretty. While you want the outside of the home to look pretty, keep it simple. You don’t want to scare away potential tenants with landscaping that’s going to take a lot of work and time. They will likely be looking for low-maintenance living. Just make sure everything looks nice and clean. Power-wash the house and clean off the driveway. Make sure the exterior lighting is adequate, and clear off any cobwebs or dust from front doors, windows, and mailboxes.
Thoroughly Clean the Property
If your home is dirty or cluttered, you are not going to rent it to a good tenant quickly. It’s important to have your property professionally cleaned before tenants come to see it. A deep cleaning should be done before you list it on the market. Tenants may be willing to overlook a few imperfections, but they will not be anxious to move into a house that still has someone else’s dirt.
If you want to limit your vacancy time and rent your home out to good tenants, it’s important to have the home in its best possible condition. The faucets and hardware on sinks and cabinets should be sparkling. The oven should be clean and the ceiling fans should be dusted. The benefit of hiring a professional cleaning company is that they will pay attention to details that you might miss.
Price Your Property According to Market Rates
Pricing has a major impact on how quickly you will be able to rent your home. If you over-price the property, it’s going to be vacant for a lot longer. Tenants are well-educated, and they know how much they should be willing to pay for certain properties. Before listing your property, you need to check the market rent rate in your area. Compare your property to those around it that are comparable in size, amenities, and features.
Many landlords have an idea of what they think their property is worth. The condition, size, and location of the home will impact its rental price, but the market is ultimately what dictates how much you can charge. An overpriced property will never lease regardless of how great the amenities and upgrades are.
Conduct a comparative market analysis so you can have the necessary data to make a good decision when you’re pricing your rental property. Ask for some help from a professional property manager who knows the local market really well.
Accept Pets into Your Property
Everyone knows pets are family, and many tenants will make finding a pet-friendly property a priority during their search for a new home. If you look at statistics, you’ll know that more than half of the tenants looking for rental housing have pets. Many landlords hesitate before accepting pets. They worry that the animals will cause excessive damage to their property. This is a valid concern, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and your investment, including:
- Screen the pets as thoroughly as you screen your tenants. Ask for vet records and get a reference from a former landlord who rented to the tenant and his or her pet.
- Ask for a pet fee or a pet deposit. A deposit is refundable and a pet fee is not.
- Charge pet rent every month. This will increase your rental income and allow you to put some money aside in case there is damage to your home after the tenants and their pets move out.
- Prohibit certain breeds of dog, like Pit Bulls and Dobermans. These are on the aggressive dog breed list with many insurance companies, and you may lose your coverage. You can place other restrictions on pets. For example, you can say no to puppies and kittens and accept only mature animals that are house-trained.
When you have a comprehensive pet policy in place, you can rent to tenants and their pets without worrying that you’re putting your property at risk. Meet the pet and take a picture so that the animal is easy to identify.
Sometimes tenants will lie to you about having pets, and then bring those pets into the property with them. You want to avoid this, so be open with your pet policy. Tell tenants you will allow pets as long as the rules are followed, and make sure your pet policy is included in your lease.
You’ll place a tenant much faster if you allow pets.
Market Your Property Aggressively
Planning a strategic marketing campaign will get your property rented quicker and reduce your vacancy costs. You need to do more than simply place a sign in the yard. Online advertising is your best shot at renting out the property quickly, and it’s going to require more than a simple ad on Craigslist. Take the time to write a descriptive and accurate ad, and take a lot of high quality photos. Consider including a video tour with your ad so tenants can imagine themselves there.
It’s important to be sure your property is being seen. Get it out there and build some exposure. Social media and online websites are the easiest places to display pictures and videos of your home for others to see. The more it is out there, the more viewers and potential renters you will find contacting you.
Conduct Frequent Inspections
Make sure to visit the property often during the time it is vacant. This allows you to freshen it up, tend to any needed items and make sure it is move-in ready at all times. You never know when you will get a hit or someone wanting to see it. You should always be ready and have the property at its best at all times. This also gives you the opportunity to make sure everything is working and maintained. When a property is vacant, it’s hard to notice small leaks or other repair issues. Keep an eye on it until you have a tenant in place.
Respond Quickly to Inquiries
If a prospective tenant emails or calls you regarding your property, that is a sign they are interested. Do not let that interest die down. You must respond quickly and be available for showings at all times. Make it easy for them. Work with their schedule. This is essential in a crowded market, where good tenants have a lot of options. If you ignore their emails or take too long to call them back, they will simply move onto the next property.
Finally, pay attention to limiting turnover. If you have a good tenant in place, do everything you can to keep that tenant there.
Filling your vacancy quickly is something a good Orlando property management company can help you with. If you have any questions about how to limit your vacancy time and cost, please contact us at Specialized Property Management. We’d be happy to tell you more about how we can help.