Effective Strategies For Dealing With Rental Vacancies

May 30, 2013

Rental vacancies are a burden for landlords – an empty residential space, with no immediate occupants means having to finance its maintenance without receipts. Yet marketing vacant rental units to attract new prospects is not as easy as it looks. Most traditional marketing channels have been proven to work but their effectiveness can be disputed. After all, property managers are not just looking for people to fill in vacant units; they are also seeking reliable and solvent tenants because no tenant is worse than a bad one.

There could be numerous reasons for units to remain vacant, sometimes even for an extended period. When there’s an excess of rental units available in a particular area, it becomes much harder for landlords to compete. In times of high vacancy rates, it is imperative to be more creative and deviate from conventional strategies.

Strategy #1: Online Property Ads

Nowadays, traditional paper-based ads are going obsolete, giving way to the much more prominent online marketing. Throughout the web, there’s a whole range of websites that are targeted at specific audiences of potential tenants.

Online ads are incredibly helpful to the overall rental process – if a prospective tenant sees a vacancy that interests them, they can contact you immediately, enabling you to respond quickly and start the application process before the tenant physically views the unit.

Strategy #2: Improving Rental Units

Nothing deters a potential tenant more than an outdated interior – old kitchens and bathrooms, in particular, can outweigh all other positive attributes of a unit. Make sure that the kitchen has new cabinets and up-to-date utilities such as a stove, fridge and a dishwasher. The shower, sink and tub in the bathroom should all look presentable. Other heavy-duty repairs that will improve your chances of finding tenants include giving the walls a fresh look and feel – a quick repaint and maybe some smaller improvements such as setting up a wireless router are a definite advantage.

Strategy #3: Resident Referrals

Look into the database of your current residents and offer them a referral fee for having a friend, co-worker or acquaintance move in. The referral fee could be offered as a discount for one month’s rent or as a gift card. Whatever incentive you pick, this strategy will lead to a quality leasing promotion and you will attract other qualified prospects from your own client base.

Strategy #4: Leasing Specials

Offering your prospective residents a special leasing offer will guarantee interest in your rental vacancies. You can either choose to offer them a free month’s rent with a year lease, or the option to split the security deposit in two installments. Both options will be very appealing to any potential tenant due to the high costs of moving. Having to pay relocation costs and transportation is a enough of a financial burden, especially considering that most people don’t get their security deposits for days or even weeks after they move out. Such special leasing offers will give prospects a solid reason to sign and move in.

Strategy #5: Allow Pets

One of the major selling points in luring tenants to rent your vacant units is to allow pets. This significantly increases your chances of attracting prospective clients. And the larger the pool of interested people, the more likely you will be to find suitable tenants.

Good tenants are hard to find and when you’re stuck in a rental market with high vacancy rates, finding and holding on to such prospects is even harder. In such a case, it is crucial to consider more unconventional ways to ensure they choose your residential units.

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