If your property is located near a military base, or you want to help those who’ve served our country, then you might benefit from marketing to military and veteran applicants. While there are plenty of methods to attract applicants, just like millennials, Active duty renters and veterans are both attracted to different things. In order to market these types of tenants, you’re going to have to keep in mind a few things.
Active Duty Renters & their Families
Active duty servicemen and women work for the military full-time, and typically live on or nearby a military base. Due to the fact that they’re active duty, they can be deployed at any time. While this fact doesn’t always affect the lease (depending on the amount of time deployed and whether or not the family decides to move as well), it is a factor that you should consider. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) allows deployed tenants and their dependents to terminate their lease or rental agreement without penalty. If your tenant is deployed or is relocated to a new base, then they must give you adequate written notice. Be sure to include a military clause in your lease if you intend to take on military tenants and their families. The United States Cost Guard provides this as an example.
Be aware that service members who decide to live off base might be getting a Base Allowance for Housing (BAH), which Today’s Military describes as “a monthly sum of money that takes into account the area’s cost of living as well as a service member’s pay grade and number of dependents.” While this won’t directly affect you if you rent to military tenants, your tenants will be depending on their BAH to pay the rent (and even the utilities).
The amount of BAH your tenant receives depends on their years of service, education level, rank, and number of tenants, but it can also depend on the rental market. If your current rent rate is high, then it’s unlikely you’re going to attract service members with an average BAH. That being said, if your rate is low, you might be missing an opportunity to make more per month. Before listing your vacancy or renewing a lease, be sure to monitor local rental rates that advertise to military members.
Now that you’re considering the possibilities with active duty tenants, it’s time to attract them to your vacancy. When it comes to marketing to active duty servicemen and women, there are 3 things you should always advertise.
Unlike most tenants, you know how far your property is from your military tenant’s work. Use this to your advantage by advertising the average commute time to the base.
Although not all service members have families, a lot of them do, and if you’re trying to rent out a 3-bedroom 2-bath home, then chances are you’ll attract more than a few. Emphasize on your online listings your property’s safety, proximity to schools, and local resources. Just like all parents, your active duty tenants want to make sure their children are living in a safe and clean area.
Making sure that your online listings state that your rental is military-friendly is vital, but providing a military discount can help make you stand out against the competition. Consider putting a $50 discount on first month’s rent or the security deposit to attract even more military applicants.
Veterans & their Families
Marketing your property to veterans is difficult, but not entirely impossible. Unlike active duty servicemen and women, they don’t need to live near a military base. The location of their current job varies person to person. That being said, just like active duty service members, veterans are looking for a safe place for their family that are close to the services they need.
If you’re considering renting to needy and homeless veterans and their families, the HUD- Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program is a good way to honor our veterans and get automatic rental payments. This program enables “eligible low-income Veterans to receive Section 8 rental voucher plus case management and supported services from the VA” and each veteran in the program is heavily screened. Although this is a good way to get a streamline of applicants, it’s not for everyone. Whether you decide to market toward veterans with or without HUD-VASH aid, you should advertise these 3 things in your listings:
1. Location to Veteran Services
It’s very likely that this group of tenants will utilize veteran services, so advertise if your property is close to veteran’s hospitals or clinics. Additionally, many universities and vocational schools have veterans programs. Look up your local schools and make sure to list if it’s nearby in your online listings.
Emphasize on your online listings your property’s safety, proximity to schools, and local resources. Just like all parents, your veteran tenants want to make sure their children are living in a safe and clean area.
Just like with active duty servicemen and women, you can attract more veterans by providing veteran discounts on rent or the deposit.
There are a lot of benefits to marketing towards current and former servicemen and women. With active duty tenants, you can easily tap into a local market that always needs more housing. Additionally, once you have one military tenant, it’s very easy to use word-of-mouth marketing to gain a greater amount of military applicants later on. On the other hand, with veterans you’ll be able to honor those who have served, and depending on if you join the HUD-VASH program, get guaranteed monthly income. Regardless of which group of tenants you choose to market your vacancy to, tenant screening is vital to making a decision and finding the right tenant for you.
Have you rented to active duty tenants or veterans? Do you currently market your rental property towards these two groups? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe!