Imagine this scenario: your previous tenants have moved out and you’re ready to promote your new vacancy, but you look at the rental market and discover it’s slow. What do you do? While a slow rental market can be difficult to navigate, with this list of property advice, you’ll successfully and profitably survive another rental market slowdown.
- Sell the Benefits of your Rental Property
First and foremost, think about what your rental property has that your competition doesn’t. Are you in a good area or are within a good school district? Are your appliances updated and energy efficient? Promote the things that set you apart from the rest, and convince your applicants that they’re getting a bang for their buck. Here’s a list of potential benefits to get you started:
- Your location
- The local school districts
- Features like a pool, garage, or large backyard
- Energy efficient appliances
- What utilities you’re willing to cover
- Convenient online rental payments
- If you’re pet friendly and for which types of animals
- Extra storage options
- Audit your Vacancy Listing Process
By now you know what rental listing websites give you the highest quality and quantity rental applications, but during the slow down you might be getting fewer renters applying than you want. Take a minute to audit the information you’re providing on your vacancy listings. Beyond the basics (listing the rent, deposit, and fees), you should be adding quality rental photos, your pet policy, and some key listing details that’ll reel in the type of applicants that you want to rent to. Once that’s all squared away, try testing with posting on additional rental listing websites and at a more frequent rate. You never know if you might have missed a listing website gem.
- Incentivize when able
Using incentives to drive rental applications during a rental market slowdown can be tricky. You want an incentive that is worthwhile to your applicants, but you also want to stay within your budget. Incentives used by other landlords are discounted first month’s rent, providing a free TV at move in, or giving away a $25 gift card. If you aren’t comfortable with offering an incentive, don’t force yourself. While incentives are used to lure potential applicants into a house tour by giving them a sense that they’re getting a deal, you shouldn’t compromise the incentive amount that you’re comfortable with simply because your competition is offering larger, grander prizes. Ultimately, an incentive isn’t going to get applicants to sign the dotted line – your property is.
- Wait it Out
If you’re on the cusp of a better rental market, you might just want to wait until the next month to promote your rental vacancy. While this will set you back by one month’s rent, you might get higher quality and quantity rental applications. If you’re unable to wait it out, consider offering a 13 month lease (rather than the traditional 6 or 12 month leases) to ensure you’re not stuck in another rental market slowdown a year from now. Regardless, avoid lowering your rental standards at all costs. Accepting an applicant that does not fully meet your written rental requirements can turn into a catastrophe in the long run.
While a rental market slowdown is tough to navigate through, by pushing farther than before to promote your property, you can obtain the tenants you want. With a little time and effort, you’ll survive the rental market conditions you’re in.
What advice would you give for marketing properties during a slow rental market? Share your advice with us in the comment section below & don’t forget to subscribe!