A vacancy is the biggest problem that any landlord can face. A rental property costs you money (utilities, property tax, subscriptions, etc.) even when it’s not generating profit. So, your main objective is tomake your property so appealing that it attracts renters even in the toughest rental market conditions. Here are several tips on how you can do this.
1. Do some research
You need to start by checking out other rental offers. There are a lot of sites where landlords are advertising their houses and apartments for renters and here, you can check out some prices. One handy trick that you could try out is to roleplay a tenant. Call your competitor and ask about the place they’re renting. You could even go there in person to check out the place. Inquire about a thing or two (that you’re offering or not offering) and make sure that you make some comparisons.
Your ability to adjust to the market conditions is also something that makes all the difference in the world. For starters, you need to understand that rent costs change from time to time. This means that you’ll have to make some adjustments. Just because your previous tenant paid certain rent, this doesn’t mean that the next person will do so, as well.
To make the long story short, this is a game of costs and numbers. While the subjective impression of your apartment’s worth isn’t insignificant or unimportant, you can’t use it as the ultimate guide to the fair value of your apartment’s rent.
2. Start with online advertisement
The first thing you need to do is figure out how to present your apartment online for your target renters. For starters, you need to show the finished product. Once everything is clean and set, you need to take photos and show your tenants what the place looks like. Removing your personal photos and depersonalizing the place, in general, is incredibly important for the overall impression that the place will make. Depersonalization will allow the observer a higher level of immersion.
Finding tenants on social media platforms is also a great idea. However, you might want to learn a bit about social media marketing first.
Second, you need to write a great description of the place. There are things that can’t be seen in these photos. So, try to verbalize it as best as you can. Also, while writing an apartment description, a lot of landlords focus on their wish list. They want their tenants to be this, that and that. Instead of writing a landlord-centric description, try telling what you have to offer to the tenant. In other words, focus on what you want, not what you demand.
3. Prepare the place for tenants
If you’re just inheriting the place, chances are that you’ll need to do some remodeling before the place becomes move-in worthy. If the place is old (which is common with inherited places), chances are that there are elements that are now less than safe (no longer pass the regulations). According to experts like those behind Demolition Co, trying to remove asbestos on your own can make the matters worse. This is why it’s so important that you only work with specialists.
Remodeling the rest of the place is also a good idea. Renters usually avoid places with old and faulty installations, which is why doing some basic remodeling might make a huge difference in your appeal. Having a washing machine instead of having to use a joint laundry might be a strong selling point when it comes to your apartment. The kitchen and bathroom are usually the first two areas that receive attention, so they need to be high on your list for potential remodel.
4. Prepare for the meeting
It is important that you make sure you make a good impression. Try to make a good impression. One of the things that renters fear the most when renting an apartment are unreasonable landlords. If you are too harsh and authoritarian, they might be afraid of you and dread all the potential problems that might come from this. They might fear the idea of telling you that there is a problem.
Keep in mind that some apartment breakdowns (washing machine, water heater, heating system, etc.) fall under different jurisdictions. For instance, it is a responsibility of a tenant to fix the washing machine but if the water heater breaks down, this is usually your responsibility and obligation to fix it.
When talking about the rent, try to be reasonable. Accept different forms of payments and negotiate with them on the due date for the rent. They might receive their salary on a different date. Also, be flexible about them changing the date of their rent payment (in case they change their jobs) and stress this out even without them asking.
5. Reward good behavior
Having a great relationship with your tenants matters a great deal. This is why it’s so important that you reward their good behavior. You can start by offering renters better terms or adding new features to their apartment. While this may sound like an unnecessary expense, it’s incredibly important that you understand that this is for your own good.
Nothing costs you more than a vacancy and every time you’re taking a new renter, you’re taking a risk. The person in question may be irresponsible, malicious or fraudulent and you would be surprised with the damage that one such individual (or group) can cause to your apartment. Keeping a tenant is not always an easy thing and the conditions are on the market chance. They might move if they see better conditions for the same price or a lower price for the same condition elsewhere. It’s usually cost-effective to be proactive in this situation.
One more thing worth mentioning is the fact that a satisfied tenant may give you some great referrals. They might suggest that their friend moves into their place after they’re gone. This way, you have someone to vouch for your next tenant.
In the end, being a landlord means being both negotiator and a salesman at the same time. The value of your offer depends on the product that you’re offering. In this scenario, the condition of your rental place. At the same time, your own personality and attitude may affect the appeal of the place.