The Important Role of Property Manager Services
If you are a property manager with a vacant rental property, you know how important it is to find a reliable tenant as soon as possible. Having a non-performing rental unit is a drain on your resources and those of the property owner. The longer the unit sits empty, the more stressful the situation becomes. As the property manager, you need to take stock and figure out why the unit is not renting before you lose your client. What can you do? Here are eight proven techniques for finding a suitable tenant:
1. Make sure the rent you charge is competitive. This is so obvious you may wonder why bother to mention it. Yet it is so important. When setting the rent, you need to do some research. Do not make assumptions, even if only a year has passed since the last tenant. Go online and research comparable units in your neighborhood. Factor in the location, i.e., is it an end unit that backs up to a common area, or in walking distance to a popular city center, and so on. The location can add or subtract a little from the rent you charge. You need to also factor in the condition of your unit. If it needs a significant amount of updating, you will not be able to command a premium unless it is in a prime location that offsets the outdated décor.
2. Arrange for service or repair contractors to begin work the day after the tenant vacates. Like number one above, this tip is also very obvious. Time is of the essence in regard to property manager services. As soon as the tenant notifies you of intent to vacate, arrange to get inside the unit to assess what will need to be done to get it ready to show to prospective tenants. Get the workers in immediately after the tenant vacates to do whatever work is needed. Each day that passes with no tenant in the unit is revenue lost. Once the unit is empty, clean, and fresh, take lots of photos to use in your marketing materials.
3. Stage the unit, or use a service that produces staging photos. Renting the unit is like selling it. If the unit is priced well and shows well, it will sell. If you anticipate having trouble renting the unit quickly, get the help of a real estate staging service to help it show well. Take photos of the staged property for future use.
If the price for a staging service is more than you can afford, a cheaper alternative is to use a photo staging service. You send them photos of the property living areas and they will edit the photographs by adding staged furniture. They will provide you enlargements of the photos which you can display on easels in the unit so prospective tenants can see how it looks when furnished.
4. Produce attractive marketing materials. Write enticing descriptions of the unit, highlighting its best features and anything about it that makes it more desirable than the competition. It could be anything — more square footage, covered parking, upgraded countertops, pets allowed, and so forth. Peruse other listings and marketing materials for some advertising language that most appeals to you, and use it. When you have compelling descriptions combined with your photos in a nice brochure, you will have effective marketing materials you can use again and again.
Once you have great marketing photos and written copy, build your own website (if you do not already have one) and put it there. Make a video tour and put that on the website as well.
5. Provide a financial incentive. One way to stand out from the competition is to offer discounts and freebies. A little discount up front, like free cable or reduced rent for six months could land you a long-term lease with a responsible tenant.
6. Advertise everywhere. Experienced property manager services know the importance of advertising. Post signs on the lawn or in the windows if your neighborhood covenants permit signage. Make sure the signage is professional-looking and not scribbled and hard to read.
Post your brochures wherever you think a desirable tenant will see it. That means posting it online on your own website, and on social media, craigslist, Zillow, Rentberry, and if possible on any local or regional real estate listing bulletin boards and websites you can locate that cover your community. You need to do some online research to find out the current real estate rental listing sites and link to all of them. Make sure your website pops up when keywords are searched. Use a professional web marketing service to get yourself started if you need to.
If you are near a military post, post or link to the military website accessible to service members. If you are near a university or medical center or other large employer, try to do the same thing there.
7. Revise the lease to allow the landlord more flexibility to market and show the unit before the lease expires. Most leases include a clause that allows the unit to be shown to prospective tenants 30 days before the lease expires. Get yourself an additional two weeks by revising it to allow showing the unit beginning 45 days before the lease expires. Revise any other lease provisions that limit the landlord’s ability to locate prospective tenants.
8. Thoroughly screen your tenants. One of the best ways to reduce the number of vacant days in a unit is to make sure the tenants are responsible. This involves a credit check and perhaps contacting previous landlords. When a tenant is interested in leasing a unit, the tenant should fill out an application and pay a fee that is sufficient to cover the cost of a credit check.
Landlords, Consider Using Professional Property Manager Services
Minimize your vacancies and maximize your revenue by contacting reputable property manager services to find out if they can take the landlord and property management hassles off of your shoulders. Experienced property managers have close ties to what is going on in the residential rental business and a good understanding of the laws governing landlord-tenant relationships. A good property manager is well-equipped to find good tenants, make sure the rent is paid timely, troubleshoot, and keep up with the property condition. Consult an experienced property manager today and learn the benefits of having your rental property handled by a professional.