Finding a reliable and responsible tenant can be anything but easy, especially if you are just getting started as a landlord. But every day your rental sits vacant means you’re losing money. So, you should do everything possible to ensure your rental vacancy is filled.
And that’s where incentives come in!
You may have difficulty in filling your vacancies for a variety of reasons, from high fees to more options in the renter’s market. Luckily for you, there are multiple things you could do to get your property rented quickly.
The team of experienced property managers at McCaw Property Management has put together this list to help you fill your vacancies quickly and efficiently.
1. Offer a discounted rate.
This can be effective in attracting prospective tenants to your rental property. But before doing that, crunch the numbers. The last thing you want is running losses by offering an unreasonably high discount.
Begin by listing your expenses. Then, check what the competition is doing about offering discounts. Next, calculate the profit after considering the discounted rate against the costs of having a vacant unit.
Offering a discount on a few months’ rent can entice prospective tenants to sign a lease on your rental property quickly.
2. Reduce the fees.
Besides the rent and security deposit fees, are there any extra fees that you charge? If you do, they could be the reason why prospective tenants are avoiding your rental unit. And lowering them could make all the difference.
Go through your lease or rental agreement and check any extra fees you may be charging. Common fees include laundry, parking, utility fees, elevator fees and deposits, renters’ insurance, and pet fees.
Additionally, you may want to check that you aren’t overcharging your security deposit fees. While no security deposit limits exist at the state level in Texas, local ordinances may differ. So, check your county or municipality to ensure you are abiding by the limit.
When it comes to fees, no tenant will want to rent with you if they believe you’re taking advantage of them.
3. Consider waiving the first month’s rent.
Sounds ridiculous, right? At first glance, it certainly may. But think about it: how much money is your rental vacancy costing you every single month? Besides the lost rental income, you are operating at negative cash flow.
That’s because you have other expenses to pay for, such as property taxes and mortgage payments (if any). And without a rental income, you’ll need to look elsewhere for money to pay them.
After considering how much money you’re losing each month, waiving the first month’s rent may not be a bad idea after all.
4. Consider creating flexible rental terms.
Having strict rental policies can be a huge turn-off to prospective tenants. So, again, go over the lease or rental agreement and check which terms you could relax a bit.
Do you allow pets in your Texas rental home? If not, it could be the reason why renters are shying away from your property. So, consider allowing your tenants to keep their furry friends, albeit with some conditions.
For example, to minimize potential pet damage, consider limiting the size, number, and type of pet you allow. You may also want to impose a pet deposit. Make sure to set a reasonable fee.
Do your lease terms allow tenants to decorate their apartments? Carry out some research in your neighborhood. Do landlords in that area allow it? If not, doing the opposite could give you a competitive advantage. For example, consider allowing your tenants to paint their rental properties.
Does your lease have an early termination clause? If it doesn’t, then you may be locking out some tenants from your rental unit.
5. Upgrade the rental unit.
This can also go a long way in incentivizing your prospective tenants. Making improvements to your property not only makes it more attractive to potential tenants but also creates more value for you.
You don’t need to go crazy with the rental improvements, however. Pick upgrades that offer the best ROI. Here are some that you could consider:
- Make updates to the bathroom. Consider, for example, upgrading the vanity or adding new light fixtures.
- Repaint tired-looking walls. If your walls seem like they have had better days, then consider giving them a fresh coat of paint.
- Create additional space. You can do this by converting any space that is underutilized.
- Make upgrades to the kitchen. Do appliances look outdated? If so, swap them for new and efficient ones. Your tenants will not only appreciate them but will also appreciate the potential energy savings.
- Upgrade the curb appeal. First impressions matter. How your home’s exterior looks can make or break your chances of landing a good tenant. So, fix any cracks on the driveway, trim the hedges, and mow the lawn – among other things.
6. Offer your tenant a warm welcome.
Phew! You have finally made it. You have, hopefully, landed a tenant of your dreams. Of course, this is an exciting time. But while this is an exciting time for you, it’s an incredibly stressful time for your tenants.
Moving is considered one of the most stressful life events for most people. So, as a landlord, consider doing some things to make the moving process for your tenants less painful.
The following are some of the things you could do.
- Thoroughly clean their house.
- Give them friendly neighborhood advice.
- Provide them with all keys, codes, and openers.
- Put together a welcome package. For example, scented candles or flowers, a couple of rolls of paper towel, or a couple of rolls of toilet paper.
- Provide them with important contact information.
- Provide them with parking information.
- Give them utility information.
Doing such things can help leave a lasting impression on your tenants. What’s more, it can also help you set the stage for a solid landlord-tenant relationship.
The Bottom Line
Vacancies are a nightmare to landlords. Luckily, there are some things you can do to minimize them. With some bits of luck, the 6 tips above should help you get started! And if they still seem daunting, McCaw Property Management can help. McCaw Property Management is a trusted property management company in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Get in touch with us today to learn more!