Every day your rental is vacant, you’re leaving money on the table. But, minimizing the time your property is empty without compromising tenant quality is no easy feat – especially when it’s not peak rental season. Here are 4 tips to help you conquer the vacancy challenge while keeping and attracting the best tenants.
1. Feature more than 3 photos.
In today’s world of Facebook, iPhones and Pinterest we can’t deny that consumers – including prospective tenants – LOVE photos. According to a recent Trulia study, more than 90 percent of renters rank photos as the most important content in an online rental listing. And by “most important,” we mean more renters will contact you if your listing has multiple photos. In fact, we also found that listings with 3 or more photos receive 40 percent more renter inquiries than those with no photos.
Adding more photos to your listings doesn’t’ just generate more interest; it also saves time. Photos give renters a better sense of what a property has to offer, leaving fewer questions for you. When there are more photos, consumers can determine upfront if the place is a suitable fit. That means when they come to a viewing, they’ll be coming to close a deal, not see the apartment for the first time.
On Trulia we allow unlimited photos so take advantage. The higher quality and resolution the better, we can handle it. To add more photos to your rental listing now visit http://www.trulia.com/account/listings/rental/.
2. Explore the world of video.
The best tenants have come to expect video, and even if you have one apartment, video makes sense. Video tells tenants everything they need to know in an easily digestible format. You can use a one-time, well shot video countless times to promote your building, block or property. Whenever you have a vacancy coming up, you can post the video with your existing photos. Unless your tenant has moved walls, or you have spent resources remodeling, your video will be an accurate representation of the current apartment. Depending on your needs, both professional and DIY options exist that you can use until your next major renovation. For detail on your options, check out this on demand training with Anna Singleton, the founder of ShowMyProperty.tv.
3. Rent your listings before they’re vacant.
When you know your current tenants are leaving, use them to help you find a new renter before you’re faced with a vacancy. You can do this in a couple of ways.
- Ask for a referral
First, ask your tenants if they know anyone looking for an apartment. If they had a good experience (and you did as well) they’re your best advertisers referral source.
- Collaborate on Showings
If your tenants have no referrals, work with them to show the place to prospective renters. No tenants (or prospective renters for that matter) like having their current home toured by strangers when they’re not around. So, why not work with your tenants to make the experience more pleasant (and to get yourself some free marketing)?
Set up a schedule to show the occupied apartment. When your current tenants are present, and they love you and your building, they’ll practically rent the place for you.
4. Promote your units wisely.
Today, you can syndicate your listings to multiple websites with minimal effort. That definitely helps you cut down on vacancies, but most property owners and managers I talk to put more emphasis on quality rather than quantity.
To minimize vacancies you need to learn which sources drive more qualified tenants that will benefit your more in the long term. Recruiting better tenants saves you the effort of extensive repairs or exhausting collections processes down the road. Carefully selecting the sites where you post saves you time by connecting you with the best tenants available.
To learn where to connect with the market’s most qualified renters and best track your lead sources you should post your listings directly to websites. This way you can see how those renters turned out and if you want more of the same quality. Many landlords have moved beyond Craigslist to sources that drive higher quality residents.
By posting on Trulia, not only will you learn more about how prospective tenants are finding you, you will also have more control over how your brand and listings show up. To learn more about posting your listings directly on Trulia, call us at 888-987-8542. There is not cost to post your listings, or to get your inquiries.
Here are 4 of our suggestions for wiping out vacancies. What strategies would you add to the list?