When you own rental property and your tenant moves out, every vacant day costs you money. In fact, the average vacancy lasts well over a month—that’s quite a bite out of your bottom line! Too often, inexperienced property owners end up with more vacancy days than necessary because they lack the resources and knowledge in Sacramento real estate management to quickly rent their property.
Here are the top ten things rental owners can to do to ensure that their property leases as quickly as possible—from your expert team at SAC-METRO.
- First, work very quickly to make sure your home is MOVE IN READY before you put it on the rental market. Start as soon as your previous tenant moves out, and don’t let this process drag on. Also, don’t ask prospective tenants to look past problems that still need to be fixed—they won’t. If a tenant sees that the carpet needs to be replaced or the appliances are pulled out and not working, they simply will move on to a property in better shape. A key principle of leasing for Sacramento real estate management is don’t show the property until it is completely ready for the next tenant. Ask us for our handy “Rent-Ready Checklist” to make sure your property is ready to lease quickly.
- Check the property’s CURB APPEAL and make sure the house looks appealing from the outside. Consider making some minor and inexpensive updates to boost a prospective tenant’s first impression. New lighting and window treatments can make a difference, for instance, as can a fresh coat of paint or attractive landscaping features.
- Make sure to have the property PROFESSIONALLY and THOROUGHLY CLEANED. Professional cleaners will scrub everything from the walls to the baseboards and leave the home feeling clean and fresh. Ensure that windows are sparkling and blinds are up so that the rooms are bright and sunny. Remember that any clutter, debris, and personal belongings must also be removed.
- Sent an appropriate MARKET RENT RATE. Set the rent too low, and you’ll hurt your investment’s performance. Set the rent too high, and prospective tenants won’t bother looking at it, resulting in longer vacancy times that in the end can cost you far more than a lower rent would. There are many factors that go into setting the best rent rate, and SAC-METRO offers a free market rent analysis on your property to help you find the sweet spot.
- CONSIDER ACCEPTING PETS. Whether or not your property accepts pets can directly impact how quickly your home is leased. As single family rental homes are often popular with families, and pet ownership is increasing across the board, allowing certain family pets will drive more interest to your property and widen your applicant pool in every city, whether its Carmichael property management or Sacramento real estate management. This not only generally results in the home leasing faster, but it can also allow for a slightly stronger rent rate.
- FREQUENT INSPECTIONS are advised to ensure the property stays in good condition while vacant, as an empty property is at risk for additional maintenance issues. When no one is living in it, you don’t know that there’s a leak under the sink or a hole in the drywall. There may be an added risk of a break in or squatter situation as well in some areas. It’s important that you keep your property occupied, not only so you increase your return, but also so you preserve the asset’s value.
- MARKET THE HOME AGGRESSIVELY. Properly marketing your home will lead you to faster tenant placement and fewer vacancy days. Make sure you take quality, well-lit photos and video of the interior and exterior of the clean, rent-ready home. Write a strong description that includes all the features and benefits of the property, including recent updates, proximity to transit and schools, and whether pets are allowed. Then advertise on all the popular rental sites and social media to ensure that you find tenants where they are looking for their next home and make sure they can easily contact you. An attractive yard sign is also a must.
- RESPOND QUICKLY TO INQUIRIES from prospective residents to answer questions, schedule showings, and process applications. While this step can take a lot of time and effort, it is critical to minimize vacancy times. This is where a professional leasing team can save you a lot of time and headache.
- SCREEN APPLICATIONS thoroughly, with background checks on every potential tenant over 18 years old, including criminal, credit, employment and rental history. This is a must in every market, whether its Carmichael property management or Sacramento real estate management, as well-screened tenants are more likely to stay longer and avoid costly turnover down the road. It also allows you to select the most reliable tenant from your applicant pool, reducing the risk of eviction or other unexpected vacancies down the road.
- KEEP YOUR CURRENT TENANTS. Tenant retention is often overlooked by landlords, but it’s a great way to avoid the high costs of vacancy. When you already have a high-performing tenant in place, you want to keep that person in the home as long as possible. You do this by being responsive to maintenance and repair requests, open communication, clear expectations and responsibilities, and sticking with conservative rental increases that you can fairly justify to the tenant.
In the end, remember that the cost of vacancy days can far outweigh a professional manager’s leasing fee, so think long-term. A tested, efficient leasing process better protects your cash flow, and SAC-METRO helps our clients experience shorter vacancies, more reliable tenants, longer lease terms, and your own team of experts to support your rental investment every step of the way. Call us today for a free, no-obligation market assessment of your rental property.