Vacancies are expensive. When you don’t have a tenant in place, you’re not earning any rental income. We have some tips on how to avoid long vacancy periods, and what you can do to retain excellent tenants.
Vacancies Can be Seasonal
Make sure you structure your lease end dates to coincide with the busiest time for people to move. In the winter, and around the holidays, vacancies seem to stretch on for longer periods of time because no one wants to move over Christmas or while the kids are in school. Having a lease end during the late spring or early summer will give you a better chance at finding a great tenant quickly, and reducing the amount of time your home is vacant.
Price your Home Competitively
One of the biggest reasons your home will remain vacant is a price that’s too high. Every investor wants to earn as much as possible on their rent, but if your rent is too high, you’ll lose more money with the longer vacancy period. Do a careful study of the market and be willing to lower your price if you’re not getting any interested tenants looking at the home. You don’t want to price your property too low, but pricing it too high can have expensive consequences.
Make Your Home Desirable
An appealing property will not stay vacant for very long. Make sure you’re offering a home that tenants will want to live in. It should be clean, updated, and functional. Don’t leave old appliances that are barely working. Make small, inexpensive improvements. New window coverings, additional ceiling fans, or shiny hardware on the cabinets can make a big difference. Tenants will not want to live in homes that are dirty, dysfunctional, or unattractive.
Retain your Good Tenants
If you have great tenants in place, let them know how much you appreciate them. Tenant retention is an excellent way to avoid vacancy and ensure your rent continues to come in. Consider rental increases carefully at lease renewal time, and don’t raise the rent more than the market will bear. Respond to maintenance and repair requests promptly. Offer discounts or gift cards to local retailers and restaurants. Thank tenants for taking good care of your home and paying rent on time.