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Should I Offer Rent Concessions for My Harford County Rental Property?

rental concessions Harford county MDRental concession and incentives in Harford County can be a great way to entice new tenants and lower vacancy rates. Incentives are particularly worthwhile if a vacant unit has been sitting too long and you’re looking to rent quickly. Incentives can include; free rent, lowered rent cost, reduced fees, and additional amenities. Each concession option comes with its own pros and cons. While we always recommend a “free rent” concession option as it tends to be the most tempting to prospective tenants, it’s essential to understand the entire spectrum of concessions to determine which type works for you as well. Also, consider the pros and cons of offering a free month vs reducing the rental rate.

Free Rent

Free Rent is the most popular concession that property managers and landlords offer. Generally, this will be a month or one-and-a-half months of free rent after move-in costs. A free rent concession is very appealing as it grants renters some recuperation after footing the often steep cost of moving. First, there are several pros and cons to consider.

Pros: 

  • Very easy to market both digitally and organically. People are always searching for a good deal
  • It gives you a bit of leverage when assessing lease renewal increases
  • It tends to garner higher occupancy rates and quicker leasing times.

Cons: 

  • The deal may entice renters but struggle when standard rental rates resume
  • It may increase the pool of unqualified applicants
  • Tenants might expect this incentive to be offered again upon renewal
  • Of course, this is lost income for you.

Lowered Rent

Lowered rent is another popular concession given. Lowering the rent price even slightly can be useful for signing tenants who are on the fence.

Pros: 

  • Fills vacancies quickly, especially in pricier rental environments like luxury condos
  • Attracts a larger group of prospects
  • Similar to free rent, it gives a significant boost to your marketing.

Cons: 

  • Reduced rent could bring in individuals who are making just enough to meet the initial income requirement and may struggle with an increase at lease renewal
  • Decreased revenue for you each month.

Reduced Fees and Deposits

Consider reducing the security deposit, application fee, or pet fees as a concession. Reduced fees are appealing to those that want to move in quickly and more than meet the income requirement, but don’t want to pay several different fees upfront.

Pros:

  • Attracts renters looking to save on additional fees
  • Can help to fill vacancies quickly
  • A cheaper option than free rent and shorter-term than lowering the rental rate.

Cons: 

  • Pet or apartment damage is generally covered under a security deposit and pet deposit. Without these, you have less funds to work within the event of the tenant or pet-caused damages
  • Less immediate money in your pocket.

Additional Amenities

Adding additional amenities to the property as opposed to throwing money or reduced fees at a tenant can be a unique way to attract tenants! Some amenities to consider adding include:

  • Subsidizing part of their moving costs
  • Free or reduced parking
  • New appliances
  • Fresh coat of paint
  • Complimentary deep clean at some point during their stay
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Installing “smart” thermostats, door locks or appliances.

Pros:

  • Can be a more affordable option than any of the others if you pick affordable but unique amenities
  • Attracts renters looking for upgraded properties
  • Can help increase overall home value and rental value

Cons:

  • You will be responsible for maintaining the amenities or upgrades installed
  • Costs may add up with some amenities, like “smart home” appliances.

Need help filling vacancies, choosing a concession option, or managing properties? Let the experts at Bay Property Management Group Harford County help you with vacancy management as well a full-service property management services.