Few words can conjure anxiety in landlords faster than “vacancy.” Especially as many landlords struggle to recover from the pandemic, every rental dollar counts, and vacancy is a costly endeavor. So, properly preparing for tenants to inevitably vacate and maximizing the tools at your disposal are the keys to success. Continue reading below as we discuss vacancy management and tips for rental property marketing to limit vacancy time.
6 Rental Property Marketing Tips to Limit Vacancy Time
When it comes to rental property marketing, competition in most neighborhoods is fierce. Grabbing the attention of qualified applicants with a stellar rental ad is only part of the process. Therefore, landlords need to do everything they can to set their property apart from the rest. So, check out these rental property marketing tips below –
- Quick to Action
- Maximize Free Online Listings
- Word of Mouth
- Boost Social Media Presence
- Traditional Signage
- Build a Website
Quick to Action
Part of renting a property efficiently is proactive preparation. Typically, tenants must give landlords at least 30 to 60 days’ notice when they intend to vacate. That allows owners to get a jumpstart on finding a new tenant and preparing for property turnover. Inform the tenant that you will begin showing the property to find a new tenant. However, always be sure to give tenants 24 to 48 hours’ notice before entering the unit. Additionally, line up key vendors and schedule an inspection for when the tenant does move out. That way, the turnover process can begin as soon as possible.
Maximize Free Online Listings
Let’s face it; the internet is now where more than 90 percent of people look for their next rental. Additionally, over 60 percent of prospective renters use a mobile device to browse through the latest listings. So, use high-quality photographs and a compelling listing to grab tenant’s attention. In addition to popular sites like Zillow, be sure to check out free sites like Craigslist, Rent.com, and GoSection8.com. Free online listings are a great way to get your listing in front of a variety of readers.
Word of Mouth
The oldest form of advertising is still quite effective. Therefore, encouraging existing tenants to spread the word about available units is a great way to facilitate leads. Furthermore, consider offering a referral incentive. These incentives can be something as simple as a gift card to a local coffee shop up to a possible discount on rent.
Boost Social Media Presence
Many landlords do not fully realize the value of social media platforms. Social media rental property marketing is a quick way to reach a variety and a large number of potential renters. For example, if your rental is convenient to a college campus, check local virtual message boards and post the listing where your target market will see it.
Old fashioned? Maybe. A valuable real estate marketing tool? Yes! After all, grabbing the attention of foot or vehicle traffic can generate local leads to help landlords fill a unit faster. However, ensure the signs offer a large and readable contact phone number. Additionally, it helps to list a few key facts about the property, such as bed/bath count and price.
Build a Website
Today’s rental industry is driven by the digital age. As we have mentioned above, using digital rental property marketing is important for success. As a landlord, consider building a customized and professional website. Then, using online listings and social media to drive traffic back to your website. This is the perfect place to highlight all current vacancies and allow for convenient application submission. Check out some of these top website builders below –
Tips for Marketing Your Rental Property
Marketing is more than just a few pictures and basic information. In today’s competitive rental industry, landlords need to set their vacancies apart from the crowd. Therefore, take your time and realize that investing a little more time upfront pays off in the end. Check out these tips below for successful rental property marketing.
- Use Quality Photos
- Create a Dynamic Description
- Pre-screen Interested Prospects
- Maximize Every Showing
- Learn from Your Mistakes
Use Quality Photos
Photos are the first thing anyone notices about your listing after the price. Therefore, quality photos are essential to grabbing and keeping a prospect’s attention as they scroll through local listings. So, try to take photos when the unit is vacant to allow renters to imagine themselves and their items in the space. If occupied photos are your only option, give the current tenant plenty of notice to declutter and clean up before photographing the unit. For more tips, check out our blog, “Photography Tips for Successful Rental Property Advertising.”
Create a Dynamic Description
A picture is worth a thousand words, but accurate and dynamic descriptions are equally important. The goal here is to give prospects the information they need while enticing them to reach out for a showing. Include some of the basic information below –
- Bedroom and Bath Count
- Overall Square Footage
- Any Rental Incentives
- Standard Qualifications
Ensure that the rental property marketing highlights key features that renters look for. Below are a few examples of amenities that renters gravitate towards –
- Updated Throughout
- Onsite Parking
- In-Unit or Onsite Washer/Dryer
- Close to Local Transit
- Pets Welcome
- Fenced Yard
Once you have a great description written, always double-check for spelling and grammar before posting publicly.
Pre-screen Interested Prospects
Unfortunately, not every prospective tenant will be a good fit for your rental. This can cause issues for landlords who end up wasting time on individuals who are “just looking.” Therefore, weeding out those who are not truly interested early will save landlords time and aggravation. So, doing some simple pre-screening will help inform prospects of the entire rental process, and help owners determine if they are qualified. If your property is generating a ton of leads, consider holding an open house to create a sense of urgency among applicants and better use your valuable time. Check out some of these common pre-screening points below –
- Find out when the tenant’s timeframe for moving in.
- How many occupants will be in the home?
- Does the tenant have pets?
- Will the tenant consent to a background check and credit history verification?
- Has the tenant ever been evicted?
- Explain the application and screening qualifications.
- Inform the tenant of the income requirements (3x the monthly rent) and ask if that is something they can meet.
Maximize Every Showing
As a landlord, time management and efficiency are two essential steps toward success. The best thing a landlord can do is present their listing accurately. Keep in mind that presenting something in its best light is not the same as embellishing the home’s true condition or features that will only lead to disappointment. Once applicants request an in-person showing, try to schedule the showings in convenient time blocks that offer minimal disruption for the current tenants. Additionally, this saves the owner from excessive travel time going back and forth to the rental location. Once the applicant tours the home, touch base to gauge their interest level and continue to follow up.
Learn from Your Mistakes
During the entire rental property marketing process, it is safe to say some techniques will work better than others depending on each owner’s unique situation. So, whether you have a success or a failure, take note. For example, did some sites provide more leads than others? What was the key marketing demographic? How could the turnover process be more efficient? Therefore, the next time a vacancy occurs, landlords can refer to what worked in the past.
The Best Way to Fill a Rental Vacancy
Renting a vacant property may seem like a daunting task at times. Therefore, following the rental property marketing tips above and partnering with the right resources is crucial. That said, one of the best resources a landlord has is a qualified local property manager.
Bay Property Management Group can not only help get your property rented efficiently; we assist with a myriad of other things. Our team members bridge the gap between tenants and landlords to provide peace of mind and free up valuable time for owners. To find out how Bay Property Management Group can help you fill a vacancy or take your rental business to the next level, give us a call today.