As a property manager, an obvious goal is to keep your properties occupied as much as possible. If there is not a tenant in a unit, the property owner is losing money. While more than half of all property rental leases are renewed, it is still important for property managers to ensure they are doing everything possible to attract and retain potential tenants.
Luckily, there are several strategies that property managers can utilize in order to make sure that their units are filled.
Maintain the Property
The most attractive rental property is one that is well-maintained. If kitchen appliances are faulty, there’s an issue with an in-unit air conditioner, or a tenant needs your help to get rid of bedbugs, being timely with maintenance requests is a way to get on your tenant’s good side and make them feel appreciated. Prompt maintenance also ensures that a minor problem doesn’t turn into a major problem down the road.
In between tenants, make sure that any lingering issues with the property are handled, and make an effort to “upgrade” the property. No potential tenant wants to move into a unit with a leaky sink and outdated fixtures! Whether it’s new carpet or countertops, your new tenants will appreciate a well-maintained property.
The best property managers are those who are proactive, rather than reactive. This is important in points made above about maintaining a property, but in other areas of property management as well. You need to be able to anticipate your tenants’ “next move.” Trust us, it’s easier than it sounds.
When the end of a lease is coming up, communicate that with the tenant several months in advance. While the tenant might not renew their lease, being proactive in this case will give you the opportunity to begin finding a new tenant to occupy the unit. It will also generate goodwill with your current tenant by causing them to think about their future plans instead of waiting until the last minute.
Be an Effective Communicator
While a tenant may want a property manager to be as hands-off as possible, it is important to maintain effective two-way communication between both parties. This will result in fewer miscommunications as it relates to the property. Communication not only shows that you about your tenants, but it also shows your attentiveness to the property.
If maintenance is going to be performed on a property outside of your tenant’s control, give them ample time and notice about when the maintenance will be performed, which will allow them to make special arrangements if necessary. Future tenants will also appreciate attentiveness, because it shows that there will be a strong manager-tenant relationship when they decide to eventually rent your property.
Longer Leases = Fewer Vacancies
A majority of rental agreements are for one year. However, if you can entice your tenants to sign longer leases, properties will be occupied longer, and there is less chance of properties sitting empty during a “turnover” period. As a property manager, you could feasibly offer your tenants a lower monthly rental rate for an 18- or 24-month lease than a 12-month or month-to-month lease. Tenants, both current and future, reap the benefits of a lower monthly payment, and property owners and managers will offset the costs accrued during a rental property turnover.
Know Your Market
One of the easiest ways to maintain and attract tenants to a rental property is to ensure that it’s competitive with other properties in the area. It’s important to keep your finger on the “pulse” of the local community and know what other properties are not only renting for money-wise, but also amenities they’re offering as well.
If your rental property and someone else’s property rent for the same monetary amount, but the other property has a more updated interior and access to a community pool, the other property will be more attractive to potential tenants. For current tenants who might be looking elsewhere, ensure that their benefits are attractive enough to keep them from moving.
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