When property owners talk to us about what we’ve seen over the years, they are usually most concerned with the condition of the property when the tenant moves out. This is an especially big worry for new or novice investors. The concern is that tenants will do all this damage. Obviously, the tenant screening process is a big part of what we do, so there’s not much need for concern. We are concerned about vacancy more than anything else. There are a couple of things you can control that affect how long your home is vacant.
The price of your rental home has to be right. It’s easy to find what you should be charging for your rental. You can hop on Zillow or Trulia and see what your neighbors are renting their homes for. There are some properties that also rent on the local MLS that you don’t see on those sites, so it helps to work with an agent or a property manager. The idea with price is that you don’t want to guess. You also don’t want to use your mortgage to dictate how much you’ll charge. Rental price is driven by the market. Pricing it right has a direct impact on your vacancy times. Even if you take $50 less than you want, when it means renting your home in one week instead of six weeks, you’re better off.
Think about the property’s condition from the perspective of that A-1 tenant you are hoping to attract. The only thing those perfect tenants are looking at is a home’s condition. Good tenants will look at price as well, but they are generally financially able. This means they will be willing to pay more for a property that’s in great condition because they’ll know you have been taking care of it. When your house is painted and the yard looks good, you aren’t going to have to worry about vacancies. Great tenants will want to live in that house.
These are two huge things you can control to limit the vacancy rate for your rental home. Remember that response time is also crucial. When you are responsive to tenants calling and emailing with inquiries, your vacancy time will be minimized.
Finally, keep your good tenants. The best way to avoid vacancy is by keeping the people you have in place. Take care of the house and when it’s time to renew the lease, be willing to paint or clean the carpets. Do what you can to add value to the property and make your tenants happy.
If you have any questions about vacancies with your rental home, please contact us at Lighthouse Property Management.