Vacant units make a building less attractive to the tenants that live there, and they hurt your bottom line as a property owner too. Filling your vacancies requires a balance between preparation and fast action: you need the right battle plan for your target market of prospective tenants, to keep you working smarter instead of harder. We’ve put together a list of seven sure-fire strategies to fill your vacant units as quickly as possible.
What To Do Before You Advertise
Make sure the unit is up to date
If your empty unit has had the same tenants for a few years, or has been notoriously hard to lease, start by giving it an honest look, top to bottom. How’s the paint job, how old are the appliances, does the carpet need an update? Making updates to your property is an investment that always pays off, so making sure your unit looks fresh and up-to-date is a great first step.
Boost the unit’s curb appeal
We wrote last month about the tangible effects of landscaping on attracting quality tenants, but having the unit look attractive isn’t all that goes into curb appeal. Is your pathway well lit, your exterior paint fresh, your lawn recently mowed? Make sure the outside of your unit is as clean and inviting as the inside lets your prospective tenants know you take care of the place, which will make it easier to fill your vacant units faster.
Go pet friendly
If your units aren’t already welcoming to the 70% of American households that own pets, it could be time to make the switch. Allowing pets will attract a broader pool of prospective tenants, so you’ll get to be choosier about who you rent to. It’s easy to add language to your lease protecting your property from any potential damage, and it’s not uncommon to charge an extra security deposit for pets either, depending on what’s typical for your location.
Update your online listings
It’s well documented that humans shop first with our eyes— so exactly how old are the photos in your unit’s listing? How well-lit are they, how professional do they look? Most phone cameras these days come with photo editing software built in, and there are tons of free online tools as well, so making your photos look their best is a cinch. Especially if you’ve made recent improvements, you’ll want to document them. Then make sure the text of the listings highlights all the features of the unit— new appliances, fresh paint, new carpet, etc.— and you’re good to go.
Fill Those Vacant Units, Stat!
Drive quality traffic to your website
Three-quarters of prospective tenants search for apartments online, so making sure your website is attractive and user-friendly will be an important step to filling your vacant units. If you’ve only got a couple of rental units, you may not have your own website, but that’s where social media comes in. You’ll want to make sure you have a social media presence, even if it’s just a Facebook page, where you can post photos of your units and interact with your tenants. Check out our post from last month about social media for landlords if you need a hand getting your page off the ground.
Reach out to your tenants
Even in the digital age, word of mouth is still the best kind of advertising there is, and your existing tenants are a free resource just waiting to be tapped. Let them know you’ve got a vacancy, where the unit is, and how much it’s renting for. You could even throw in an incentive like a gift card or a discount on their next month’s rent if they refer a new tenant to you. It’s a win-win; your tenants get to choose their neighbors, and you fill your vacant unit faster.
Leverage a realtor or property management company
If you’re the owner of just a handful of properties, you probably don’t have the kind of time or resources that a larger rental organization has to update listings and advertise vacancies. A real estate office will often do that legwork for you for a fee; not only does it mean more income for them, but it’s network building for the time when those renters might look to become homeowners. Property management companies are typically more tailored toward rental properties, and they can help fill vacant units quickly by leveraging their marketing skills and channels for your benefit.
How All County Denver Metro Can Help
Attracting and keeping quality tenants can be a time-consuming pursuit for landlords— but we know the landlord’s to-do list doesn’t end with filling your units. All County Denver Metro Property Management is here to help property owners get the best return on their investment through knowledgeable and trustworthy property management services. From managing tenant relationships to lease enforcement, we look forward to working with you to see how your investment can be a long-term, stress-free asset. For a complimentary quote, call us today at (720) 664-4550.