Smart investors and rental property owners will budget for vacancy. It’s expected that you’ll have to spend some time getting your property ready for the rental market and turning it over between tenants. However, you don’t want those vacancies to stretch on for weeks and months. Long vacancies become extremely expensive. Not only are you without rent, you’re also paying for things like utilities, maintenance, and security without the benefit of rental income.
Keeping vacancy to a minimum doesn’t have to be difficult. You have to be prepared to work quickly and to retain the tenants you currently have in place.
Property Pricing Must Match The Many San Jose Rental Markets
Pricing has a larger impact on vacancy rates than a lot of landlords realize. While it’s important to price your rental home as high as possible in order to maximize what you earn, you don’t want to over-price your property. An overpriced property will only sit on the market longer. Tenants have access to most of the same pricing data you do; they’re not going to pay more than they have to for a home, especially if similar homes in the neighborhood are available for less.
Spend some time comparing the rental values of properties similar to yours in the immediate area. This analysis will tell you if the rental value you’ve settled on is appropriate for the current market and the demand. What you charge will also depend on competition and whether the market is saturated or the demand outweighs the supply.
Strategic Marketing Avoids Long Vacancy Periods
Marketing is also a big part of reducing the number of days your San Jose rental property is vacant. If you’re simply posting a yard sign or sharing a brief advertisement on Craigslist without any pictures, you aren’t going to rent your home quickly.
Investing the time and resources into impressive photos will help you market your property effectively. Pay attention to the lighting and make sure you’re including photos of everything you can, including bedrooms and the kitchen and any outdoor space. Tenants are going to look at photos first when they’re searching for a home. You have to make them count.
List your home on all the popular rental websites that tenants are using, including Zumper and Zillow and HotPads and Rentals.com. You want as much exposure for your property to generate interest and limit vacancy.
Make sure you’re responding quickly to the potential tenants who call and send messages. When someone is asking questions about your property or trying to schedule a showing, you have an excellent opportunity to rent your home within days. Show the home when it’s convenient for them, using self-showing technology like lockboxes if necessary, and be prepared to offer an application electronically.
Tenant Retention is a Great Tool against Vacancy
The best way to avoid vacancy is to keep the tenants that are currently in place.
Tenant retention can be your secret weapon in avoiding vacancy, especially if you’re willing to provide a great rental experience to your current residents. When you have the same resident in place for three or five years or even longer – you’re saving a lot of money on vacancy and turnover costs. Make it easy for your residents to renew their lease agreements year after year. Make sure you’re responsive when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Stay in touch with your tenants, and nurture a positive and professional relationship.
If you’d like to talk about your own problems with vacancies or how to have a better experience with your San Jose rental homes, please contact us at Aborn Properties. We’d be happy to tell you more.