Having trouble filling a vacant rental unit?
Deni walks through some ideas and tips to find tenants in cold real estate markets, and for hard-to-fill rental units.
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Deni: Hi, everyone, it is Danny from Spark Rental. We had a little bit of some tech issues, so Brian is actually standing by. Anyway, I am going to do this solo, and I apologize for the tech issues, but unfortunately that’s how it is. So, with that being said, if you were here last week, I’ll take these off. If you were here last week, you were here that when we did, the about rents rising fast and we talked about the 10 top U.S. cities where rents are going crazy. And today, thanks to one of our faithful user watchers and whatnot, Tim, we are going to talk about how to rent hard-to-fill vacant units because that does become an issue and it’s something we have to overcome. So, one of the first really important things to take into consideration is to make sure that you’re, you know, placing your rents properly, that your rent is not too high because if it is too high, it’s going to sit. So, it has to be competitive and it’s important even before you purchase a property to make sure you do all the things necessary to just check it out and see what the rents are in the area. And all of those things throw the numbers together to make sure it works with the way the rents are in the neighborhood don’t depend on the whole thing that it might be. You might be able to increase. You can’t depend on that. So, make sure that you’re being competitive and on target with your rents.
Deni: The other thing is you want to think about trying to have amenities in these days and age where, you know, dishwashers are kind of a routine thing. If you have a property without a dishwasher, if there’s a way you can get one in there, you want to get one in their location obviously can’t be changed. But at least when you’re about ready to embark on purchasing, make sure that the location is good, that it’s in a safe area, an area that’s growing. You know, we’ve talked about these things before. Now sometimes areas change and then you have to kind of go with the flow there. So, when that happens, you may have to lower the rent a bit, but you have to take into consideration that maybe lowering the rent 50 bucks over 12 months or whatever is better than leaving it vacant for several months. So that is another thing that you want to take into consideration. You want to make sure the place looks good outside. You want people to want to come in. And when they look at the outside and they see a mess or trash, or even if you’re redoing things and they see wood and stuff just sitting outside, it just doesn’t make for a good presentation. So, people will tend to just drive by and say, forget it and then reputation is important. Landlords don’t think it is, but it is because if you have a reputation for being a landlord who doesn’t fix things or you know, you know, the names were called, then that can be a problem.
Deni: I was managing a property that had a terrible reputation for so many different things from the, you know, just the kind of issues that went on with crime and maintenance not being done. And it was falling apart. And it took me about seven months, but I was able to pull up the reputation. We put in some procedures and policies, and by the time I left there, it had a really good reputation, and we were about 98 percent full. When I took over, it was way down and this was a property across from a naval base, so it shouldn’t have even had that issue. So, these are all things that you need to take into consideration. So, what are some things that you can do to get that place rented? Well, we already talked about pricing it competitively. Another thing is allowing pets, you know, pets can fetch more money. I think it’s like eighty-five percent of people have pets. So, at this point, you’re narrowing your potential renters by not allowing pets, and it’s possible to have pets in a unit and not have it get ruined by doing things like inspections, making sure your lease covers all of the rules and regulations that are important with all of those things. So, we have an article. I believe Brian is going to pop it in. He may have already all about how you can let pets in and what are some things you can do to protect yourself and you can charge extra.
Deni: You can charge more money. Some people do it per pet. So, if you have somebody that has two dogs or two cats, that could be, you know, another 50, another 100 bucks even a month. The other thing is that you can have professional pictures taken because I know we all think we have great photographic capabilities with our iPhones, but they don’t always take good pictures and it’s important to have the pictures look really, really good. So, there is a virtual staging software that we have used before called virtual staging solutions. Brian is going to put that link into, and they actually stage virtually staged your rental unit, your property, whether I’ve used them for sale properties too. But they stage it out with furniture and everything else so that it looks really, really good and people, you want to get them in. That’s the name of the game. So, if the initial previews of your property are really good looking, so if you’re going to use that, use the virtual staging, if not, go ahead and maybe get somebody that is a professional photographer or a friend who at least has, you know, some good photography abilities. Don’t think you’re just going to go in there and take pictures with your iPhone and you’ll be fine. So that is another one. Perhaps consider short-term renting. You know, I mean, I know in this day and age we hear a lot about that, and it is it can be a pain in the butt because, you know, that means you’re constantly, you know, it’s another Tenant, that you have to keep vetting in between Tenet’s, but it might be better to do that than to leave it vacant. So, it is something to take into consideration or, you know, you can go real short term and go Airbnb. We have a pretty good article about that, and we hooked up with Al Williamson, and he gives a great webinar on that, and he’s so informative. So that’s another thing that you can do is take that into consideration. You want to advertise the place in every place possible, even if you’re near a military base, call up their housing division and let them know that you have housing available because they’ll they have their own advertising and they’ll put it out there for their, you know, there are military families. The other thing is big companies. We have several big pharmaceutical companies in my area here, and I know that I have called them and gotten on the list when I’ve had vacancies. And you know, it’s usually I’ve never had a problem with anybody that works there because their jobs are secure and it’s a big pharmaceutical company. So that has been helpful too. So, get real creative with your advertising. Don’t just I mean, we all have the online, the sellers and everything else, Craigslist and all that, but also get creative. Check your neighborhoods out, see what’s out there, see who you might be able to call to see if you know if they have employees or whatever that are looking for places to live.
Deni: Make sure that you offer things like, you know, really good internet or maybe include internet because people are working at home now, so that’s a good way to pull them in. It’ll cost you maybe 80 to 90 dollars, but it would also maybe get a tenant in there quicker and you could probably hike up the rent just saying it includes the internet. So, I mean, you can get really creative with stuff like that. And then you can give a free month, you know, upgrade some flooring, maybe ask them, you know, maybe even say that within reason. Do you want a different color in here? We’ll paint it a different color and let them customize it according to their way. So, there is a multitude of things as creative as you can be, as is what you can do to fill out, fill up these tough vacancies and it can be done. I’ve done it and I know that I’ve seen other people do it. I know Brian has done it. So, get out there, be creative and go ahead and fill up those units. And thanks, and I get I apologize that we didn’t have our normal me and Brian on, but tech is like that, huh? So, I have a good day and we will see you next week. Oh, also just to remind you, we’re going to be giving prop stream subscriptions away, so keep a keep an ear and an eye on our social media and what not to learn the details. Talk to you soon and have a great day.