Vacancy is one of the most dreaded expenses when you’re renting out a property, and it’s a cost that can often be avoided.
While every Orlando rental property owner understands that a few days of vacancy are to be expected before the property is listed and during tenant turnovers, no one wants an extended period without rent.
Keeping vacancy and turnover to a minimum is a big part of a successful investment experience. There are several things you can do to keep your property rented and your income consistent. Here are three steps you can take right now.
1. Price Your Property Accurately and Competitively
Pricing always impacts vacancy.
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. 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 are available for less. When you price your property too high, you run the risk of leaving it vacant for longer.
Conduct a comparative analysis that shows you the rental values of properties similar to yours in the immediate neighborhood. Ideally, you’ll gather information about what those homes rented for and how long they were on the market. This will help you establish the right price for your own property.
2. Strategic Marketing Reduces Vacancy
Marketing is also a big part of avoiding long vacancy periods. Usually, if the price is right but no one is scheduling a showing or getting in touch, it’s because they don’t even know you have a property available. If you’re simply throwing up a yard sign or posting a two-line advertisement on Craigslist without any pictures, you aren’t going to rent your home quickly.
Take some really great photos that can serve as the foundation for your marketing campaign. Use good 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 Rent Café. You want as much exposure for your property to generate interest and limit vacancy.
3. Create a Great Tenant Experience
The best way to avoid vacancy is to keep the tenants that are currently in place.
Tenant retention is a secret weapon for many rental property owners who save money year after year on expensive 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.
- Be strategic about rental increases at renewal time.
- Provide incentives. Offer a free carpet cleaning or a new appliance.
Avoiding vacancy needs to be a priority when you’re renting out an Orlando investment property. We can help you avoid those troubling vacancy costs. Contact us at Park Avenue Property Management. We work in Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, Kissimmee, Celebration, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, West Palm Beach, Tampa Bay, and throughout central Florida.