Apartment turnover rates and rent skippers become a major issue to owner's pocketbook and investment upkeep. Property owners can never insure tenants will still be there from one month to the next, whether they signed a lease or not.
When a rental property becomes vacant, there may not be a line of people waiting to move in. This can be due to any number of reasons such as the area the building is located in, the economy or the rent being charged. The following are cost effective and value added ideas to try when enticing potential renters to your property, and keeping them there!
Charge the right amount of Rent
Keep an eye on what is going on in your area. Is there a demand for apartment living (an influx of jobs in the area, a recession or is it a slow month like December). Take a look at the ads in newspapers and on-line to see if other owners units are at a stalemate too. If other comparable units are moving quickly, you may be off your price point.
Charge according to apartment unit. The lower floor units may be more desirable than the 4th floor units if you do not have an elevator. Do some units have a little extra storage space? A better view (garden vs. brick wall)? Are some apartment units in a more desirable location then others (close to schools or parks)? A small increase of $ 15.00- $ 25.00 / month in rent, depending on the unit, can give the impression of value.
Offer an incentive
Although most property owners are in the business to make extra ends meet, adding an incentive will attract renters.
Offer heats, light and hydro- If you do not already offer this to your competitors you should consider it. Apartment renters will no longer have reason to use a high utility bill as an excuse for late payment. Most power companies have equalized payment plans so you will know exactly how much is owed every month. If you are in charge of these bills, you can insure the utilities are up to date and paid on time benefitting you as well as the renter. Consider including basic cable in your units, there are cable companies that offer discounts for large accounts.
Be courteous to your renters and give them a small gift as a welcome. This can be as simple as a basket with cleaners, toilet paper and extra light bulbs, or flowers in the kitchen welcoming them to the building. Little Touches can go a long way.
If you live in a college town, with plenty of apartments for rent and have a hard time with turnover, try offering targeted employees like TV's if they sign a one year's lease and full fill it. An independent cleaning service to clean these apartments twice a month can be added to their rent as well. These additional services will appeal to busy students and not so tidy 20 something's. Not only will they appreciate the added bonus but it can also help ensure your property will be taken care of.
Offer a monthly discount to the tenants that sign and fulfill a 12 month lease. Instead of giving a percentage off each month, consider offering their 12 month rent free.
Offer month to month and a long-term lease
Sometimes year-long leases can be a headache to deal with when housing unruly tenants. If you are not sure about the applicants and own desirable property, put these renters on a 3-6 month probation period before offering them a lease with perks. Understandably, landlords do not want to spend any extra money if there is no hope of return on investment, and in this case loyal tenants equivalent reliable cash flow.
The purposes of these concepts are to help decrease the amount of vacant properties you are sitting on. They will help to decrease the amount of time you spend on advertising and screening clients. Remember, tenants talk and if they are happy with their arrangements they will tell their friends and family. You never know, maybe there will be a line-up of people looking apartments for rent after all!