Hi, this is Tanya with Envy Property Management. In today’s video, we are going to discuss 10-tips to reduce vacancies in your rental property. As a landlord of a rental property, we all know, one of the biggest concerns is having a vacancy. If tenants aren’t occupying the home and paying rent, you’re losing money. Not only will you be losing income from rent, but you’ll also be responsible for paying the utilities and other expenses while the property is vacant. If your property remains vacant for too long, it could completely ruin your profitability. The good news is that there are a number of strategies that can help you keep vacancies to a minimum as well as help fill vacancies quickly when they do come up. So we are going to go over our top 10 strategies for reducing vacancies in your rental property. 

#1: Make Sure Your Property is “Rent Ready” 

Take time before you begin marketing to ensure the home is completely rent-ready. Taking time during the vacancy period to complete all needed repairs or even doing a major improvement or remodel will not only increase your property value, but it will also attract more prospective tenants. Showing off a completely rent-ready home will set the stage for prospective tenants. They will notice the pride you take in keeping the home well maintained and it may possibly instill the desire to live there long term.  

#2: Market Aggressively

Once your home is completely rent ready, make sure you invest heavily in the best marketing and advertising available. You want to gain the most attention as possible to attract potential tenants to your property. The cost to invest in good marketing and advertising strategies will far outweigh the risk not to. 

#3: Find Good Qualified Tenants

Don’t be too eager to fill the void by accepting an unqualified tenant in your home. Everything starts with finding the right tenants, before letting anyone move into your property, you must thoroughly screen them. Verify their income, evaluate their income consistency, check their credit score, assess if they have a  past history with rental properties, and other important factors associated with their ability to pay. If you focus on tenant reliability, you’ll have far less turnover. To see a video on EPM’s 20-Point Tenant Screening Process click the link below: https://envypropertymanagement.com/the-20-point-tenant-screening-process-you-must-do-in-2020/

#4: Respond Quickly to Maintenance Requests

One of the main reasons a tenant will leave your property is if maintenance requests aren’t handled appropriately and within a timely manner. Keeping your property well maintained will not only increase your chances of your tenants wanting to stay but it’s ultimately the right thing to do. At some point, landlords need to be mindful that things will break. There is a known level of “normal wear and tear” that is to be expected when people are living in a space. If something breaks in the property, you must do the right thing and fix it. If you choose to ignore the issue, in the end, that tenant is going to leave, and you’re going to have to fix that issue anyway. The problem you now have on your hands is a vacant property and no rental income coming in.

I caution you to be very careful about the stances you take. Here in Utah, we have laws regarding repairs. If you don’t fix the property correctly and in a timely manner, you could be putting the tenant in an unsafe, uninhabitable situation; which puts you as the homeowner, in a very litigious position and ripe for a lawsuit.

#5: Communicate

Tenants are more likely to stay in your property if they feel they have a landlord that cares for them. You’d be surprised that 68.5% of people will leave businesses, not because of price, but because they feel the other side just does not care about them. A tenant can go anywhere and rent a property, they do not need to rent it from you, they can leave, and they will leave. You can demonstrate that you care by communicating effectively. Answer their questions, respond to their requests, and update them on important matters. 

#6: Be Transparent

Transparency is the best way to build trust with your tenants. Even if there’s something that may be difficult to talk about, do it anyway. If your tenants feel like you’re dishonest, or that you’re hiding things from them, they’re going to look to live somewhere else. Be honest about flaws and potential issues with the property and set reasonable expectations. Honesty goes a long way to make tenants feel more comfortable and make them want to stay longer. 

#7: Resolve Problems Quickly

Even the best of circumstances will occasionally have problems to deal with. Be quick to respond and courteous to their request. Offer a solution to their concerns, or at least let them know that you’ll look into it and get back to them. When a tenant calls you with an issue or challenge, the last thing they want to hear is no. Try to extend the same courtesy that you would expect from when you are a client of someone else. Remember, your tenants can always take their business elsewhere.

#8: Offer Bonuses

If you have the perfect tenant who always pays rent on time and keeps the home well taken care of, you could offer them a bonus or incentive. For example, send them a holiday card with a gift card, offer a concession for a certain amount of money off rent for a month, reach out to them on their birthday. Or, even offer to not increase their rent when the lease expires. Even the smallest of acts can go a long way in a tenant’s decision whether to stay or leave your property. 

#9: Make Accommodations

Occasionally tenants may ask for special accommodations, be sure to check your local and state laws as some of these accommodations you may be legally required to address. However, if your tenant has a request that is somewhat reasonable to accommodate, consider taking action on it. Just like offering a bonus, even the smallest of acts can go a long way with your tenants. However, be aware that not all accommodations are reasonable. Use your best judgment or even get legal advice on how to address a tenant’s special request. 

#10: Learn From Your Mistakes

Every landlord is going to make mistakes along the way, learn, document, and work to become better the next time something needs to be addressed. Even something as small as a delayed maintenance request or an untimely rent increase could be enough to make a tenant want to leave. Tenants will see your willingness to learn from your mistakes and do better next time. 

Thanks for watching today’s video on 10 Tips to Reduce Vacancies in Your Rental Property. My name is Tanya with Envy Property Management, make sure you subscribe to receive more valuable information about your investment properties. If you have any questions about property management or what we can do to help you increase your return on investment, please call us at 801-337-4337, or visit our website at envypm.com.