How to Attract Top Tenants to Minimize Vacancies

When you own rental property, vacancies are lost money. For every day you have a vacant unit, you’re losing money, and it’s not going to be easy to make up for that loss. For example, if you typically rent a unit for $2,000 per month, that’s $24,000 in rental income each year. If it sits vacant for two months, you’ve lost $4,000. For those months, you’ll have to take the hit and pay your mortgage out of pocket, along with all your other monthly expenses.

Vacancies are an inevitable part of owning rental property, but when you attract high-quality, long-term tenants, you can avoid excessive, costly vacancies. Here’s how.

1. High-quality tenants are more likely to be long-term

There are numerous benefits of having tenants who want to stay put and rent from you long-term. The main benefit is that your property will remain rented, not vacant, for long periods of time. You’ll have a more consistent flow of rental income, and won’t have to worry about rushing to get a new tenant. When you don’t take your time to choose a tenant, you risk choosing the wrong person who will either be problematic or damage your property.

If you don’t know how to find good tenants who wish to remain in the same home for many years to come, hire a property manager. For example, Green Residential, a well-respected Fort Worth property management company, makes sure to select only the most ideal tenants for their investor clients. They are experts at reducing vacancies by thoroughly screening tenants and choosing the best match.

The longer you can get your tenants to rent from you, the less money you’ll lose on vacancies. One of the most common strategies to get tenants to sign a long-term lease is to offer a discount on rent, especially when their original lease is up for renewal. For instance, you can offer a $200 per month discount on the rent for signing a 24-month lease, or whatever type of offer works best for you.

2. Define your ideal tenant

Your ideal tenant has a profile that you can use as a guide for filling your vacancies. Keep in mind that when writing ads designed to appeal to a specific demographic, you can’t be discriminatory in those ads or in how you select your tenants. However, you can choose to advertise only in certain publications and spaces where your ideal tenants are likely to spend time.

Aside from demographics, set your qualifications, like the minimum credit score you’ll accept, the income requirements, and any other qualities you find important in a tenant. Just make sure everything you require is legally allowed. If you’re not sure, consult with an attorney first.

3. Pay attention to a prospect’s car

Looking at a prospective tenant’s car can give you a good idea regarding how they live. For example, if their car is filthy on the outside and filled with trash, they’re probably a messy person and could be a risk to your property. People who don’t dispose of trash promptly and leave garbage lying around outside for days or weeks (or months) will eventually create an unwanted infestation of rodents and insects.

On the other hand, a person with a neat and clean vehicle (inside and out) is more likely to be responsible and clean. This isn’t always the case and there are exceptions, so don’t form any conclusions based on a person’s car alone. However, if you’re considering denying an applicant for other reasons and you remember they had a filthy car, that could be a sign that you’re correct in rejecting their application.

4. Maintain curb appeal

Curb appeal is what makes potential tenants fall in love with a property right away, and if you don’t have it, they might not be all that interested. When you’re trying to attract the highest quality tenants, they want good curb appeal. An ugly property is usually a deal-breaker for them.

Everything should look good when people drive by or pull up into the driveway, including the concrete, bushes, lawn, fences, stairs, roof, chimney, garage door, porch, siding, and anything else visible. Nothing should be broken, dented, or in disrepair. If it is, fix it immediately and you’ll get more interest from high-quality tenants.

Reduce money lost to vacancies by attracting better tenants

By implementing these strategies, you can attract the kind of tenants who will take good care of your property and rent from you long-term. It’s easier to foster positive relationships with good tenants, and they’ll be more likely to renew their lease and treat you with respect during their tenancy.

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