As you know, when you have a vacant rental property it costs you money every day it is empty, so minimizing that time to as short as possible is important. If you are struggling to fill your vacancies, read on for some helpful tips to help you streamline the process.
Make sure all online information is accurate and up to date
Before you do anything else, you need to make sure that you have all the correct information about your available units, such as pricing, dates available, and size, on your website and other marketing channels. You want to ensure that all properties that are available for rent are displayed online, and that those that are no longer available have been removed. For prospective residents, it is frustrating to find a property that they like online only to find out that the unit is no longer available or that the pricing is incorrect. Ensuring that all prices listed online are correct and updated regularly is very important. If you have incorrect information posted, you will have a hard time leasing the property.
Schedule housekeeping and maintenance repairs
After you have verified that all online information is correct, you should schedule a top-to-bottom cleaning of the property. Make a list of all the tasks that you’ll need to do get your property rent-ready. Re-key the locks, professionally clean the carpets, inspect and clean windows, and paint and repair any holes in the walls.
After you have finished cleaning up and fixing the property, it is a perfect time to take photos of the property. Photos are all about promoting your property and are a huge part in getting interested prospects. Make sure you have high quality and professional images of the outside and interior of the property.
Post on rental listing websites
There are hundreds of websites available for free that you can use to advertise your vacancies. Popular ones include Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, and Craigslist. People who are looking to rent browse these sites daily, so you are guaranteed to increase your engagement by posting listings here. You should use enticing descriptions and keywords to describe the unit and community in the listing. Words like “closet space”, “city views”, and “elegant” help sell properties. Make sure to highlight the best features of your property and come up with keywords that will appeal to potential renters.
Make social media your best friend
Use your accounts on social media to reach a larger audience. If you don’t already have one, create a Facebook group for your residents. This will help foster a positive sense of community and give you a place to advertise events and post listings. Create Facebook events to increase your property’s exposure. Run open house events and fun community events like food truck extravaganzas, car washes and community yard sales. People will be able to share these events within their personal network on Facebook, which will generate more traffic to your page.
Use Instagram to post those high-quality photos you took after cleaning the property. To enable potential renters to find your page, add relevant and trending hashtags to your captions. You should aim for no more than 5-10 hashtags per post. This will lead to more interaction and again allow more people to find your page.
Use online reviews to your advantage
Reviews are valuable because they reflect on your reputation and how happy the renter is going to be at your property. As of 2019, 64% of renters use online reviews to help them decide where they want to rent. It is easier to fill vacancies when you have a good reputation. You should strive to respond to all your reviews – especially the negative ones. Conversation engagement helps boost your image and shows people that you care about their experience and want to work to improve in the areas you are receiving negative feedback.
One way that you can get more positive reviews online is by creating an incentive program for current residents. If you offer a small gift card or rent discount, most people will be willing to write a review. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews! If you provide good service to your residents, then they are more likely to leave those stellar reviews you want. If you are receiving multiple negative reviews from your residents, it’s time to work on improvement.
When listing a vacancy, you want to emphasize the lifestyle that your rental property offers. Remember that renters aren’t just looking for a home, they are also looking for a quality of life that fits their needs. List all amenities and resident perks that your community offers. If you don’t already have them, start resident social events where people can get together and mingle such as bonfires, yoga classes, and painting/cooking classes.
Offer the best customer service that you can and get personal with your residents. When responding to a customer’s email or in-person inquiry, use their first name, address what they have asked you, and answer all questions fully. You want to create a positive relationship with your residents and make them feel comfortable coming to you for their needs.
Remember that every day your rental property is vacant, you are losing income!