A vacant rental property is every landlord’s worst nightmare. Vacancy may arise when you have to file to evict a tenant, when a tenant breaks their lease, or when you first put your property on the market.
When rental property in Tampa is vacant, it can be a real drain on your finances as the property owner.
As the owner, you will still be responsible for paying any insurance you have on the rental property. If the utilities in the property are under your name, you’re still responsible for paying them. You also will still be responsible for paying the property taxes. And if you don’t own your rental property outright, you will likely be responsible for making a monthly mortgage payment.
So, how do you quickly fill your vacant property? Well, here are some expert tips.
- Screen for long term tenants
This is perhaps the best way to avoid a high vacancy rate. Proper tenant screening, coupled with routine property inspections can help reduce the chance of an unexpected income loss.
A proper tenant screening involves looking at the prospective tenant’s history, past credit history and determining whether or not the tenant has the ability to adhere to all terms of the lease agreement.
Some red flags to look out for when screening a new tenant include:
- Frequent moving
- Sketchy or suspicious behavior during interview
- Low credit score
- Insufficient income
- Long gaps in employment
- Unwillingness to offer information
Be where potential tenants are: online. Use the website to advertise your rentals. Needless to say, the website should be of high quality. However, simply having a website doesn’t mean that a tenant will likely discover your rental.
To make it a great marketing tool, you need to optimize it for search engine visibility. This will make it rank better in search engines and you’ll increase your likelihood of landing a prospective tenant.
Moreover, you could still use your online presence to give potential tenants more information about the property. It doesn’t need to be complicated. You could even design it yourself using readymade templates.
Advertising your property on Craigslist is free. This is unlike many online services that charge fees for posting ads. Since its inception in 1995, more than a billion people have posted real estate ads on the site.
When advertising your rental property on the site, don’t simply throw a two-line description about your property. But rather, describe the benefits of living in your rental property, talk about the amenities, and don’t forget to throw in a couple of good-looking photos.
Although old fashioned, “For Rent” signs shouldn’t be overlooked. These signs are still viable ways to get your homes rented. This is because they achieve something that online ads can’t. They are extremely targeted.
To help save time and weed out unscheduled visits, remember to note “By Appointment Only.”
You could also offer your existing tenants a reward for referring a good prospect to you. That being said, this method can only work if you already have a good relationship with them.
You could, for instance, offer 100 bucks to a tenant who refers you a friend who’s approved for a lease. Tenants referred this way usually tend to stick around for a while.
Rental listing syndication services can help drive more leads to your properties. A study from apartments.com found that 61% of online apartment searches begin with either a search engine or an apartment listing site.
Also, these sites typically drive lots of visitor traffic. In one year, the top rental listing websites accounted for 176.023 million unique website visitors, according to comScore, Inc. (an analytics firm).
Besides Craigslist, here are other top spots to include on your online marketing checklist: Zillow Rental Manager, Realtor.com, Apartments.com, Homes.com, Zumper.com, Apartment List, and Rent Path.
Posting to these sites can also be done automatically using property management software programs.
There you have it, six surefire tips to help you quickly fill your vacant rental property. Experiment with these to see what works best for your particular neighborhood.