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BizReport : Internet Marketing 101 : November 02, 2021

The 8 Best Strategies to Reduce Vacancies

As a property investor and landlord, you're interested in making as much money as possible, while reducing stress and complexities that make your life more difficult. One of the best ways to accomplish all these goals simultaneously is to reduce vacancies in your property. But how do you do it?

by BizReport

Why Reduce Vacancies?
Vacancies occur when your property is unoccupied; one tenant moves out and you start the process of finding another. During this time, you'll still be responsible for all expenses and upkeep associated with the property, but you won't have any revenue coming in from your tenants.
Reducing vacancies can help you in several ways.

· Profitability. You can use a cap rate calculator to estimate the profitability of your property, assuming your property is occupied most of the time. But if you have vacancies more frequently than you expected, or if those vacancies last too long, your profits will be quickly devoured. Minimizing vacancies is one of the best strategies to ensure your property makes more money.

· Convenience. Reducing vacancies is also convenient for you, personally. You won't have to spend as much time dealing with tenant turnover, marketing the property, or sorting out other headaches.

· Public image. If your property has too many vacancies, it can be bad for the property's image and the neighborhood. What does it say about the property when your tenants keep moving out after only a few months of occupancy?

· Other benefits. Many strategies associated with reducing vacancies also have beneficial side effects. For example, you'll typically end up making tenants happier, which can lead to speedier and more amicable resolutions if and when you face conflicts.

The Best Strategies to Reduce Vacancies
So what are the best strategies to reduce vacancies in your rental property?

1. Tenant screening. Tenant screening is an absolute must. Before approving a tenant, you'll need to verify several details about their past and present, such as their current employment, their current income, and their previous rental history. Through this method, you'll be able to reject tenants who are unlikely to pay rent consistently and those likely to cause problems at your property. Instead, you can focus on the best-quality tenants - and those who want to stick around.

2. Longer leases. Using longer terms for your lease agreements can be a double-edged sword. You might have a harder time finding people who want to rent your property, but the people who do rent it will rent it for longer. This won't protect you from the possibility of tenants breaking the lease early, but on average, you'll have longer arrangements.

3. Tenant interviews. When evaluating tenants, spend some time interviewing them and getting to know them. Ideally, your tenants will have long-term plans for the area - rather than using your property as a stepping stone to their next destination. This is also a great opportunity to forge a good relationship with your prospective tenants, so they're more inclined to stay with you for longer.

4. Better communication. Communication is key for tenant retention. Being proactive and transparent with your tenants will build their trust and make them appreciate this living space even more. It's also important for fostering faster conflict resolution (if and when conflicts arise).

5. Fast repairs. Even the best and newest properties can suffer damage over time. If and when a tenant reaches out to you with a problem, do your best to address the problem quickly. Handling repairs efficiently and expediently will keep your tenants happy - not to mention keeping your property in better overall condition.

6. Property improvements. Don't just focus on repairs and emergencies; it can also be valuable to make occasional improvements to the property. Planting a new flower garden, adding extra storage space, or even giving the cabinets a facelift can make your tenants feel like they're living in a brand new home.

7. Negotiations and flexibility. Occasionally, your tenants may have issues paying rent on time or complying with specific clauses of your lease agreement. If you want to keep them around, consider being flexible and negotiating with them. Try to find a solution, even if it means taking a temporary loss.

8. Tenant appreciation. Show appreciation to all your tenants who pay rent consistently and on time (and those who take good care of your property). Even something simple, like a thank you card or a holiday card, can go a long way.

In addition, it's important to analyze and understand when and why your vacancies occur. Most of your tenants will move out eventually; when they do, ask for some feedback. Why are they moving out? Is there anything you could have done differently? Chances are, there's something you can learn - and some positive changes you can make for your next residents.


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