Let’s face it, being a landlord in Houston isn’t the easiest job in the world. The scariest part of being a landlord is having a vacant property. You desperately search for high-quality tenants to fill the vacancy because no tenant means no income for you.
Too many landlords focus on acquiring new tenants in all the wrong ways when there are faster and easier ways to do it. From focusing on tenant retention, which will save you plenty of time and money, to effectively marketing your property, we’re going to share our top secrets to reducing your vacancy rates in Houston. (Be sure to read until the end for the #1 best-kept secret!)
1. Offer Lease Renewal Incentives
Before you start planning your property marketing strategy to acquire new tenants, focus on retaining the tenants you already have. It’s expensive to get new tenants into the property, what with advertising costs, property clean up and repair, lease origination, and more.
So, once you’ve already acquired a tenant who is a good fit for you and your property, do everything you can to keep them! This means being prompt with maintenance requests, forming a trusting and friendly relationship with them, and being a good landlord in general.
To boost your tenant retention, you can even offer an incentive for them to renew their lease. This could be in the form of promising to update the bathroom or a discount on the rent. You could even include a utility in the rent during the next lease term.
These incentives will encourage your current tenants to renew their lease, which leaves you without a vacancy to fill.
2. Maintain the Property
Would you want to live in a property that wasn’t well-maintained or had visible damage to it? Probably not. Well, neither do prospective tenants.
It’s essential to keep your property well-maintained, which includes the exterior. Enhancing the curb appeal is essential when searching for new tenants. It’s the first thing they’ll see, so it needs to make a good impression.
The best way to do this is to regularly inspect and take care of your Houston property. Whether you or someone else does the hands-on work, it must be done.
When a prospective tenant sees that the property is in good condition, they can assume you, as a landlord, makes prompt repairs and cares for the property.
3. Set the Right Price
Finding the right rental price for your property in Houston can be tricky. There isn’t an exact science to it, but rather testing and experimenting to find the right one.
The best thing you can do is conduct a market analysis on similar properties for rent in Houston. Look at how much they are listed for and if they have the same amenities as you do. Adjust your desired rent price accordingly.
When you set the price too high, you won’t get any interest in the property, leaving it vacant for too long. If you set the price too low, you’ll get too much interest. While this may fill your vacancy quicker, you could be losing out on a great deal of income.
You’ll also want to make sure your price is set high enough for you to make a profit. With all of the costs of owning a rental property in Houston, you don’t want to cut yourself short.
4. Market the Property Effectively
The best way to fill a vacant unit is to have a strategic and effective marketing plan. You may be thinking, “I’m a landlord! I have no experience with marketing.” Fortunately, we’re going to cover a few things to help you.
Create an Attractive Listing
Think of your property listing like an advertisement. It has to be interesting and catch the eye of your target market, which are renters looking for a new place to live.
Take updated and clear photos of the property. Make sure it’s cleaned and has plenty of natural lighting to make it look bright and welcoming. It’s best to take these photos when the property is empty.
Next, you’ll have to write an enticing description. Talk about the layout of the property and all of the benefits it has to offer the tenants who choose to live there. Make your reader imagine themselves living in your beautiful Houston property.
Target the Right Audience
You may have a target renter in mind. Millennials make up a huge part of the renter market as 20% have claimed they never want to purchase a home.
If your target renter is a millennial, then the best way to advertise to them is through social media and online platforms. Understand where your renter would search for a home and place your listing there.
Offer Virtual Tours
Technology is amazing nowadays. To make it even easier and less time-consuming to fill your vacancy, offer virtual or 3D tours of the property. This will lower the number of showings with potential tenants who aren’t fully interested in the property.
A virtual tour is also very helpful for prospective tenants who are moving from out of town and have to make a trip to see homes.
5. Include Awesome Amenities
Add an awesome amenity that separates your property from the rest on the rental market. Whether it’s a pool or hot tub, balcony with a view, or even a free Netflix subscription included in the rent, these little touches will attract more tenants.
Not only will more prospective tenants be interested in renting from you, but they’ll be more likely to stay. Why? Because they won’t be able to find another great deal like yours around town!
6. Set Up a Referral Program
Oftentimes, you have to view your job as a landlord like running a business, which essentially you are running a business. One tactic that businesses use to gain more customers and retain current ones is a referral system.
If you have a vacant apartment, offer a reward to friends, family, or current tenants if they refer a new renter to you. This reward can be a gift card, cash, or whatever you see fit.
7. Work with a Professional Property Manager
Now we’ve made it to the best-kept secret of reducing vacancy rates in Houston. While you can try all the methods we mentioned above, the easiest and most effective thing you can do is work with a property manager.
Professional property managers are educated and trained to manage and maintain properties while securing high-quality tenants and reducing vacancy rates. They use all the tactics above to fill your vacant property in Houston.
The beauty of this is you don’t even have to think about it! Your property manager will do everything for you. Basically, you just get to sit back and relax.
Talk to the #1 Property Management Company in Houston
Residential Leasing & Management Corp. is the area’s leading property management company, and we’re ready to help you reduce your vacancy rates.
Having been in business for 40 years, our expert team knows a thing or two about finding the best tenants and keeping them happy while maintaining your property.
Contact us today to get a free rental analysis and find out how we can help you reduce your vacancy rate, maximize your rental income and build wealth strategically.