Vacancies are every landlord’s worst nightmare. When your property is vacant, it means that you’ll be operating at negative cash flow. In other words, you’ll be operating your investment at a loss, as you’ll need to source money elsewhere to pay for operational expenses.
As a landlord, it’s therefore important to have effective rental marketing skills to maximize your profits. Once a tenant moves out, you should ideally be able to re-rent the property within a couple of weeks.
The following are some of the things you can do to re-rent your property in the shortest time possible.
Begin the Marketing Process ASAP
Vacancies can be costly to your bottom line, especially over the long term. To protect your investment, start the marketing process as quickly as you’re able to. And this means starting the process as soon as you receive the move-out notice from your tenant. Which, is typically about 30 days before the move-out date.
Draft an enticing rental ad and then post it to some of the most trafficked sites, such as Craigslist and Zillow. Also, don’t forget to put up yard signs, run local bulletin ads, and even incentive the current tenant to help you find a new tenant.
The more extensive and elaborate the process is, the higher the chances are that you’ll find a tenant quickly.
Schedule Repairs and Maintenance Tasks
After occupation by the tenant, your property will probably need some touches here and there. After all, normal wear and tear are inevitable. To prevent unnecessary delays, you’ll want to schedule any repairs or maintenance work with vendors and contractors.
Doing this will help you save valuable time trying to scramble for professional services once the tenant has vacated the unit. You should only work with professionals that are reliable and have a reputation for top-notch service.
Schedule the Property Showing
Potential tenants will want to view the property before committing to live there. You have the option to do a showing when the tenant is still living there or you can do it after they have left.
While you can show the property when the tenant is still occupying it, the latter option is ideal for two reasons. For one, you’ll be able to avoid problems, such as promising the home to someone, only for the existing tenant to hold over.
Two, you may have a difficult time showing the property in its best condition since someone is still living there. What’s more, with a tenant occupying the unit, you’ll need to do a lot of coordination with them.
On the other hand, showing the property while it’s occupied can drastically reduce vacancy times. If you choose to go this route, the following are some tips to help you have a successful showing:
- Schedule a time that works best for both of you.
- Notify the tenant well in advance. As per Florida law, you must notify your tenant at least 12 hours before any intended entry.
- The entry must occur anywhere between 7:30 a.m to 8.00 p.m unless otherwise agreed by both parties.
- Incentivize the tenant, for example, by offering to pay for a cleaning service.
Conduct a Walk-through Inspection
Although walk-through inspections aren’t required by Florida law, they are incredibly useful in documenting the property’s move-in condition. Use a move-in checklist for a proper process.
The checklist should cover the dining room, living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. And where applicable, make sure to document the condition of items such as:
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Paint, flooring, ceilings, walls, trim, and baseboards
- Light switches, electrical outlets, covers, fixtures, and locks
- The provided appliances and their condition
- Plumbing fixtures in the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry rooms
You can find a walk-through inspection checklist through online resources or by hiring a local property manager who specializes in residential real estate.
Clean the Home Thoroughly
Ideally, give the home a professional clean. Professional cleaning services will have the experience and skills to ensure your home looks its best. This should be on your bill unless the tenant left it excessively dirty. In this case, you have the right to make the appropriate deductions from your security deposit.
Rekey the Property or Have the Locks Changed
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to keep your tenant safe under the state’s safety codes. Luckily, rekeying a property is typically an easy and relatively inexpensive process. This should cost you anywhere between $80 and $160.
Replacing locks, on the other hand, is a more expensive task. On average, expect to pay anywhere between $80 and $300 per lock, depending on the quality. In addition to that, expect to pay up to $200 for a professional installation.
Improve Your Tenant Retention Ratio
This is the best way to reduce vacancies and maximize your income. The following are some tips to help you in this regard:
- Set up open communication channels with your tenant
- Respond to maintenance requests promptly
- Allow the tenant some flexibility when it comes to making small property changes and adjustments
- Collect rent online to make the process easy and convenient for tenants
- Incentivize current tenants to renew their lease
- Build a good landlord-tenant relationship
- Respect your tenant’s privacy
- Conduct a thorough tenant screening process
Hire a Reputable Property Management Company
Do you need expert help in finding and retaining tenants? If so, a good property management firm can help. They will also help you with rent collection, property inspection and maintenance, tenant screenings, and financial reporting.
There you have it, 8 tips for getting your rental property ready to rent. For expert help with this or any other aspect of property management, turn to the experts at Gifford Properties & Management. We’re a top property management company in Fleming Island, FL. Get in touch to learn more!