Unexpected vacancies can really be a drain on a property’s return and cash flow. The end of a year, even though it’s the holiday season, is no exception. Neither are the early months of winter when fewer moves occur.
That’s why property managers use multiple ways to attract new residents that work all year round. It’s also effective to have many clever methods that will fill vacancies as quickly as possible.
Before I add to your “arsenal” on this subject I want to normalize the fact that finding effective ways to keep our rental units filled doesn’t come naturally. Filling apartments is actually an acquired skill which requires regular updating. At Northwest Atlanta Property Management we use everything cost-effective method we know. Here’s some of them.
Since resident turnover is a property owner’s biggest expense, the best way of keeping your cash flow steady is to do all to influence residents to stay put. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Do repairs, update the paint and carpet, work with them on the very occasional financial difficulty. This leads to fewer vacancies.
Yet even when we screen for residents who are longer-term “settlers”, we still have those unexpected vacancies. That’s why I suggest you building a “waiting list” even when your units are filled.Since you’re going through the effort to build a waiting list you’re wise to fill it with prescreened applicants with strong credit histories and positive reputations. Regularly adding new names of qualified candidates will pay big dividends by cutting the turnaround time to find occupants fast.
Here are a few more ideas for filling your vacancies as quickly as possible.
- Gather contact information on local churches and synagogues. Ask for the name of the secretary or director of services. When vacancies arise email them pertinent information useful to their congregants.
- Do you have a local Housing Authority in your community? If so discover how you can serve their housing needs. Ask them for their suggestions on how you can be a source of help.
- Create your own list of reliable current residents with whom you’ve built strong relationships. Ask for their help in finding more people like them to be their neighbors. Residents feel respected when you offer them the chance to bring in referrals. A “thank you” gift is smart too.
- Use Craigslist. It’s our second best source of quality tenants. Our Multi List is First. Rentals.com is #3.
- Return phone calls and emails promptly – most tenants work from their list and want to set up viewings today!
Any other ideas – or if you need help getting your home rented – call us at 678-557-2228
Mike, Donna and Lillian!