How to increase the occupancy rate of your rental properties

If you have a property – or multiple properties – to rent, you know how important it is to keep your quality tenants. Ideally, they’ll be communicative, and take care of your property. 

Unfortunately, keeping quality tenants isn’t the only problem facing landlords today. Finding tenants in the first place can be quite a headache. Unless you’re in a large city with a dearth of quality housing, you likely aren’t reaching the occupancy rate you’d like. This guest post from Cloe Matheson shows some tips to increase your occupancy rate:

Do your research

It’s always best to be prepared when you’re planning on finding new tenants. This includes knowing what else is out there. This way, you can outshine the competition. Research other similar properties in your area by checking their listings online. You could even attend a few viewings incognito to get a deeper understanding of what’s on offer.

Knowing what you’re up against is important in a renter’s market. If your competitors are offering more than you are at the same price, you may have to cut your prices. You could also offer more at the same price – internet included in the rent, for example.

Update your listings

In a competitive market, it’s not enough to simply state the basics when you list your property. Prospective tenants are more likely to choose properties that offer great nearby amenities. For example, if your property is near malls, schools, or parks, make it clear in your listing. Include photos of the surrounding area, so prospective tenants know what to expect.

Don’t embellish, but don’t be afraid to include details you might think are redundant. You never know who these may appeal to. You could also include comments or ratings of your previous satisfied tenants. People are more likely to feel positive about your listing if others have approved it. It’s just like when we shop online – the higher the rating, the better.

Focus on marketing

If you’re having trouble renting your properties during certain periods, you’re not alone. You might like to consider offering discounts or deals. For example, in December you could offer a special move-in deal for new tenants. This could include a free months’ rent or assistance on move-in day. What you choose to offer will depend on your audience. Regardless, using marketing to your advantage will help you to attract potential tenants.

Know your market

When it comes to renters, you likely have a ‘type’. Perhaps your tenants are usually middle-aged, or maybe they’re families with young children. First consider who you usually rent to, and make a list of the pros and cons of different types of tenants.

Think about why you prefer certain types of tenants. Then, no matter whoever currently comprises your market, try broadening it. This may feel daunting, but with any luck, you’ll end up with tenants that you’re glad to have given a chance to. Consider taking tenants who receive housing assistance, too. Many landlords have negative preconceptions about this type of tenant. However, these fears are often unfounded.

Use property management software

To ensure things run smoothly in your rental properties, try property management software. You’ll be able to keep track of payments with ease, as well as log any maintenance you have done. You’ll also be able to check move-in and move-out days. Additionally, you can take advantage of software to set important reminders. This way, you will remember to check whether tenants would like to renew their contracts or not.

Increasing your occupancy rate doesn’t need to be difficult. Do your research, be prepared to adapt, and, with any luck, you’ll then find tenants with ease.

Author’s bio:

Full-time freelance writer Cloe Matheson resides in the charming South Island city of Dunedin, New Zealand. She has penned articles for various sites and blogs, including local business Fuso. Read more of Cloe’s work here.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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