Get proactive about lowering your vacancy rates! As a property owner or manager, one of your primary goals is to maintain a low vacancy rate and ensure a steady stream of rental income.
In the ever-changing landscape of the real estate market, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with effective strategies to attract and retain residents.
How can we reduce vacancy rates, especially here in Milwaukee? Here are some practical tips to help property owners mitigate unnecessary vacancies.
Screen Residents Thoroughly
Some landlords may make the mistake of not properly screening residents for various reasons. This can result in allowing unstable, late-paying, or destructive residents to rent one of your properties. For this reason, effective screening for world-class residents should be a top priority for reducing rental vacancy rates.
When you thoroughly screen residents, you can start to see patterns in how and where people rent. For instance, well-employed, high-income residents in Milwaukee sound like the big fish, but they have a greater propensity to migrate to better places. On the other hand, residents with lower income or unreliable employment can frequently move because of unemployment or financial difficulties.
Good property management involves asking your residents questions to know more about their employment status, rental history, reason for moving, and how long they intend to stay. With their answers, you will have a better understanding of the potential resident they might turn out to be and their rental needs.
After an interview with a prospective resident, you can ask for references from former landlords, run credit reports, and do background checks. Additionally, debts, criminal records, past evictions, and late payment history should be looked into as well.
This process shouldn’t be seen as a way to discriminate against people for past mistakes or current circumstances, it is to safeguard your property from rental issues that could occur due to these situations. Some records should not completely write a resident off. By talking with them in person, you can determine if they are trustworthy and stable. Even with debts, criminal records, or past eviction history, you can still find some world-class residents as long as they keep up with their word.
Provide a Long-term Lease
Engaging in a long-term lease means you are ready to lease your Milwaukee property for two years or more instead of the average 12 months. These long-term leases can help you reduce your vacancy rate.
Long-term leasing may present some risks, such as keeping a resident you aren’t happy with for a long time or the inability to raise the rent till the end of the lease term.
You can handle the risk of having to deal with a resident you’re not happy with by being thorough with the screening process (as mentioned before). Utilize credit and background check services for residents to ensure you are covering all your bases.
It is also beneficial to contact prospective residents’ references, former landlords, and employers to know how reliable and secure they are as residents.
If you intend to increase rent at some point, it is best to include a clause in the lease stating a percentage increase in the rent after a year (or stated timeframe). It all depends on your choice timeline. Make certain that your resident knows the clause before they sign and move in.
Maintain the Property Regularly
Maintaining your property’s condition is key to resident satisfaction and retention. Conduct regular property inspections to identify and address maintenance issues promptly. A well-maintained property not only attracts potential residents but also encourages existing ones to renew their leases, reducing the risk of prolonged vacancies.
Leaving all normal upkeep to the residents may turn them off and make them relocate to a better-maintained or newer property in Milwaukee.
When something goes wrong in the property, repairs should be made as soon as possible. This shows residents that you care about them. Here at Performance Asset Management, we offer same-day and emergency services for almost all maintenance issues. This way we can ensure our residents are receiving the best care possible when they need it the most.
Furthermore, safety is a top concern for residents when choosing a rental property. Invest in security measures such as surveillance cameras, secure access points, and well-lit common areas. Implementing safety measures not only attracts residents but also fosters a sense of security.
Develop a Good Relationship With Your Residents
Good communication is key in property management. And developing those relationships further can greatly benefit your property business overall. Open and effective communication with your residents builds trust and strengthens the landlord-resident relationship. Talk to your residents often to know how they feel about the property and how you can serve them better.
Being friendly with your resident and understanding them is a very practical way to keep them longer. Try to understand your residents and know the best ways to make them feel at home.
The majority of residents have left a property because the manager or landlord is unresponsive to their requirements and complaints. Be responsive to inquiries and maintenance requests, and provide clear channels of communication. Promptly address any concerns raised by your residents to ensure they feel valued and heard. Satisfied residents are more likely to stay longer, reducing vacancy rates and turnover costs.
Set the Right Price
Unreasonable or overly expensive prices may keep your property vacant for a very long time. Before setting your rental price, it is necessary to analyze other rental properties in your area to determine a fair price.
Do your due diligence to find out what rents look like around you or use the services of a real estate expert.
After seeing the price of local rentals, you can set a reasonable price that will both be competitive and help you maximize your return on investment. Setting the price will largely depend on the location of the property and its quality.
Use Adequate Marketing & Advertising
In today’s digital age, the majority of prospective residents begin their property search online. To increase visibility and attract a wider audience, optimize your property’s online presence.
When doing this, imagine yourself as the resident you want to reach. What websites would you visit? Do you use newer or older sites when looking for apartments? These questions and more will help you find out where to place your ads.
Utilize high-quality photos, compelling property descriptions, and accurate details on popular listing platforms. Consider leveraging social media and digital advertising to reach potential residents where they spend most of their time.
The rental business also runs in a cycle, which necessitates marketing your property in Milwaukee when people are looking. For instance, it is easier to get your hands on long-term residents in spring and summer than it is in fall or winter.
So, try to make your property available for rent when there is a greater likelihood to have the most residents.
Reward Your Most Promising Residents
Homeowners dream about very cooperative and loyal residents. To keep such residents, you can offer them incentives during lease renewals. It can be a cable or Netflix subscription, a new device, a household appliance, or a discount on next month’s rent.
Residents will be grateful that they are rewarded by a landlord who cares about them.
Rewards not only lubricate the landlord-resident relationship but they motivate residents to stay longer. After it all, the vacancy rate drops, and your pocket gets bigger during lease renewals.
This can also be a great way to find new residents. Offer existing residents incentives or discounts for referring new, qualified residents. Since your current residents are already familiar with the property and its amenities, their recommendations can be a valuable source of reliable and long-term renters.
Let Performance Asset Management Help Reduce Vacancy Rates
The tips in this article, if well applied, will lower your property vacancy rate and get more of that cool cash rolling in. However, hiring a property management company in Milwaukee allows you to do all of these tips in just one act.
Performance Asset Management is a top-rated property management company in Southeastern Wisconsin. We practice a vacancy-eliminating property management approach and maintain properties to our residents’ and owners’ liking.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you reduce your vacancy rates today.