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Why is Your Rental Still Vacant?

Rents are increasing across the nation, and rental housing markets are tight.  So why is your rental still vacant?

1.  Consider your price point

Sure the market is going up, but you may still not have priced your rental appropriately. You can get a comparison of rents in your area here

Price has a lot to do with the type of tenant you attract and what they can afford or qualify for.  You may have priced your two bedroom apartment at a monthly rate that is typical for your area, but think about other factors.  Does your competition have better amenities?  Are other rentals located closer to transportation, schools, shopping?  How’s the parking?  How’s the neighborhood safety? Is your rental pet friendly? 

2.  Condition

Condition of the rental means a lot to a prospective tenant.  If the building appears shabby from the outside, needs paint, driveways and parking lot needs repaving, this could be the problem.  Your prospective tenant may be thinking “why would I want to pay that price to live there?”

3.  Marketing

The rental has been on the market for a while and the phone is not ringing.  What does your marketing look like? How are you marketing your rental?

If you are advertising “two bedroom apartment, nice neighborhood” that isn’t enough information.  People want to know square footage, number of beds and baths, and extras such as a patio, pool, or fireplace. If you have onsite laundry or gym that is also an attractive point. 

Are you in a popular school district?  While you cannot say “great schools” you can say things like “walking distance from Jones Elementary School” or “Washington High School district”.

4.  Updates

You might have done all the right things – kept the property looking nice, priced appropriately, marketed the details a tenant wants to know.  But perhaps you need updates. This might become apparent after you show the property a few times and then interest drops off.  Consider updating appliances, floors, carpeting, paint. You don’t have to do a complete renovation, but evaluate if the space is what your idea tenant would want to spend the money you are charging to live there.

The market value of your rental is affected not only by comparable rents in your city, but by the specific location.  Make sure that when you compare prices, they are specific to your part of town or suburb. 

Find out the average rent for your property at myrentrates.com

By Mary Clark

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