Home Sales – And Costs – Are Up, But Is That Good For Rentals?
A quick look at today’s real estate market reveals that it’s an exciting time to buy a home; Realtor.com’s 2019 housing forecast suggests a 7% increase in housing market inventory this year. The news isn’t all good, though. There are more homes for sale, but they’re expensive, meaning that down payments are big – averaging $46,000, and monthly mortgage payments are rising. Those looking to fill a rental, then, should remain optimistic, if only because many people just can’t afford to buy.
So what’s going on with that rental you just can’t seem to fill? There are a number of reasons why some rentals seem to sit empty. Making some strategic changes to how you market your property can help you find a tenant more quickly and make it a match that will last.
One of the most common problems with rental listings is that they’re generic – in an attempt to appeal to the masses, they fail to appeal much to anyone. Instead of supplying bland, if accurate, descriptions of your property, it’s important to identify those target words that will encourage potential tenants to come take a look.
According to the rental property experts at Green Residential, some of the best words or phrases you can use to promote your property include such descriptive terms as “open concept,” “fenced backyard,” and “kid-friendly neighborhood.” But what makes these terms special? They all offer some kind of specific insight into the property and target specific tenants. Pair, “fenced backyard” with “pet-friendly,” for example, and dog owners will be in contact immediately. Combine “open concept” with “remodeled” or “luxurious” and the young couple that loves to entertain will come to check out the space.
Ask For Help
While it’s certainly possible to rent out your property on your own, getting help from a real estate agent with renting your property can help you fill it much more quickly. And working with a real estate agent comes with many benefits, besides just the speed with which you’ll find a tenant. Real estate agents take over the marketing, ensure you’re getting fair market value for your rental, and you don’t pay a fee until the property is filled. You’re not earning anything from an empty property, so what you pay in commissions will be negligible compared to maintaining an empty apartment.
Certain policies will consistently drive away good tenants, yet too many landlords have instituted rules that have narrowed their potential market. No pet policies, for example, are one of the biggest regulations that tenants chafe against, and they’re bound to be broken. Not only do people constantly sneak around pet restrictions, but 73% of millennials own pets and they make a lot of their housing choices based on their animals.
Other policies that tend to drive tenants away are those that were once considered standard. In the past, everyone expected a year-long lease, and that was considered a great way to attain housing stability. In today’s gig economy, though, tenants are more likely to look for month-to-month or six-month leases so that if they have to suddenly change jobs, they also have the flexibility to move.
Just as the home sales market is intensely competitive right now, so is the rental market, so you need to do whatever it takes to get an edge over similar properties in your area. Whether that’s as simple as shortening your lease period or adding a small enticement, the traits that build appeal don’t have to be fancy or expensive.
Take a moment, then, and look around at what’s being offered in your neighborhood. Then take the next step and show tenants what makes your property different.