Investment properties should remain occupied to maintain their profitability. A property that sits vacant for too long can often become a liability. The average vacancy rate for rental properties in the United States is 7%, but that rate varies from city to city and the type of residential real estate. One thing is clear: as a long-vacant home ages, it opens itself up to vandalism, breakdowns, and disrepair.
How to Maintain a Vacant Property
As tedious as it may sound, your vacant property deserves as much attention as your leased property. After putting so much into your investment, the last thing you’d want is for it to depreciate or lose appeal altogether.
Manage your vacancy, so it’s in showable condition at all times. Make sure to:
- Visit the property often. Check on your rental at least once a week to ensure it’s safe and secure. Look for signs of forced entry, check that doors and windows are properly locked, and test your home security system.
- Check the mailbox. The mailbox is one of the first signs that a property is vacant. Take the time to go through it, discarding junk mail and forwarding or returning mail intended for your previous tenants.
- Make Upgrades. Take advantage of your vacancy and consider making updates so you can compete with newer properties more aggressively. Specifically, pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Upgrading outdated and aged appliances to stainless steel and replacing damaged and old countertops with a more modern and durable quartz can increase property values and asking rent.
- Keep to a regular maintenance schedule. Make sure the lawn and trees are regularly cared for, and check the HVAC system, confirming the thermostat works properly. Dust and clean, and make any needed repairs that come from normal wear-and-tear. Avoid “band-aid” repairs, doing only the minimum to rent the property. Institutional clientele are now offering high- quality, well-maintained properties. Lasting repairs will ensure your property is always ready to be leased for top dollar.
Often, landlords find that maintaining an empty home is an all-consuming task. To help ease the burden, consider working with a professional property management company that has the resources to maintain your rental—and get it leased.
Tips for Getting Your Rental Leased Fast
One of the biggest worries for property owners is that their rentals will sit vacant for too long. Whether it’s a pandemic, poor online visibility, or mismanaged marketing, the longer it takes to find qualified tenants, the higher the cost of maintaining a vacant home.
To attract quality tenants, consider:
- Hiring a property management company. Working with a professional, you’ll receive personalized advice on pricing and other factors that give you a competitive edge.
- Getting on the MLS. Market your property listing on the MLS and leverage the leasing power of the real estate community.
- Listing on multiple online listing sites. In addition to the MLS, make sure your property is listed on reputable sites, like Trulia, Zillow, Zumper, and more.
- Going digital. Now more than ever, tenants are expecting a quick, easy, and contact-free way to get into their new rental. Employ an online leasing platform for digital lease signing and move-in process.
As an investor, you should have an idea of how long you can reasonably afford your rental to remain vacant. Unfortunately, the current pandemic has brought a new set of unforeseen challenges for landlords across the world. That’s why it’s essential to find a winning strategy for leasing your home. RHOME, a professional property management company, offers a seasoned staff skilled at positioning your home to lease faster. Find out how they can help you at www.rhomepm.com.