No matter when you purchased, invested in, or put your property up for rent, you lose money for every month that it remains empty. That remains true whether you’re a homeowner who decided to keep your home as an investment property when moving, or whether you’re operating a large scale property investment portfolio. Any empty rental unit can present a serious loss of funds and can upset your entire earnings or return on investment plans.
Luckily, deciding why property isn’t renting is often fairly easy, and therefore relatively easy to fix. Here are some of the common reasons property isn’t renting in an area with a demand for rentals.
Many rentals don’t rent out simply because potential tenants don’t know they exist. This involves a fairly simple problem with marketing. If you don’t have a network to market your property to, then you have to go online. Most people research rental property on websites like Zillow and Trulia or Apartments.com rather than relying on newspaper ads or similar. While both can be valuable, you have to get online if you want exposure for your property. Your ad should contain an honest description, high quality (well-lit) photos, and enough information to pique curiosity.
Reviewing Your Property
If you are getting plenty of interest in your property until you show off the home, then your answer is fairly simple. There’s something wrong with the home itself. You may need refurbishment, new furniture, a remodel, or any of a number of other changes.
Curb Appeal – Curb appeal affects a great deal of the rental decision, so spending a significant amount of time ensuring that the outside of your property looks good can make the difference.
Maintenance & Repairs – Any state of disrepair can be a huge red flag to potential tenants simply because they want to know that you are capable of handling repairs and maintenance while they are in the building. Take the time to fix anything that is broken, damaged, or even dirty before showing the home.
Refurbishment – In some cases, your rental simply doesn’t offer enough to tenants. Taking the time to refurbish it can increase your ability to rent and even increase the rate tenants are willing to pay.
The Rent Rate
It is always a good idea to review your neighborhood to compare the rental rate from property in the surrounding area. You have to compare similar properties with similar amenities, and in similar condition. If the house across the street is renting for $1,650 a month, that doesn’t mean yours will if it’s not a very similar house. Compare rental rates and make sure that yours is not either listed so high as to be a bad investment or so low as to appear to have something wrong with it.
If your property is in a bad location, don’t give up. There are plenty of ways to change your tactics, or add an incentive to get people to rent despite the location. What is a bad location? Anything next to a graveyard, right next to a school, in an area that is difficult to reach, in an area next to debris or immediate construction, or other similar conditions that can affect the comfort of the person living there. Learn how to make the most out of a bad rental location here.
Most of the time, renting property on your own can take as long as a few months. If you’re in a hurry, consider hiring a property management company like SJA Property Management to help you with marketing, tenant screening, showing property, and long-term tenant management.