Vacancies are as much a part of owning rental property as collecting rent checks or performing maintenance. Even the best tenants with long leases will eventually move out. When you own rental property it makes sense to plan and budget for vacancies and all the costs associated with turning over your property.
While the average rental home vacancy is over one month, some vacancies can last even longer. And every day without a new tenant is a day without rental income. That is why our Atlanta rental property management team works hard to reduce vacancy days. With help from local experts, you can reduce vacancy days and protect your investment. Read the top six ways we reduce vacancy days below.
1 – Preparing the Property for New Tenants
Putting your vacant property back on the market as soon as possible is a top priority. Or is it? Unfortunately, what many inexperienced property owners don’t know is that rushing to list your vacant property can actually make it less marketable. Always wait until your old tenant has moved out to relist your property. New tenants can be swayed by the sights, sounds, and smells of another tenant in transition. In addition, you should perform a few basic maintenance tasks before posting pictures or scheduling shows. Here is what we recommend:
- Rekeying: Your property needs to be rekeyed after every tenant to ensure safety. This step is quick and easy, and should never be skipped. After rekeying make sure you install a lockbox to make showings easy. Our property management company uses secure electronic entry boxes to further increase safety.
- Improvements: If your property needs improvements, such as putting on a new roof, now is the time to schedule them. We do not recommend showing the house while making repairs or improvements. Our professional property managers in Atlanta will help you identify areas that need improvement, repairs, or just a little bit of attention.
- Cleaning: Give your rental property a deep clean, including shampooing the carpets and washing the windows inside and out. You never get a second chance at a first impression so make sure your property looks its best before putting it on the market.
If you are new to owning rental property, it is important to make sure your rental is up to code according to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook. Your property manager will help you understand what this means for your property specifically. In addition, we perform periodic inspections to ensure the property continues to meet local, state, and federal standards. That way, when it comes time to put your property back on the market you already know it is up to code. With experienced property managers getting your rental property ready for new tenants is efficient and thorough.
2 – Expert Property Managers in Atlanta Set Accurate Rent Rates
Most property owners know setting your property’s rent rate too high is one cause of an extended vacancy. But did you know that setting the rate too low can also be bad for business? A rent rate that accurately reflects the current market conditions will lead to fewer vacancy days and more profit. Here is how it works:
- Too low: Many inexperienced property owners think if they price their rental significantly lower than competing properties it will reduce vacancy days. Even when this plan works out, which it does not always do, these property owners aren’t getting the full value of their investment.
- Too high: As we stated above, pricing your rental too high leads to extended vacancy days. An extended vacancy means that even if you do end up renting at a higher rate the money you lost due to the vacancy is not offset by the higher rent.
- Just right: Our expert Atlanta rental property management team will look at what your property has to offer, compare it to other local properties, and help you set a rent rate that will bring you high-quality tenants quickly, without missing out on profit. Without professional evaluation by a local expert, you could be missing out on investment income, or setting yourself up for an extended vacancy.
3 – Aggressive Advertising In Local and National Outlets
Once your rental property is prepped and priced how do you attract high-quality tenants? When you only advertise on a few websites or with a simple sign in the yard you are limiting your reach. Not only will it mean fewer applicants to choose from, it will take longer to receive any applications at all. Our team of leasing experts use yard signage in addition to advertising across dozens of websites. We list your rental property on popular real estate websites applicants from all over the world visit. We also use local advertising methods including posting your property on our own rental listing page. The bottom line is, the more exposure your rental property gets, the less time it will sit vacant.
4 – Shorten Response Time By Using Property Managers in Atlanta
When it comes to learning the details of a property or scheduling a showing, tenants don’t like to wait around. The longer a tenant has to wait the more likely they are to move on and find another property. For some tenants, waiting even 24 hours for a response is enough to make them move on. That is why it is imperative that you respond quickly to requests for information and showings.
This can be difficult for property owners who manage their own rental properties. With daily responsibilities like a full-time job and family, managing a rental property often has to take a back seat. Property owners who hire professional property managers lease their properties faster because there is always someone on call to answer questions and schedule showings.
At Specialized Property Management Atlanta we not only have managers on call daily to answer questions, we include a number that potential tenants can call or text on the yard sign for more info. When an individual contacts our property managers for a showing we work hard to schedule the showing with one of our experienced agents as quickly as possible. Short response times by our Atlanta rental property management team reduces vacancy days and increases the number of applicants so you can pick the best one.
5 – Collecting Applications and Screening Tenants
How do you choose the best tenant for your property? And what does picking a tenant have to do with reducing vacancy days? Experienced property managers will tell you picking the right applicant is one of the most important parts of owning rental property. With the work you put into your property before and during the leasing process, you should have multiple applicants to choose from. Your property manager will collect applications and set to work screening immediately. While screening applicants is not a process you want to skip or take shortcuts in, when you know how to properly screen an applicant you can expedite the process. Tenant screening should always include the following:
- Criminal background check
- Credit check
- Employment history
- Income verification
- Rental history
Our team knows how to screen applicants quickly and thoroughly so you can pick the best tenant for your property and get them in their new home faster.
6 – Managing Lease Signing and Move-In
Comprehensive Atlanta rental property management should always include lease signing and move-in procedures. After screening applicants and choosing the right one the leasing documents must be created quickly, so there is no delay in move-in. Having an experienced property manager on your side will help this process move quickly and efficiently, without cutting any corners or making costly mistakes. Our property managers speed the process further by providing secure owner and tenant portals available 24/7.
Property managers prepare leasing documents that are specific to your property. The lease should include information like when the rent is due and who is responsible for lawn care. At lease signing your property manager will review the lease with the tenant to ensure they understand their responsibilities. In addition, your property manager will perform a move-in inspection taking note of any maintenance issues and answering any questions your new tenant may have. With an experienced property manager handling lease preparation and move-in procedures, you can reduce vacancy days and start off your tenant-landlord relationship on a good foot.
Get Unsurpassed Service with the Top Property Managers in Atlanta
While all of our vacancy reduction tips are worthwhile, the only way to really ensure you reduce vacancy days is to work with the experienced professionals at Specialized Property Management Atlanta. Our team has the experts you need on hand to make the most of your investment. Just check out this recent Google review:
“Specialized Property Management has been very instrumental in vetting and placing qualified tenants into my rental property. Communication with the whole Specialized team is second to none. I would recommend Specialized Property Management to anyone looking to rent out their property with very little time spent empty.”– property owner Manny B
With unsurpassed service you can be sure your rental property and tenants are well taken care of, saving you time and money at every stage of the leasing cycle.