Vacancies are expensive and frustrating, and the longer your property is unoccupied, the more money you’re likely to lose on that investment.
Avoiding long-term vacancies must be a priority when you’re renting out a Santa Rosa rental home. Not only is there the loss of rent, you also have to worry about unreported maintenance issues that may be lurking in the home. An empty property is often the target of thieves and criminals.
Don’t let vacancies frustrate you. Follow these tips on quickly placing – and keeping – fantastic tenants.
Provide a Property Tenants Can’t Wait to Rent
First, make sure you are providing an outstanding rental property. The Santa Rosa rental market is competitive, and your property has to stand out.
Start by making sure it’s perfectly clean. The curb appeal should be welcoming and warm. Make sure everything works. Of course the home is going to remain vacant if the kitchen is missing a refrigerator and none of the doors close properly.
You want the prospective tenant’s first impression to be positive. Let your tenants imagine themselves living in the home. You won’t have a long vacancy period if it’s move-in ready from the moment you begin marketing it.
Price Your Property Competitively for the Santa Rosa Rental Market
The next step in ensuring you don’t have a long vacancy period is to make sure you price your rental property according to the market. Owners want to earn as much as possible on their rental property, and that’s understandable. You don’t want to undervalue your home or leave any potential rental money on the table. But, you have to pay attention to the market and make sure you understand what tenants in this area are willing to pay. Overpriced homes contribute to longer vacancies.
Consider Allowing Pets
Pets can be a problem, especially if you feel strongly about your floors and walls. However, longer vacancies can often be attributed to a no-pet policy. More than half the Santa Rosa tenant pool has at least one pet. If you don’t allow them, you’re eliminating a large chunk of potential renters.
You don’t have to allow every imaginable pet. Put a sensible pet policy in place and make sure your marketing reflects that you’re willing to consider well-behaved pets. You’ll get more interest in your property and your vacancy period will be shorter.
Make Marketing a Priority
Marketing is also a big part of avoiding vacancy.
If you’re simply throwing up a yard sign or posting a two-line advertisement on Craigslist without any pictures, you aren’t going to rent your home quickly.
Take some really great photos that can serve as the foundation for your marketing campaign. Use good lighting and make sure you’re including photos of everything you can, including bedrooms and the kitchen and any outdoor space. Tenants are going to look at photos first when they’re searching for a home. You have to make them count.
List your home on all the popular rental websites that tenants are using, including Zumper and Zillow and HotPads and Rentals.com. You want as much exposure for your property to generate interest and limit vacancy.
Focus on Tenant Retention
The best way to avoid vacancy is by holding onto the tenants you currently have in place. Provide a great rental experience by remaining responsive and accessible. Communicate with your residents. Make sure they have all the conveniences they need, including online rental payments and access to good maintenance services.
Provide a good and positive rental experience for your tenants, and they’ll stay in place longer. Tenant turnovers are expensive; they leave you with a vacancy and it costs money to clean and update your home before a new tenant moves in.
These are some of our best recommendations when it comes to avoiding vacancy. Working with Santa Rosa property managers can also keep your property occupied. If you’d like to hear more, please contact us at Prestige Real Estate & Property Management. We manage homes in Sonoma County, including Santa Rosa, Windsor, Sebastopol, Petaluma, and Rohnert Park.