How Can I Fill My Excess Rental Vacancies?

It’s a difficult time to be a landlord. The global pandemic has caused a lot of havoc for landlords. People losing their jobs and going insolvent has caused a crisis. Evictions have skyrocketed, but the problem is there aren’t people available to fill those vacancies. The entire economic situation is askew in the United States and it’s certainly damaged the rental markets too. Landlords are feeling the pinch with vacancies everywhere.

This has turned the rental landscape into a bit of a real estate warzone. Landlords are fighting over the tenants available while their spaces go unrented. It’s taking money out of a lot of landlords pockets. This is especially troublesome to people who have purchased extra homes specifically for the purpose of renting things out. Many landlords may be wondering how exactly they are able to fill up the excess vacancies they are dealing with. 

Answer: Forsaking Short Term Profits for Long Term Gains Could Work

It may seem counter-intuitive, but now may be an opportunity to profit in the long run instead of collecting rent in the short term. The first is through retention. If you still have a tenant who is struggling or late on their payments and close to being forced out, don’t immediately assume you’ll be able to replace them. Try working with them. Tenants who have been given a break by their landlords during the pandemic have often felt extreme loyalty and goodwill towards them. Consider setting up a longer term lease where the rent comes down in the short term, but will be increased later to balance it out. Halving the rent for a couple of months, while spreading that amount out over another 12 months can help retain your current tenants. This type of pricing strategy can also be used to encourage new tenants when you’re dealing with vacancies. It’s the same kind of upfront savings that cell phone providers have been using to get customers, just on a grander scheme. This option is probably a good choice if you can’t forgo the rental income for a little while.

The second option is to take this time to remodel and improve the space. While it’s true that there are a lot of vacancies on the rental market, that just means people with money are looking for the very best options. Small remodeling efforts can make the place look really good. Focus on the bathroom. Some new fixtures, mirrors and a deep clean from some professionals are cheap upgrades and effective. If there’s a bit more cash available, then new appliances can be a great choice. It may be possible to flip the older appliances for a little cash to subsidize the changes. Another thing to consider is the carpets. Fresh carpets immediately give a great look to an apartment. New carpet can make the entire place look new and attract any tenant.

Additional Resources

These are only a few of the ideas to help take those vacancies away from any landlord. There are certainly other aspects to the rental process that might appeal to others. Some excellent recommended resources include: 

  1. Zumper - Zumper is a website designed to help many people with the many aspects of property management, including laws, regulations and tenant interactions. This article focuses on the features that renter’s find attractive to picking a new place and is useful for landlords with a current vacancy. 
  2. LandlordStudio - If you’re a landlord who isn’t sure about any aspect of your job, then LandlordStudio is a great website for you. This article is a huge blog post about the various listing opportunities and how you can get and retain great tenants to your property. It’s a very comprehensive article. 
  3. American Apartment Owners Association - The AAOA is a nationwide group of landlords and advisors. This article in question is about not only finding tenants, but finding quality tenants that are intending to stick around for the long term. It also looks into ensuring that the property is desirable for tenants.

Questions to Consider