As a rental property owner, vacancy properties mean lost income. The longer your property stays vacant, the more time you are spent incurring mortgage and maintenance costs, with no rental payments to show for it. While rental properties are still a great source of income, they do come with a few hefty risks. According to recent research, there is a critical shortage of rental homes in the U.S. - 3.6 million homes to be exact. With demand for rental spaces rampant, it could be the perfect time to put your property on the rental market. However, if you want to ensure a quick rental, there are some things you can do to help the process along. Similar to satisfying all the requirements for a rental property, landlords can speed up the process with a few little tweaks.
Price According To Your Property And Market
One of the first things renters consider when searching for rental property is price. In Zillow’s Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, 85 percent of renters said a property price needed to be within their initial budget. Price a property too high, and you risk it being on the market for a long time due to unaffordability. Most landlords use the 1 percent rental income rule, which means charging 1 percent of the property’s value as monthly rent. Others use the cost of their monthly mortgage as a guideline when setting prices. While these are both very important parts of the equation, landlords should do their research on their local areas and any rent control laws that may be in place.
Rent control laws exist in states like Washington, Oregon and Maryland. They essentially place limits on how much you can charge for rent and the allowed rental increases every year. For information on your local rental prices, check out similar properties in the area that are on the market, using rental search platforms like Curbed and Apartment Guide. This will give you a good starting point to price your property, and you can adjust it based on your property’s unique selling points.
Spruce Up Your Property’s Assets To Match Renter’s Must-Haves
Every renter is going to view your property with a must-have list - i.e. a list of features or inclusions they want in a rental property. For some renters, it is ample space. For others, it is a good kitchen or backyard space. When putting your rental property on the market, it helps to know what renters are looking for, and do some budget-friendly redecorating between tenants. A past report by the American Apartment Owners Association found that certain features like the inclusion of an air conditioning unit, dishwashers, and well-designed kitchens were important to them. Over 90 percent of renters said they would not lease without these features.
Renters also appreciate the inclusion of high-tech white goods like smart dishwashers or refrigerators. Keep this in mind when deciding on a kitchen fridge, as well as taking into account the size of the property and therefore the number of people the appliance will serve. In the NMHC/Kingsley Associates Apartment Resident Preferences Report, connectivity was very important for 91 percent of renters. Trends like voice-activated and smart technology featured heavily in renters’ must-have list. A fresh coat of paint can also help to brighten up spaces.
Maximize Your Rental Property's Ad Visibility On Real Estate Sites
If you want to get your rental property off the market quickly, you need to ensure it is very visible to those looking for a property. In recent years, this has meant increasing your visibility online. An overwhelming percentage of renters now rely on online reviews and platforms when looking for a rental property. The 2019 Renter Insight & Digital Engagement survey found that 93 percent of U.S. apartment searchers used online reviews in their search. Approximately 64 percent of them would also pay more for a property with positive reviews, which gives you a great pricing boost as a landlord. Explore rental websites and apps like Apartment Guide, Craigslist, and For Rent to advertise your property.
Lastly, don’t forget to go with the traditional 'for rent' sign as well. Word of mouth is still pretty powerful. While you can't guarantee how the rental market will react, using valuable information like what renters want can help you minimize the time your property is on the market - and maximize your rental income flow.