Vacancies are the bane of every property investor's life. They're costly and time-consuming and if they happen frequently or for an extended period, they can negatively impact on the financial performance of the property investment.
Keeping vacancy rates to an absolute minimum should therefore be a top priority for investors - but is that easier said than done?
Of course, there are many factors that will be out of the control of the individual such as market forces of supply and demand, the economic environment, the employment market and so on, but there are many things that landlords can do themselves to keep vacancy rates low.
- Attract quality tenants and screen them carefully
- Focus on better marketing techniques and tools to reach the target audience
- Actively promote the rental property, don't just passively show it and expect tenants to be impressed
- Make your property as attractive as possible to prospective renters
- Incentivise prospective tenants with special offers such as a free week's rent, regular garden maintenance or pool maintenance
- Be realistic about rental rates and be wary when raising the weekly or monthly amount.
- Work out whether a lower rental amount and a regular income is better than a vacant property
- Incentivise existing tenants by offering a bonus for referrals
- Offer an incentive for tenants to stay such as a rent reduction or added security
- Keep your investment property in tip-top shape. Make sure it's clean and neat, smarten up its street appeal and attend to any repair or maintenance issues promptly
- Consider cosmetic upgrades such as a fresh coat of paint, new plants in the garden or upgraded floor coverings
- Try and accommodate tenants' requests as far as possible as this will encourage them to stay in your property
- Make your investment property pet-friendly. There aren't enough pet-friendly rental properties to meet demand and research confirms that well-managed rentals that accept pets can be a competitive advantage
A single phone call to a property management company like Time Conti Sheffield can be the most important thing you do to keep vacancy rates low. As professional property managers in Perth for over 60 years, they are well aware of the vagaries of the rental market and they know just how important low vacancy rates are to the financial performance of an investment property. If you want to find out more about how professional property management can help you maximise the value of your property, give them a call on 08 9362 5333 or visit their website, www.timeconti.com.au.