An investment property that is standing empty is one of the most stressful situations for a landlord - but just as there are many reasons for vacancies, there are solutions too.
The trick is to have a plan - a methodical approach to finding tenants and minimising the possibility of vacancies in the future.
First up, if your investment property is vacant, it's vital to make it as appealing as possible for potential tenants - both internally and externally.
If there's a garden, it's imperative that this is well-maintained, neat and tidy and that the verge or the property surrounds are visually appealing. If a prospective tenant sees an unkempt lawn or a yard strewn with junk, they're very likely to infer that that's a reflection of the property itself and will probably walk away without even looking at what's inside.
Even if a property was professionally cleaned after the last tenants left, it will still need ongoing cleaning even if it's vacant. It is surprising just how much dust can accumulate in an empty home - and in order to attract tenants, it's vital that the property is fresh and clean and that it looks well cared-for.
Simple additions like a potted plant or vase of silk flowers on the kitchen counter (good quality ones look surprisingly real) can add something special to the property.
If a property remains vacant despite prospective tenants viewing it, you should ask yourself some tough questions. Is the decor a bit dated? Would a fresh coat of paint make a difference? Some easy upgrades like changing light fixtures or putting new, modern handles or knobs on the kitchen and bathroom cupboards can instantly update the look and feel of the property.
Another important consideration is to make the viewing of your property as easy and convenient as possible. If you're marketing it yourself, you may have to be flexible with the viewing times and make yourself available after hours - or if you're appointing a property management company, make sure that they're genuinely committed to finding a tenant and that they go out of their way to meet their clients' needs.
If you've just bought an investment property and intend appointing a property management company, then it's a good idea to have one lined up before settlement so that they can get going right away - and therefore minimise the chances of the property sitting empty. A professional property management company will have proven processes for attracting tenants (including professional photographers, effective media strategies etc.) and will know what the best solution is for marketing your property.
Another tip for minimising vacancy rates is to get feedback from prospective tenants as to why they didn't sign up for your property. Getting their views will point you in the right direction for making changes and addressing any negatives.
Given all of the above, appointing a professional property manager will be your first line of defence against the threat of vacant rentals. A company like Time Conti Sheffield, which has been in property management in Perth for 60 years, has all the experience, the networks and the expertise to market your property optimally and attract the right type of tenant at terms and conditions that suit you. Call them on their 24 hour telephone number 08 9362 5333 or visit their website for a comprehensive look at all aspects of property management in Perth.