The current Boise rental market is strong which makes units much easier to get rented. However, that is not the only factor that goes into getting a unit filled! There is not a silver bullet when it comes to getting a unit rented. While some things are more important than others, it is many things combined that do the trick!
A good renewal process is the first step. If the existing tenant never moves out, then your units are never vacant! It’s our recommendation to not be too conservative in setting renewals rents, but also not too aggressive. Being too conservative is not fulfilling our responsibility to the client. Being too aggressive may cause too many tenants to leave and potentially saddle property owners with large and unnecessary turnover costs. It can be a very fine line.
If a Landlord ends up with a vacant unit, have solid standards to what is considered rent-ready. Do not be over critical, as it is a rental unit. However, high standards should make the unit much more appealing and set the standard for the tenant from the day they move in.
Cost effective upgrades to the unit are also a way to make a unit more appealing to a perspective tenant. Consider installing cabinet hardware, new light fixtures and/or ceiling fans, 2” faux blinds, led light bulbs, electrical outlets with USB charging ports built in, or anything else you can think of that adds appeal to the property for a reasonable cost.
Online marketing is the best tool you have in the tool box to get a unit rented. A constant re-evaluation process will ensure your advertised property prices are adjusted to match an ever changing market. Online advertising offers huge exposure and uncountable options to get unit listings in front of perspective tenants. Having a clean and easy to navigate website that automatically syndicates to other rental website is key.
Even in this great rental market, sometimes properties sit. Perhaps it’s the time of the year or maybe a large number of units to rent up. Here are some tactics we have tried: consider some move-in rent concessions. Host Open Houses where we advertise and stage a showing agent at the property for several hours on a weekend. Supplement online advertising with websites like Craig’s List and/or Rentals.com. Offer existing tenants a rent credit for referring someone who ends up renting from you. Offer a reduced deposit amount. Use yard signs with dedicated phone numbers for perspective tenants to call and get more information and schedule a showing. Have different property classes for high-end properties versus lower-end properties with different screening criteria (remember fair housing). You can even get more creative and shake a sign or install a crazy arm blower guy!
If the marketing plan has done its job, people will want to see the property. If the property is well maintained and the turnover standards are high, once they tour it, they will rent it! Preleasing is a strategy that not everyone uses. Once a tenant gives us their notice that they are vacating the property, we begin marketing and showing the unit. More often than not, we have a unit re-rented before the exiting tenant even vacates the property. We always dedicate the necessary resources to ensure we have showing agents available to meet perspective tenants at the property and walk them through available units. This is a personal touch that allows perspective tenants to ask questions and has proven to help the showing-to-application conversion rate. There are also self-showing options that allow tenants to provide ID and Credit Card information to receive a code to a lock box that allows them to self-tour vacant units at a time that is convenient for them.
These tools can often be the difference maker even in this market. With that said, imagine how important they will be if/when the market softens?!