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Why Won’t My Property Rent? An Expert Property Manager in Bradenton Knows!

If Your Property Is Sitting Vacant, There’s Hope!

“Why won’t my property rent?”

Landlords in Bradenton and across the country have asked this question every now and again. It may just be the beginning of your journey into property management, or maybe you’ve hit a slump in the market. No matter what the stage, it’s good to reassess where you’re at with the following three “pain points.” See if a combination of them needs a little love!

If you find yourself at a loss for what to do next, never fear. Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee is here. We make your success our number one priority! Whether that’s with our full property management services or our new Lease Only Program that covers all of the areas we’ll discuss.

Is Your Advertising Missing the Mark?

A great blog post from a military spouse put it this way: If you’re not getting calls in the first week of listing, it’s probably a marketing problem. If you’re getting calls but no showings scheduled, it’s most likely your rate and your policies aren’t competitive. Finally, if you’re doing viewings but have no applicants, you probably haven’t put enough money into updating the property. This is a great line of reasoning because it simplifies where to start when your vacancy sign is fading in the window.

Following this line of logic, we’ll start with marketing and advertising. If possible, we’ll start with simple, low-cost steps that you can work on by yourself or by partnering with a property management partner.

1. Your Photos Don’t Look Professional

First off, if you don’t have gorgeous pictures of your property to display in your advertising, you’re doing it wrong. The majority of “rental hunting” is done online, and no one wants to risk showing up to a place they’ve never seen. Assuming you’ve taken pictures of your home, look them over. Not every property can look like a million bucks, but they can all look professional. If you’re not photo savvy, that’s okay; you’re probably friends with someone who is! However, know that a property manager can always wrangle a professional photographer for you as part of their services.

2. The Description Doesn’t “Pop”

Writing a summary about your property doesn’t have to be poetry—not that it would hurt to paint a word picture! Your headline should be succinct while highlighting a great feature such as “Beautiful one bed/one bath home with a private balcony.” From there, you want to make sure you hit all of the vital information:

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Square footage
  • Policies
  • Rental rate (and deposits)
  • Neighborhood features
    • Walkability to restaurants and stores
    • Public transit nearby
    • Major freeways
  • Appliances
    • Throw in “updated,” “new,” or key features.

Listing these significant points in your writing will help your investment property to stand out.

3. You’re Not Reaching Enough Eyes

When you own an investment property, just posting to Craigslist isn’t going to cut it. The best way to get your property seen is by using multiple sites devoted to rental listings. You may also consider getting your property listed on direct realtor sites—but gaining access to those isn’t always easy! This is where a Bradenton based property manager can help.

Are Your Rent and Policies Competitive?

Moving on to our second step, we focus on your rental rate and policies mentioned earlier. Let’s discuss how to deal with setting a rental rate and easing up your policies.

1. Conduct a Market Analysis

Setting a rent rate sounds like it should be easy: just set a rate that covers the mortgage and expenses. Simple, right? Wrong: your price has to be competitive with those other rentals like yours in Bradenton. Conducting a market analysis usually consists of finding comparable properties (known in the biz as “comps”).

These are other rentals that have roughly the same square footage within the same neighborhood. Once you find these, you can start to compare price per square foot (a breakdown that any savvy renter will watch out for) and amenities offered. From there, you begin to adjust your rates accordingly. If this sounds like a lot of work, Real Property Management is here to help! Our staff is well versed in your local market and will be able to set a rate that’s competitive for your investment.

2. Assess Your Leasing Terms

Most leasing terms start at a year and then can either continue or shift to shorter periods such as a month to month. Take into consideration your market:

  • Are these senior citizens who’re looking to downsize into a rental for their retirement?
  • College students who will move on in a year or two and need more flexibility?

Maybe your market is somewhere in between, catching those couples and families that don’t want to or can’t afford to own a house. Once you know the typical turnover rate in your area, you may find that your leasing terms are too long or not flexible enough.

3. Consider Welcoming Pets!

If your property isn’t renting, and you don’t allow pets, then bingo! Allowing pets will widen your tenant pool immensely. Thinking about the makeup of the people in your neighborhood as you did with the leasing terms. If you have folks looking for a long-term lease, they want to feel like they have the option of owning pets. This applies even if they don’t have a pet right now. Plus, pet policies usually require fees from the tenants. If you’re finding your rental rate is a bit too high, and you don’t want to lower it, then a pet fee does that work for you.

Is Your Property “Dressed for Success?”

Our final tip of rental logic is: if you’re getting showings but no applicants, you probably haven’t put enough money into updating the property. This can sometimes be the most expensive change you can make, but they do call it an investment property for a reason! However, before you start replacing all your flooring and appliances, there are a couple of low-cost options to consider.

1. Don’t Do Showings at Night

An applicant’s schedule isn’t always conducive to seeing your property during the weekday. It’s crucial to make sure you don’t allow them to visit a potential home after four or five o’clock. Seeing a unit in the best light is going to do wonders for your applicant pool.

2. Be Personable

Let’s face it, not everyone is a people person—but that doesn’t make you a bad landlord! However, it does make it difficult for some people to want to rent from you. If you find showings to be stressful and don’t have the energy to engage with people, then find someone who will help you. This can be someone close to you, or even Real Property Management’s Lease Only Program that can help with this—and the other points we’ve discussed.

3. Make Your Property Inviting

Make sure during each vacancy that you scrub the place down and taking care of lawn features. Once that’s done, does your property look its best? A fresh coat of paint on the walls, new switch plates, door handles, and cabinet hardware are all little changes that make a big difference. If that’s not cutting it, you may want to look at replacing any worn-out flooring and see if you can add permanent or temporary storage and shelving to the unit.

4. Get Competitive

When you did your market analysis, what features did you see in those comparable properties? Are there any appliances that you can upgrade or add? Upgrading and adding appliances, of course, is the most expensive measure you can take. However, in the long run, a new refrigerator and stove are going to hurt your wallet less than months of vacancy.

Let’s Work Together to Fill That Vacancy!

Getting your Bradenton rental occupied is your number one priority as a landlord, but it’s not always easy! When you consider revamping your marketing efforts, setting a potentially lower rental rate, and updating your unit it can be overwhelming.

The team at Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee understands this, and that’s why we have multiple programs to help you with whatever service level you need. Our Lease Only and Full-Service property management offerings can both assist with getting your property rented and your investment moving towards a successful future! Contact us today for a FREE rental analysis of your investment to get started!

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