While running a successful rental marketing company and renting out my numerous rental properties. I have picked up a few tricks along the way.
Below are 20 ways you can rent out your home faster
(There are plenty more ideas and if you have some please comment and I can add to the list):
1) Pricing Matters
There are many ways to price your home competitively in the marketplace. Some tools to help you along the way are: RentSlicer.com, RentOmeter.com and Oodle.com
2) The time of the Month Counts
The best times to gain a tenant are March, April, May, June, July and August. These are the main months when renters move due to seasons, schools, etc.
3) Throw some Make-up On
Have you ever toured a model home for sale? What do you notice? Are there magnets on the fridge? Are there clothes in the hamper? Are the walls scratched? The answer is no. Why? This is what sells homes. Touch up with paint and remove all clutter and you will see a big difference.
4) Replace Light bulbs and Fixtures
A rule of thumb is more light is better than less. Make sure all lights actually have light bulbs. If you were like me, I had 1970’s fixtures. Do you still wear 70’s clothes? I hope not. Your old fixtures should go too.
5) Good from Far, Far from Good
When you went on your first date, did you wear the same dirty old sweatpants as you do now. Don’t worry,
I still wear mine. We all know first impressions count and people DO judge a book by its cover. With that said, make sure your address numbers are hanging straight, you touch up the paint, you mow the lawn and pull the weeds. Add a few fresh plants, it won’t kill you but it will help rent your home faster.
6) The Internet is Dead
Actually it is far from dead. The internet is the most cost effective way to advertise your property. There are many great sites to post to including some favorites like RentVine, RentalHomesPlus, Craigslist, BackPage and others. Go here for a list of comprehensive rental websites and utilize Rent Marketer as a rental advertising resource. Rent Marketer takes the pain out of posting to many rentals sites as they do all of the posting for you to currently over 80 rental sites.
7) Would you Like an iPod with That?
A trick from apartment communities is to offer an incentive to sign the lease now. Some ideas on incentives are offering 1 month free, receive a free iphone or other electronic goodies, free pizza certificates, etc.
8) My Granite, Stainless Steel Beauty
Doesn’t the sound of ‘Beautiful”, “Charming”, “Great Location”, “Spacious”, “Attractive”, “Gorgeous”, “Fantastic” and “Lovely” feel like nails being dragged down an old chalk board. According to Steven D. Levitt, the author of “Freakonomics“, he suggests that homes that tend to not have many specific attributes worth describing, like those above, correlate to a lower sales / rental price. “‘Spacious’ homes are often decrepit or impractical. ‘Great neighborhood’ signals a buyer that, well, this house isn’t very nice but others nearby may be.”
What are some of the words or adjectives that are used to help increase the value of ones home and decrease vacancy rates for rental properties? Here’s the breakdown: Granite, State-of-the-art, Stainless Steel Appliances, vaulted Ceilings, Maple, Gourmet, Corian, Wood Floors.
9) Clean Your Room
Did your mom ever tell you to keep your room clean? It wasn’t for sanitary reasons but rather just in case she left your father she would be able to sell the home faster. I need to stop projecting. No, in all seriousness, be sure to dust and clean everywhere, including behind the fridge. You never know where people might look.
10) Toilet Paper (not the kind in the airport bathrooms)
The small things count. Women in particular like it when the toilet paper is rolled nicely and if it has a triangular shape towards the end like you see in hotels. Men are just glad it has a bathroom.
11) You Smell Good
Fragrance is extremely important when a tenant is touring the home. View 10 tips on making your home smell better.
12) Photos are Worth, well You Know
Adding photos to your online and offline ads are very important. Studies have found that photos can increase lead generation by more than 400% as compared to not having photos at all. All of the suggestions within the top 20 need to be applied when taking photos. No clutter, clean, lots of light, etc.. Top rooms tenants are most interested in when viewing photos are front of property, kitchen, living, master, bathrooms and backyard if it has one.
13) Virtual Tours Make Momma Happy
We are not quite to the futuristic virtual tour I proposed here but virtual tours are becoming better. You can use a professional service or do one yourself and upload it to youtube.
14) I am old and Don’t have that Internet!
Those young whipersnappers with their internet thingie. If you don’t have access to the internet and you just don’t care to learn, there are some off line tips you can do to generate more awareness for your property. You can add a sign in your front yard. You can add an ad in the local paper. You can send out flyers to all of your neighbors. You can add flyers to your local grocery store.
15) Water the Lawn
A dead lawn is a dead rental close. Don’t attract the bad tenants with a dead lawn.
16) Clean the Windows
Windows get dirty over time. Windex them before a showing to enhance the properties look and feel.
17) Let There be Light
A mistake when showing a property is to not open the blinds up enough to let light in. This is an easy way to let more light in.
18) Are you Going to get That?
According to the National Association of Realtors, 50% of email leads are never even opened. A majority of phone leads go unanswered. Studies also show that if you respond to emails immediately and answer phone calls, you are much more likely to get tenants to fill vacancies.
19) Get a property manager
I personally use a property manager to manage all my properties. This makes it much more easier for me to concentrate on other things like acquiring new properties. A property manager has lots of contacts and past tenants that they can contact to help fill your vacancy faster. Total cost of a property manager is usually 1/2 of first months rent and then 10% of gross rent each month after that. For more information on property managers go to NARPM.
20) Rent to Own Option
A rent to own option could be a good way to get quality tenants into your home. Each month a percentage of their rent can go towards their down payment to purchase the home at a predetermined amount over a predetermined amount of time.