What to Do If My Property Isn't Renting

Published: Aug 01, 2020

Renting your property out quickly is an essential part of your ROI.

Long vacancies cost money, and are best avoided

At Mynd Property Management, our marketing and leasing teams do an excellent job of getting your property rented quickly to a great tenant for the most amount of money.

Today, we’re sharing our expertise on this matter and we’re showing you the top three things you can do if your property isn’t renting.

So, your rental property is ready for the market and in excellent condition. You think you’ve taken some high quality photos and listed it in all the relevant places. But, you feel stuck. You don’t have any potential residents coming through the funnel. Either they’re not contacting you at all, or they’re going to see the property but then they’re not filling out applications.

What do you do?

We want to introduce you to a concept we call RAP. This stands for:

  • Rent
  • Advertising
  • Property

If your property isn’t renting as quickly as you’d like it to, the problem likely can be traced back to one of those RAP elements.

Let’s talk about each of those aspects.

The R in RAP: Rent Examination

Examining rent on investment property

When your property isn’t renting right away, you need to start with price. You might have felt good about your rental value and where you priced your home when you were first deciding to rent out the property. But, when you’re thinking about rental rate and rental value, you have to keep in mind that you’re dealing with a live market. Properties are constantly changing prices, and your competition is probably updating their prices pretty consistently. 

Whatever the rent was a week or two ago might be irrelevant now. You have to be flexible and keep up with the changing rental values in your local market.

Use Different Rental Data Sources

Look at multiple channels when you’re establishing or adjusting your rental price.

When you use different sources of data, you have a better idea of where you should be pricing your own property. There are multiple online places to check the range of rents for properties similar to your own. You can use sites like: 

  1. Craigslist
  2. Zillow
  3. Zumper
  4. Redfin
  5. Rentometer
  6. Investimate
  7. NeighborhoodScout
  8. Homensnap
  9. Realtor. com
  10. Trulia

You’ll find lots of sources. If you work with a professional property management company, they can do this for you, and probably more effectively. It’s a manual process because you have to look in several different places to gather as much data as possible. But, it’s necessary, so put in the effort to look at multiple data points.

You will also want to consider the area you are in, and even more the specific neighborhood the property is located in. On a city level, you will want to ensure you know the local rules, regulations and laws that might affect your property and setting rent.

Beware of the Aspirational Rental Prices

Remember that some of the rental amounts you find on public sites are aspirational. Asking prices do not always translate into rental prices. Landlords may try to rent out their properties for 10 or 15 percent more than they’ll actually get. 

When you come across a number like this, it’s a data point, but not as reliable as the data you can access through a professional property manager. When you work with an experienced management company like Mynd, you’ll access actual data that’s been collected on what properties rented for, not what they are listed for. It’s far more valuable and a lot more reliable.

We recommend that you collect public and professional data and then do a gut check. Figure out where your own rental rate figures into the statistics you’ve captured.

A competitively priced home will almost always rent faster than an over-priced home.

Property data and actual data will help you discover which rental rates got locked into an actual lease. Once you have that information, you can do one of three things:

  1. You can leave your rent as it is and wait for a tenant who is willing to pay that amount.
  2. You can lower your rent if you find the rental rate isn’t competitive.
  3. You can do something else to attract prospective tenants.

The first two options are pretty self-explanatory, so let’s dig into the third. For example, you can play with utilities.

Consider Pricing Without Utilities

It’s acceptable to advertise your property without the cost of utilities factored in, and it makes your rent appear to be lower. Lots of landlords do this, and we don’t make a professional recommendation one way or another.

Just be transparent with your prospects. You can list a lower rent that doesn’t include utilities, and then specify in the description that the rent does not include the cost of utilities. 

It’s important that you don’t deceive your prospective residents. It will only waste your time and theirs, and create an unhappy experience for everyone. But, removing utilities when you’re advertising your rental rate may get the attention of a wider tenant pool.

Consider a Scale Plan

Another option is to create a scale plan where you have your rent rate set high, and then after a certain amount of days, you will lower it slowly to hit the optimal point. Your property manager can help you work out a plan where the rent amount comes down slowly over time to attract tenants.

You have many different options, and if your property isn’t renting, you definitely want to assess your rent.

The A in RAP: Assess Your Advertising

Are you advertising in all the relevant channels? 

Syndication to Rental Listing Sites

At Mynd, we use a syndication service where our listings go to 40 different sites with the click of a button. If you’re working with a management company, find out if they have a similar system. 

Otherwise, you’ll have to manually list your property on each site, and that can be time consuming. If you’re a self-managing landlord, there are services you can use like Tenant Turner. Getting on these sites is important.

Validate Your Listings are Showing Up

The next step after you’ve listed your property on the necessary rental sites is to make sure your listings are actually showing up and being updated. Every platform has a different algorithm for when you can update your post. Check frequently and make sure your listings are easy to find.

Consider Paid Promotion

Sometimes, there’s just a lot of competition, and your listing can drown. You might need to spend some advertising dollars to ensure you pop up on some of the most popular platforms.

With your advertising, make sure:

  • Your listing is on all the right platforms.
  • It’s easy to find.
  • You’re willing to invest some money to get the right attention.

The P in RAP: Your Property

Rental property helping to get it rented

Do a deep dive into the condition of your property and how you’re presenting it. 

  • Why are things stagnant?
  • Why aren’t you getting any showings?
  • Understand where things are stopping

If no one is interested in scheduling showings, you may want to look at how you’re presenting your property. 

Check Your Pictures 

The majority of prospective renters look at pictures first. An easy fix is lighting. The right lighting will dramatically improve your photos, so take those pictures during the day when you have plenty of natural light. 

If you have the time and money, get your property professionally photographed. Good pictures will make your property more competitive when people are deciding which homes to view.

Increase the Number of Showings with Self-Bookings

Having someone there to coordinate the showings can get in the way. You’re relying on two schedules, and the person who shows the property has to be available to take the call and get to the property on time. 

If you have the opportunity for self-showings, you can invite prospective tenants to go over to the home at a time that’s suitable. There’s no back and forth to schedule the day and the hour, and there’s less lag time. 

During the time between the scheduling and the showing, a lot can happen. The prospective resident can be further in with another property and they won’t bother coming to look at your home. So, if you can condense that time between scheduling and arriving, you’ll get more showings.

It’s also a benefit because there’s no sales pressure. Tenants won’t feel like they’re being followed around by an agent who is desperate to rent the home.

Most property managers will use a smart lock or a code box. Our data has shown that self-showings significantly increase the number of residents who are coming through the funnel.

Evaluate the Rental Property’s Condition

If people are scheduling showings and coming to see the property but they’re not asking for an application or moving forward, take a hard look at your property condition. Compare your home to the competition. 

If you have old appliances or you need a fresh coat of paint, people may move on to other properties. So perhaps you can invest and prioritize what needs a little extra attention. 

Take a look at each room in your property and your curb appeal.

Having a great rental property is often not enough.

Bottom Line on Getting Your Property Rented

Check your RAP framework so you’re analyzing rent in a comprehensive way. Check your advertising strategies and track your competition. Then, fully assess your property and make sure it shows well and is competitive.

Your property management company should support all of these endeavors. If you aren’t working with professionals yet, we can offer all these services, so please contact us at Mynd Property Management.

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