In an earlier post, we talked about the time it takes to fill your vacancy and get a good tenant into your Santa Cruz rental home. I touched on the importance of pricing the house properly. Today, I want to expand on that important topic.
You can look at Craigslist to get an idea of what the market looks like in your area, but remember that what you see on Craigslist is not exactly what people are really paying. The Craigslist ads will show you what people have their properties priced for, but the actual rent paid might be very different. A better place to get an accurate rental price idea is to check out the websites of property management companies in your area. They are the professionals, so they will know what homes rent for. This will give you a more accurate reflection of what you can expect when it comes to pricing your property on the rental market. Property managers will always get you more money in the long run on your rental. They tend to negotiate better than property owners, and they are less likely to start reducing rents right off the bat.
Keep in mind that certain amenities will get you more rent as well. If you have a garage, that’s huge. Here in Santa Cruz, it seems like all the garages have been converted into granny units or studios. So, a garage is a big ticket item if you have one with your property. Americans like us stockpile a lot of junk. Instead of paying a storage fee, people want a garage where they can store that junk. I don’t know anyone who actually parks their cars in the garages.
Be open to pets. You can charge more rent if you accept pets. You could also provide a gardener to collect a little more rent every month. Tenants will never maintain the yard; I don’t care what they tell you. If you pay a gardener $50 or $75 every month, you can include that in the rent and increase what the tenants pay you.
So as you determine a good price for your property, take a look at the overall market to get a feel for what you can charge. Always make sure you ask a little bit below what everyone else is asking. You’ll get good, long term tenants this way and you will fill your vacancy faster.
If you have any questions about how you should price your own property, please contact us at Portola Property Management, and we’d be happy to work with you.