One of the first questions I always get when I meet with Santa Cruz owners is: “how soon can you get my property rented?” Filling your rental property as quickly as possible is a priority. You have to remember there are many things to think about before you can fill your vacancy. You have to make sure it is clean and all the minor maintenance issues are repaired, fixed and updated. If that has been done, great.
Next, we have to price it correctly. If you price your home at a fair market value, meaning within the range of what other homes in the area are renting for, you will not have to worry about a long vacancy. I always recommend pricing it a little bit below what the maximum fair value is. You have to realize that applicants are shopping, and they know what properties are renting for. So, you don’t want to be at the very high end, you want to be a little bit lower so tenants will feel like they are getting a good value for their dollar.
Have a little extra money set aside when you are filling your vacancy. If you put a little aside every month while you are collecting rent, you will be able to get through your vacant periods without any pressure. You do not want to feel like you have to take the first person who comes along who is willing to rent it. You also want to watch out for red flags. If you get an applicant who is willing to rent the home and is even offering to pay a full year’s rent in advance, be cautious. Would you or I be willing to part with that much money for a year’s rent bill if we had it sitting around? It tells me that the person either has really bad credit or will get a terrible landlord review. They are trying to bribe you, and it can be enticing if you need the money. Instead, take your time. When you have a little money in the bank, you’re able to do that. Always screen thoroughly. You want to get a good, high quality tenant in your property who will stay there for a long time and take good care of it.
Remember that if you have priced the property and you are not getting showings from the type of tenants you want, you have to be willing to lower the rent. It will not do you any good to have your property vacant because you think it is worth $2,100 but you won’t get any more than $1,990 for it.
If you have any questions about how to ensure a short vacancy while still screening for the best tenants, please contact us at Portola Property Management.