It can be frustrating when you’ve had your property on the market for a few weeks, but tenants aren’t calling or filling out applications. If your property isn’t renting as quickly as you expected, there may be a few things that point to the problem. We’re focusing on three of those today:
- Incorrect pricing
- Property condition
- Location of the home
Location is a difficult problem to fix, and there’s not a lot you can do. However, you do have some control over both the price and the condition of your Santa Cruz investment property.
Price Your Property Correctly
A property won’t rent unless it’s priced correctly. Many landlords will attach a price based on what they think the home is worth. But, how are you establishing what it’s worth? Perhaps you’re looking on sites like Zillow or HotPads or Craigslist for homes that are similar to yours. That’s a good start, but you have to remember that those prices are listing prices only. It doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what those homes rented for. To accurately price your home, you need to know what properties like yours are actually renting for, not what they’re listed for.
You might want to start with a high price just to see if you get any interest. But, that’s risky. Tenants in this market are smart, and they know what they’re willing to pay. The market drives the price, not your own inclinations. You have to know what good tenants are willing to pay for homes like yours.
If you’re not sure what to price your property for, try the “walk the property to market” concept. This requires flexibility. You’ll lower the price of your home according to the length of time it’s vacant on the market. So, after one week of no calls and no showings, you’ll lower the price a bit. Then, if two weeks go by and you still don’t get any interest at the lower price, you’ll drop it a little more.
Vacancies cost money, so don’t fight the market. Price the home correctly and get it rented to good tenants as soon as possible.
Updating the Property Condition
Your home may not be renting because of its condition. If it looks old, battered, or messy, good tenants are not going to consider it. There shouldn’t be stains on the carpet, broken blinds in the windows, or scratches on the paint. Spruce up your property before you put it on the market so it’s ready to show well.
Spending a little money to update and improve the home is worth the investment. You’ll be able to attract better tenants and you’ll get them in place quickly. Take a look at small repairs you can make. New window treatments, updated hardware on faucets and cabinets, and a full coat of fresh paint can make a big difference.
Location Can Sometimes Hurt
Tenants want to rent properties in desirable locations. If your home isn’t in the best location, there’s not much you can do about it. You’ll have to adjust your expectations. For example, if you’re just outside a high-rent district, you won’t get the same high rents as that neighborhood. Don’t expect that tenants will be willing to pay more when your home is not in the best spot.
Marketing and Professional Management
A good marketing plan can help you rent your home out faster. If you aren’t getting any attention, it could be due to bad marketing. Maybe your photos aren’t the greatest or you’re not listing the home on any of the top rental sites. If tenants cannot see your listing, they cannot express interest in it. Make sure you know where and how to market and advertise your home.
Responsiveness also matters. If you’re not answering the phone when tenants call and you cannot be available to show the home when they want to see it, you’ll have a hard time renting the property out. If you cannot process applications within a day or two, tenants will lose interest. This is a competitive market, and you can easily lose good tenants to other properties.