A Marketing Guide for Filling Vacant Income Properties
Rental vacancies are the worst kind of setback when it comes to an income property business. Vacancies mean that you’re on your own to pay the mortgage, utilities and other expenses until you can find a new tenant. When your rental is vacant, your number one priority should be to fill it -- and fast. That’s easier said than done, but this guide can help.
1. Use all available internet resources.
Today, the internet makes it easier than ever for you to market your property to a broad audience. You can reach people across the country with both your online listings and social media posts.
This blog post from Green Residential, a Houston property management company, says, “As a landlord, your best friend should be the Internet. Never before has there been a more direct channel for landlord and tenant interaction.” When you consider the hundreds of online-listing websites, social media networks, mobile devices, apps and other forms of technology, you’ll quickly realize this is true. Posting your income property across a host of websites and marketing the listings on social media are exceptional ways to attract buyers from all over the world.
2. Enlist a property manager(s).
Marketing takes a significant amount of time and money, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, all of that capital will be wasted. If you don’t feel like you’re up for the challenge, or your current marketing campaign isn’t taking off, it might be time to hire property managers to handle the job. A good property management company will work alongside you to attract the kind of tenants and publicity you’re looking for.
The initial cost of a property manager may seem high, but when you consider the amount of money you would have spent unwisely without this individual's help, a property manager becomes a much more affordable and smart option. Furthermore, you can choose to use this person's services for your own property management company, which will make your life that much easier.
3. Write killer online listings.
If you’re going to be posting online, you should know how to create appealing real estate copy. The photos, perks, and specific descriptions outlined in the listing are what sell the property. This doesn’t require you to be a professional writer, but you should have some of the basics in mind.
- There’s no such thing as being too specific.
- Use storytelling techniques to engage visitors.
- Keep your local real estate market in mind.
- Poll past buyers to see what copy resonated.
- Double check for grammar and spelling.
- Make your copy stand out from the pack.
By being more specific and delivering a clean-cut home description targeted toward a specific audience, your online listings will gain significantly better mileage and you’ll attract the kinds of tenants you want renting your property.
One of the most important tools for marketing a property is networking with those in your community, particularly if you’re marketing to the affluent. This will involve sending emails to personal contacts, asking them to get the word out; mailing postcards to people in the property’s vicinity; attracting attention on social media; and posting flyers and signage near your target audience. But networking for a real estate entrepreneur is about more than relying on social media and advertising. It’s also about connecting in person.
According to Michael Carucci, Boston real estate tycoon, networking means “you must always be listening and taking mental notes about what people care about and then step into their shoes to figure out what would make them feel special and cared for.” It all boils down to excellent customer service. Really listening and being personal are what people love to see, and what draws them to you as an entrepreneur.
Make the house look available.
People you should target most are those in the home’s neighborhood, and one of the best ways to market is to let them see the home. The “for rent” sign is a good indication that the property is vacant, so pull the curtains back, and let passersby see straight into the home.
It’s also a good idea to host an open house or a social event to garner more traffic. Even if no one there is interested in renting the home, they’ll likely know someone who is, and if you provide business cards by the door, they can pass on your information.
Filling vacancies takes some work, but it’s easily accomplished with the right strategies. Overall, with a little persistence and all the right tools, your income property won’t remain vacant for long.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor
Anna Johansson is a freelance writer who specializes in social media and business development.