Rental vacancies are a real estate owner’s worst nightmare; they mean a loss of income and a lot more work for you. If the vacancy lasts too long, it can be a huge financial burden on your property. Here are a few tips to keep your properties occupied and find new tenants quickly.

Be Proactive With Current Tenants

90 days before your tenant’s lease expires, ask them if they’re planning on renewing. Offer them special discounts on the renewal if they seem hesitant such as a lower rent increase. If they tell you they don’t want to renew, this gives you plenty of time to start advertising your unit and find a tenant to move in as soon as they move out. This way, you won’t lose any potential earnings on the unit and be ahead of the game.

Take Advantage of Online Listings

Whether you decide to list your property on Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, or another site, it’s important to make these listings count. Don’t simply post one picture and a one-word description, this will turn tenants away from your listing. Instead, be sure to post many pictures and a very thorough description of not only the property but the amenities included and how you plan on taking care of them as your tenant. 

Screen for Long-term Tenants

While interviewing potential tenants, be sure to ask how long they think they’ll live there. This will let you know if they’re looking for somewhere to stay for a few months, or if they’re looking for a more long-term home. Then, when accepting applicants you can choose the ones that will more likely stay longer. It’s also a good idea to have tenants sign at least a year-long lease and create incentives for signing for longer.

Actively Work to Sell

Especially during showings, many property managers have a simple “take it or leave it” attitude. This can really hurt your chances of finding a new tenant. Instead, work to sell the property. Talk up how beautiful the property is, the many amenities you offer, and the great customer service they’ll receive. Make your showing stand out in their memories as a very positive experience and they’ll be more likely to call back.

Keep your Properties Sell-Ready

Especially if you have a vacant unit, be sure to keep it ready to go. Do any small fixes that need to be done around the unit, change the smoke detector batteries, and do a thorough cleaning around the property. It also makes a great statement to keep the outside of the property looking nice as well. A few flowers and some new mulch can do wonders for curb appeal.