How you’re renting out your property can make the difference between thousands of dollars lost in vacancies and a secured income.
Three goals should be on your mind: rent out your property fast, find a good tenant, and reduce your vacancy rates.
To succeed, you need to know the key leasing marketing strategies the pros are using, both before and during the leasing campaign. You should also understand what key factors help you rent out your property successfully.
In this article, we dive into 6 leasing marketing strategies you can use to reduce vacancy rates and secure a good tenant as quickly as possible.
1. Preparing your property for leasing
The work you do before your property goes on the market is a huge contributor to the success of your leasing campaign.
You (and your prospective tenants) want everything to be in top condition. Wear and tear is inevitable when renting out your property, but proactive repairs and value-adding renovations help bring your rental back to life.
The better the condition of your rental property, the more high-quality tenants you'll attract (and faster).
2. Choosing the right approach to property management
Whether or not you hire a professional property manager is also a significant factor in whether or not you'll rent out your property successfully.
There are cases where using a property manager is right, and there are cases where doing it yourself is right as well. That being said, 80% of investment property owners in Australia do use a property manager, because of how time-consuming doing it on your own can be.
By choosing the right approach to property management, you’ll be in the best position to secure tenants quickly, lower the chances of vacancy and maximise your rental returns over the life of your investment.
Option 1. Hiring a property manager
There’s plenty of reasons why 80% of Australian investors use a property manager. Hiring a good property manager can help to:
- Offer strategic, professional advice to inform your investment decisions: with expert knowledge of the local market, they’ll be able to offer tailored tips about how to maximise the appeal of your property to potential tenants.
- Find good tenants for your rental: the best property managers will ensure your rental gains maximum exposure to attract high-quality tenants and lower your vacancy rates.
- Save you time and reduce the stress of managing your property: a good property manager will take work off your plate and give you the confidence knowing your investment is being handled by an experienced professional.
On the flip side, there are some disadvantages to using a property manager for leasing, including:
- Delays in communication: an inexperienced property manager can cause you headaches and unnecessary costs by failing to keep you updated on your tenants, maintenance requests and issues related to your property.
- Unsolved maintenance and repairs: if your property manager fails to pick up issues or resolve repairs requests in a timely manner, the state of your property and your tenants’ satisfaction will likely suffer (which can increase the chances of vacancy, too).
- Not doing their due diligence when vetting tenants: if your property manager selects a bad tenant, this can cost you significant amounts of money to resolve avoidable repairs and maintenance issues.
Option 2. Taking a DIY property management approach
If you’re looking to save on the costs of a property manager, you might be thinking about self-managing your rental property, by using a generated dynamic QR code for posting flyers to advertise the property, or even advertising in social media groups online.
For some investors, a DIY approach to property management can make sense as it ensures:
- You have control over your rental property: DIY property management gives you the autonomy to make decisions about how your property is handled without anyone else getting in the way.
- You can have direct relationships with your tenants: this cuts out the middleman and gives you direct, instant access to your tenants to get issues solved immediately (if you have the time to do so).
- You can lower the expenses of managing your investment property: one of the main drivers for a DIY approach is to cut off property management fees.
However, there are significant drawbacks to factor into your decision too, including:
- Time-consuming: a DIY approach means you need to set aside plenty of time each week to manage your rental, which can be a hard responsibility to manage on top of your regular job.
- Mounting paperwork and admin: the duties and responsibilities of managing your rental mean you’ll need to keep clear records and paperwork to ensure you have all your paperwork in order for compliance checks and tax time.
- Challenges with conflict resolution: keeping emotions out of the picture can be difficult when you’re managing your own rental, which can mean resolving conflicts are more time-consuming and tricky to navigate as a DIY investor.
- Difficult to find good tenants: as individual owners can’t list their property on the top rental sites such as Domain and realestate.com.au, it’s harder to get your rental in front of the best tenants.
Ultimately, picking the right approach will fall on you and your situation. We've created an article in the past that compares the options, and explains when it makes sense to go DIY and when it makes sense to hire a professional property manager instead. You can read it here.
3. Setting the right rental price
Getting the best return on your rental property isn't about hiking your rental price to the highest possible point while still getting interested tenants.
Instead, you want to set the RIGHT rental price.
There are three ways of going about it:
- Get a free rental appraisal online
- Ask your property manager to conduct a rental appraisal
- Calculate monthly rent yourself
4. Making your property listing shine online
Kick-starting your leasing marketing campaign the right way is a huge contributor to successfully renting out your property.
The secret to lowering vacancy rates is this: it’s all about getting your property listing in front of as many high-quality tenants as possible.
So, here are some practical ways you can make your rental property stand out from the competition:
- Call out key features that tenants are looking for: Highlight the most popular items tenants want in your rental ad, and you'll get more interest.
- Make sure you use professional photography: It's a one-off expense, but professionals really have a way of making your rental property shine online, so it's more than worth it.
- Be proactive about maintenance: Replacing fly screens that need re-meshing, giving your property a fresh coat of interior paint, updating or modernising your light fittings.
5. Hosting regular inspections at convenient times
To boost your chances of a successful leasing campaign, you want to give tenants plenty of opportunities to view your property.
This doesn't just mean hosting a lot of open homes, but hosting them at the right time when it's convenient for your target market.
Depending on who you have in mind as your ideal tenant, convenient times for open homes vary.
For example, students might be flexible throughout the working day, but a working family is likely most interested in stopping by on the weekend or after work.
The easier it is for tenants to view your property, the more likely you are to get a high number of prospects viewing and applying for your rental, so it's an important step to getting your property rented out fast.
6. Tracking how your rental campaign compares to other rentals in your area
One of the most important factors that define a successful leasing campaign is reviewing how your rental campaign is performing. Checking how your efforts are tracking throughout the marketing process is how you know if you need to make adjustments.
The key metric you want to be looking at here is the number of days your property has been on the market, as well as how many applicants and viewings you're getting.
Failing to be proactive about reviewing your leasing campaign can cost you hundreds of dollars in lost rental income, and leave you shouldering expenses and utilities out of your own pocket.
If you want to know the average time a home is on the market, check out this rental market snapshot by rent.com.au.
If your property has been sitting vacant and is moving past the average time a home is on the market, it's probably time to drop the rent a bit for starters.
We recommend you check out our article on when to reduce the rent on your rental property advertisement. There we walk you through when and how much you should drop your rent by in detail.
Dropping your rent by $30 a week is going to be better for you than suffering extended vacancies.
Ultimately, the key to renting out your property successfully is really about being proactive, and finding ways to make your rental as attractive as possible to prospective tenants.
That means preparing your rental for the market, enlisting experts, crafting stellar ads and monitoring your performance.
Like what you just read? There’s a lot more where that came from.
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