Long vacancies are frustrating, expensive, and best avoided. The local rental market moves pretty quickly, and an attractive, well-maintained home that’s priced competitively isn’t likely to be left unoccupied for long.
If your Tampa investment property isn’t renting, one of these five reasons might explain it.
The Price is Too High for the Tampa Rental Market
When you’re attaching a rental value to your property, it doesn’t matter how much you need to earn to cover your mortgage. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for the property or what you think it’s worth. What matters is the market. Your job is to listen to the market.
Re-evaluate the data you gathered to establish a rental value. Take a look at the current market and what similar homes have recently rented for in your area. While no one wants to price their property for less than they should, an extended vacancy can be more expensive in the long term than coming down on your rent by $50 or even $100 per month.
Establish a competitive price, and great tenants will be quick to rent your home.
Ineffective Rental Property Marketing
Consider whether you are strategically marketing your property. Is it getting enough exposure on the rental market?
Prospective tenants are online, scouring the rental websites to find their next home. If you’re putting up a sign and doing little else, you probably won’t attract the kind of attention you want. Take some really great marketing photos and create a listing that you can use to advertise online. The pictures are important; those are the first things tenants will look at.
Make sure they show your property in the best light, and write an engaging description that really sells the home. Include pertinent information like rental amount, whether pets are allowed, and how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has. Don’t forget your contact information.
Check Your Responsiveness to Inquiries
You have to answer every call and return every message when tenants are responding to your listing. If you don’t, they’re going to simply move onto the next property on their list. Be proactive when prospective tenants show an interest. If someone gets your voicemail, there’s a 50 percent chance they won’t bother leaving a message, and then you’ve lost that prospect.
At Hoffman Realty, we have a leasing line that’s answered 24 hours a day. When someone calls about one of our properties, they’re able to gather information about rental criteria and schedule a showing. It leads to a faster leasing process for us.
Evaluate Your Rental Property Condition
When you’re trying to rent out a home with shag carpet or appliances from the 1970s, you may have trouble getting the attention of good tenants. People are looking for modern homes with matching appliances and fresh paint.
It’s not a bad idea to make a few updates and upgrades. You don’t have to renovate the entire home, but a few cosmetic changes can breathe new life into a property and attract the kind of attention you want.
Here are some opportunities for cost-effective upgrades:
- Apply fresh paint and make sure the floors are in good shape. A fresh coat of paint can make the entire house feel brand new. If the carpet is worn and old, tear it up and consider some low-maintenance flooring like vinyl plank or laminate hardwood.
- Small changes like better exterior lighting and new shiny drawer pulls or cabinet knobs can also make the house look more modern.
- Create some curb appeal so prospective tenants who walk or drive past the property will want to go inside and have a look around.
Prospective renters are looking for well-maintained homes, so make sure everything works and looks good.
Your Tampa Rental Property Isn’t Hotel-Room Clean
No one wants to rent a home that has hair in the tubs or sticky surfaces in the refrigerator. You have to completely clean your home and have it done professionally if you want to rent the property quickly. We know a lot of owners bristle at the idea of paying for professional cleaners before renting out a property, but it’s worth the investment. Not only does it attract a good tenant quickly, it also establishes the standard that you expect when the property is returned to you at the end of the lease term.
When your home isn’t renting as quickly as you’d like, see if one of these things might be the reason. We can help you with the marketing, screening, and leasing process. Please contact us at Hoffman Realty.