To fill vacancies can be expensive and stressful for landlords. Not only do they mean no rental income, but they also mean increased costs for utilities, maintenance, and upkeep. Obviously, vacancies are something that landlords want to minimize as much as possible.
That said, some vacancies are inevitable. To minimize the costs and stress associated with vacancies, landlords should have an efficient process for finding, screening, and leasing to new tenants. The goal is to fill the vacancy as quickly as possible with the right tenant. Here are some tips to help landlords achieve that goal.
Have a Vacancy Checklist
Ideally, tenants will give you 30-days notice before moving out. As soon as you receive notice, you should begin working on filling the vacancy. To help with this process, have a vacancy checklist of all things that need to be done, including everything from marketing tasks to switching over utilities to preventative maintenance needs. Having this list will help to ensure that you’re on schedule to turn the property over as quickly as possible. Plus, as the list guides you through the turnover process, it will hopefully make it less stressful.
Strategically Market the Property
Marketing your property is an important first step towards finding the right tenant to fill your vacancies. When considering marketing, the basics like an ad and a sign are helpful, but there is also a lot more that you can do.
When writing your ad, try to think about who your ideal tenant is and write your property description with them in mind. For example, if you want to attract families, note the great schools in the area. Once you’ve written a good ad, think about all of the places you can post it, including local papers, online sites, and nearby businesses.
As part of your marketing campaign, consider holding a few open houses, offering move-in specials, and offering referral bonuses to current tenants. The more potential tenants you can reach, the more likely you are going to quickly fill your vacancy with the right tenant.
Use Online Applications and Forms
In your online ads and marketing materials, include a link to an online application. Doing so will make the process go more smoothly and will make it easy for tenants to officially start the process. Ideally, this could even allow for pre-screening before showing the unit, which helps to make the process even more efficient.
It’s worth noting that while an online application is a must, having all necessary forms online and available for e-signing makes the process even more efficient. Ideally, you want to have all these tools accessible before a vacancy occurs.
Use a Tenant Screening Process
Effective tenant screening is the key to finding great tenants. Having a screening process in place is the best way for landlords to make sure that they’re properly, efficiently, and legally screening tenants.
While a good application is an important first step, taking advantage of a full screening service can make sure that you get access to all necessary information. Plus, it’s a quick and cost-efficient way to screen tenants. If you decide to include such a service in your screening process, make sure that you use one that will give the applicant’s FICO score, credit reports, eviction history, and a nationwide criminal background check.
Take Notes and Constantly Improve Your Process
After a vacancy is filled, take a moment to think about what went well and what could be improved about your process. This is a simple step to add to your vacancy checklist, but spending time doing this is a good way to ensure that you’re constantly fine-tuning and improving your turnover process. Before future vacancies arise, make adjustments to your systems so that you’re ready to go the next time a unit is vacant.
Vacancies can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful, but they are an inevitable part of being a landlord. You can minimize the impact that vacancies have with the right systems and processes. ezLandlordForms has all of the forms, tools, and resourcesto make this process as easy as possible. Whether you need to design a lease, take advantage of our online application and ezSign, or get more advice about how to efficiently fill vacancies, ezLandlordForms has the resources you need. Visit our site or contact our team to learn more about how we can help.