Rent income is the life blood of residential investment properties. Making sure you are getting the most rent for your property is one of the most important factors in successful investment ownership. In this two part series we will explore four important elements to ensuring your best investment return. Here are two of the four:
Reduce vacancy: Vacancy obviously results in no rental income making it the greatest expense you are likely to experience in a typical investment year. There are multiple factors in minimizing vacancy and we will touch on just a few of the major points.
Establish market rent: Make sure your rental property is priced right for the current market. You may think that renting your property below market rent will get it rented more quickly but you’ll be leaving good money on the table and may not be renting your property any faster than a market ready rental that matches the market price. Holding out for a rent that is higher than the current market will typically add vacancy or “time-on-the-market” leaving you in an investment hole from which it is hard to climb out.
Effective marketing: Once market rent is established you will want to attract the most qualified prospective residents possible. A sign in the yard is a start but in today’s world online advertising is critical. Over 90% of prospective rental residents now search online for housing. Having your property represented effectively online will draw qualified traffic faster than any other medium. Make sure you include abundant, helpful information that enables the prospect to determine whether the property suits their needs. Quality photos that represent the true features of the house, videos, neighborhood information, community and school information are all important elements to an effective online ad.
Create curb appeal: A prospective resident will quickly make a decision to either rent or not rent based upon the physical appearance of your property. Make sure your property shows well. Start with the view from the street then work through the rest of the house. Simple things like keeping the lawn maintained, mulching the shrub beds, pressure washing the walks, decks or siding and planting a few seasonal flowers will go a long way to inviting a prospective resident inside to check out the rest of the house. Once inside, make sure the property is clean, walls have been touched up or painted and appliances work properly.