All property management professionals know that vacancies must be kept at a minimum to generate the highest cash flow possible. Although vacancies must be filled quickly, they also must be filled with quality tenants. Otherwise, the unit may end up with a non-paying tenant or it may become vacant prematurely. Here are some ways that our San Diego property management company works to ensure that vacancies are filled quickly and with quality tenants:
- Provide a Rent-Ready Unit. The unit must be in rent-ready condition quickly, preferably before showing the unit to a prospective tenant. The move-out inspection list should be completed quickly by quality maintenance personnel.
- Market the Unit. Get the word out! Today's rental property owners and property managers must have a sophisticated marketing campaign to keep the vacancies filled. The Internet is a key tool used to fill most available rentals. When the unit is in rent-ready condition, professional photographs of the exterior and interior of the unit are taken and posted on the Internet. We place our available rental units on our website and use a third-party vendor for the most up-to-date software. This approach presents a quality online "available properties" experience. We also expose the available rentals on more than 100 Internet sites, saturating the local rental availability online market. Among the many sites used are Zillow, Hotpads, Craigslist, and Google PPC. In addition, we are constantly renewing, updating, and checking the ads to be sure they are accurate and fresh.
- Screen Tenants Carefully. Carefully screening quality tenants is key to minimizing rental unit vacancies and maximizing cash flow (see "Get Great Tenants: Tenant Placement and Screening").
- Hold Professional Showings. Professional showings are important to renting quickly and to quality tenants. Once the potential applicant has been pre-screened for a possible fit (rooms, rental rate, move-in date, drive-by exterior, etc.), a prompt and conveniently-timed professional showing should be arranged. These showings must be timely once the unit is placed in rent-ready condition because potential applicants are busy and there is competition in the marketplace.
- Use Updated Forms. Up-to-date forms that reflect all regulatory changes are essential to placing a quality tenant and continuing the landlord-tenant relationship. (see “The Importance of Using Up-To-Date Forms in Property Management”).
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