Real estate investing is an excellent way to earn reliable income. However, it comes with some quirks.
- Your income depends on having a paying tenant living in your rental properties.
- Even the best tenant won’t stay forever—and all properties go through a life cycle.
- This life cycle begins with a vacant property that you must then list, fill, and collect rent from while enforcing the terms of the lease.
- When you are actively collecting rent, your properties maintain profitability.
- You stand to lose value—or incur debt—during the phase when your property is empty and awaiting your next renter.
Your Dallas property will continue to experience wear and tear, among other expenses—whether or not you have anyone living in it. Therefore, it’s imperative to keep the vacancy portion of your property’s life cycle as short as possible.
Luckily, you don’t need to leave this up to chance! There are proactive steps investors can take to reduce vacancy for their rental properties. Take a page out of the book of an expert Dallas property management company for this one, and keep reading for our top tips on nixing vacancy.
1. Keep Your Tenants Around
The best way to keep a vacancy cycle short is to prevent it from happening in the first place! When you retain a tenant through a renewed lease, you’re reducing the risk that your property becomes a liability.
While you don’t need to wait on your tenants hand and foot, think about how to ensure that you keep satisfaction high among your residents and develop good relationships from the get-go.
One crucial way that investors can do this is by providing timely, professional maintenance services.
- Top complaints from renters about their rentals are that maintenance services are either slow to arrive, hard to access, or nonexistent.
- Providing easy to access maintenance portals where tenants can submit requests online at any time gives you an edge over your competition in the Dallas market.
- Partnering with thoroughly vetted contractors ensures you provide high-quality repairs and maintenance worth bragging about! Plus, your tenants will always feel safe and secure in their rental home, knowing you have screened your service providers.
The need for proactivity applies to maintenance requests as much as other items. Taking good care of your properties not only protects your investments: it preserves your relationship with your renters. When your tenants feel safe in their home and feel like you care about their well being, they’re more likely to be loyal renters.
2. Be a Good Landlord
You can take an immediate step towards improving your tenant relationships (and retention) without having to spend a cent. Like the tip above, it makes sense: the most direct thing that you can do is to be a better landlord.
- Communicate with your tenants regularly; be as friendly as possible without crossing your professional boundaries.
- You should avoid getting too entangled in friendships with your tenants (so no swinging by for a beer after work), but do show that you are interested in how they and the property are doing.
- Some investors even provide their residents with small gifts for taking surveys, renewing their lease, or just to be festive around certain holidays. The actual financial impact of such gifts across your portfolio is small when you consider that you've saved yourself the expense of having to turn a property!
As an expert Dallas property management company, we know that communicating effectively with renters is another crucial way to up your landlord game. Beyond proactive maintenance, another top tenant complaint is not being able to get in touch with their landlord quickly! You'll give your investment properties a professional polish when you respond promptly to messages—whether by email, text, or phone.
- When you need something from your tenants—or they need something from you—follow up in writing as well as verbally. Not only does this protect you and your investment, it's seen as active participation in your properties!
- Be as responsive as you can when your renters reach out to you.
- All of these things will build a lot of goodwill—especially if tenants are accustomed to landlords who only appear to collect the rent and then vanish.
3. Keep an Eye on the Market
It can take some work, but making an effort to keep your rental rates in line with your market can be one of the best solutions to fill your vacancies quickly.
- The market value of your property will change over time.
- There is no such thing as a “set-it-and-forget-it” rental rate.
- You’ll need to adjust what you charge your tenants to keep up with your costs, but this is a common practice.
- As long as you can keep your increases appropriate and tied to sensible milestones, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
If you currently have tenants and want to keep them, the best thing that you can do is to be proactive about adjusting and communicating your prices.
- Stipulate rental rate adjustments in the lease and be clear with your tenants about your plans from day one.
- Avoid significant price hikes and going far above the average price increase in your neighborhood.
- If you set your rents too high, you’ll make it easy for your competition.
The right rental rates can ensure that you’re bringing in the right tenants—and keeping them when they have the option of going elsewhere.
4. Renew Early and Often
An easy way to retain your best Dallas tenants is to make it easier to stay than to go; you can accomplish this by starting your lease renewal early. You may even consider offering certain perks or concessions to your tenants who agree to an early renewal (such as a reduced or locked in rental rate).
Texas law requires you to offer a lease renewal no later than 60 days before the current lease expires, but nothing is stopping you from making the offer earlier!
5. Hire a Professional Dallas Property Management Company
If vacancy cycles for your Dallas properties have you scratching your head and emptying your wallet, then consider reaching out to a professional property management company in Dallas! A property manager will have the resources and skills to keep your properties occupied and your portfolio earning money.
Remember, a property manager typically makes money only when your properties do—so they’re as motivated as you are to keep them filled with high-quality renters.
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Take the guesswork out of finding the right property management company in Dallas; download our FREE guide today to get started!