December 5, 2017

When it comes to the rental market, seasonality has a direct impact on how quickly you can fill a vacancy. With summer being the busiest season, the winter sees a slump in rental demand. This is particularly true at this time of year as most renters do not want to move during the holidays.

If you are facing a winter vacancy, check out these helpful tips for making the best of the situation and, hopefully, finding a qualified tenant.

1: Help Your Property Stand Out

While there aren’t as many people looking for rentals during the wintertime, there are still people who need to move. Unfortunately, with more rentals on the market than demand, you will need to stand out in order to capture the interest of renters.

With the knowledge in mind that tenants have a variety of options during the winter season, consider how you can make your property stand out. Have you been thinking of adding some tech upgrades to your rental like smart thermostats and USB outlets? Now might be the perfect time to invest in these upgrades.

Could you add on a service to help your property have more appeal? In cold climates, you could include snow removal at no extra fee as an incentive to renters. Take the time to look at what other properties are offering in your area and adjust your amenities accordingly.

2: Consider A Discounted Winter Rate

A great way to incentivize renters to choose your property is to offer a discounted winter rate. If your rent is $1,300 a month, offer December and January for $1,200 a month. Renters love saving money, so this incentive can help you stand out without a major investment on your part.

Keep in mind, though, when screening tenants, you need renters who will be able to pay the full rent rate when the winter discount ends. Don’t look at their income for the discounted rate, look at their income for the normal rate.

If you do opt for a one or two month rent discount, be sure you talk to your local attorney about adjusting your lease to make the terms clear.

3: Market Your Property Across Multiple Channels

The more people who know about your property the better. Make sure that you are marketing in as many places as possible. Marketing across the web doesn’t need to be a time consuming or expensive process.

Utilize an online rental marketing tool that allows you to create one property listing that is then published across multiple websites. Don’t forget to also create a Craigslist posting.

The more places your rental is seen, the better chance you have of beating out the competition in the area.

4: Create A Flexible Lease

Another method to securing a tenant in a competitive market is to create a flexible lease. Instead of a traditional 12-month lease, you can offer a shorter lease or even month-to-month. This can help you fill the rental during the slow winter months with someone who is in need of a short-term rental.

This will then allow you to market your rental again during the busy season, when you can hopefully secure a qualified long-term renter.

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