As the cold and rain set in, even the most stubborn as forced to accept the inevitable. Like it or not, summer is long gone and we are well into fall. Aside from the beautiful transformation that comes over nature at this time, there are many other changes. The number of tenants giving notice plummets with the start of the school year, as does the number of those looking for a home. This leaves us with few approaching vacancies; always a bonus. Unfortunately, it also leaves us with less interest on those homes that are still available. Most tenants have already completed their move and are settling into their new homes: our audience has shrunk drastically.
Less competition in the market causes deterioration of the sense of urgency that we are always careful to cultivate. The percentage of times the Property Manager arrives at a showing only to discover that once again he/she has been stood up is already on the increase.
There are several steps that can be taken to improve the situation.
- Lower the rent
- Enhance the curb appeal
- Improve the online listing
The first, lowering the rent, is never anyone’s favorite pick. Normally, option two or three are enough unless the home was overpriced to begin with.
Fall is a beautiful time of year, but it also is extremely messy. The trees considered lovely and charming during spring and summer have now dumped their leaves over the sidewalk, yard, and driveway. Those leaves have turned brown and slimy; there are few things less attractive. The same weather that affects this change also enhances the growth of the lawn. Although the difference is not as drastic as that during spring, it can be enough to offset the prospective applicant.
Luckily, both of those issues can be remedied simultaneously. This is a good time to have the landscaper pay a quick visit. Raking the leaves and blowing them off the sidewalk will alter the entire look of the home, rendering it more inviting from the outside.
Professional Listing Photos
In the heat of the summer, it hardly mattered what the home looked like. As long as it appeared clean, prospective applicants did not care if the picture wasn’t topnotch. There was no need to be a master photographer; competent was enough. The game has changed now. You must stand out from the crowd, appear as something special or risk fading into the sidelines.
Our Property Manager are always careful to take the best pictures possible, but it is to be remembered they are not photographers. Also, their equipment consists of a smartphone and whatever lights are already in the home. Can they take good pictures? Yes. Do they take the best possible? No. It may be time to call in a professional.
Professionally taken photos show the homes at their best and set them apart from the competition. With the season winding down and good tenants growing even more difficult to find, it can be that one thing that tips the scale in your favor.
If your property has been vacant for a while or is going vacant now, contact your Property Manager to discuss the different steps that can be taken to minimize lost rents.
And as always, Happy Landlording!