One of the biggest expenses facing Atlanta, GA landlords is vacancies. After all, if you don’t have a tenant in your rental, you’re not collecting rent or making money. But you’re still responsible for the mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and other fees.
By working to reduce vacancies in your investment property, you can increase profitability. But more than that, you can lessen the stress of having to worry about a severe financial hardship.
While 100% occupancy rates are impossible, you can implement strategies to lower the vacancy rates. And at the very least, you can shorten the time between tenants.
So, let’s take a look at how you can reduce your vacancy rates in Atlanta.
How to Reduce Vacancy Rates in Atlanta, GA
1. Be Proactive About Lease Renewals
When the end of your tenant’s lease agreement nears, it’s time to take action if you’d like them to renew for another year.
Many tenants are unsure about what to do when the end of their tenancy comes. And, because they worry you might not want them to renew, they often start looking for another place to live.
Don’t let a high-quality tenant find another place to live when you can invite them to stay. Instead, 30-60 days before the lease expires, extend an invitation to your tenants to renew. This allows your tenants to think about whether they want to stay. It also gives you enough time to make plans for placing a new tenant should they decide to leave.
While a proactive approach to lease renewals will not guarantee your tenants will stay, it does make the entire process easier.
2. Set a Reasonable Rent Rate
The goal of any landlord is to make money. But if you price your rental too high, you’ll find your property sitting vacant for longer than you’d like.
Tenants looking to lease a rental are going to look around and make sure they get the best deal they can. If you overprice your property, you can guarantee prospective tenants will know and go elsewhere.
You definitely don’t want to undervalue your rental and attract the wrong tenant pool or lose out on the money. However, if the market favors renters, it may be a good idea to lower the rent a little bit to stay competitive. After all, some rent money each month is better than no rent money.
Discover the market value of your Atlanta, GA rental today with a FREE assessment of your rental property here. At Atlantic Property Management, we know how to maximize your profit and satisfy your tenants.
3. Know How to Market Your Property
Vacancies are going to happen at one point or another. That said, if you know your current tenant is not renewing their lease, you have time to find a quick replacement.
Take the time to advertise your property as available before your current tenant moves out. In addition, begin the tenant screening process and even show your property while it’s still occupied.
To make sure you don’t disrupt your current tenant, do the following:
- Include a lease provision outlining the rules about showing a property while the rental is still occupied
- Talk with your current tenants about convenient times to show the rental
- Organize multiple showings at once to reduce all-day appointments
- Incentivize your tenant by offering a cleaning of the property
There are many ways to market your property as available. However, it’s easy to feel like you’re not equipped to write compelling descriptions, take high-resolution photos, or utilize the right channels for marketing your property.
If that’s the case, get help from a local Atlanta property management company. They understand what it takes to promote a vacant property and can place a new tenant quickly.
4. Offer the Right Amenities
When people are looking for a place to rent, they look for rentals that have everything they need to live comfortably.
Of course, landlords don’t want to spend any extra money that they don’t have to on things like renovations or appliances. But offering prospective tenants the right amenities can make your rental more appealing.
For example, offer things like:
- Washer and dryer
- Air conditioning
- Patio cover
- Designated parking spots
- Hardwood floors
- Freshly painted walls
- Wireless internet and/or cable services
- Landscaping services
The right amenities can help you attract the right tenants for your rental. But more than that, they can help you keep high-quality tenants in your property long-term. This means a lower vacancy rate and more money.
5. Reward Current Tenants
One of the most effective ways to reduce vacancy rates in Atlanta is to reward those that are already living there.
Rewarding tenants that care for your property, pay their rent on time and don’t cause problems encourages them to renew come to the end of their lease.
Want to know what the best reward is?
Not increasing the rent by much each year.
Sure, it can be tempting to raise the rent on your property each year so you generate more money. But tenants don’t like having to pay more year after year for rent. This is especially true when they have been good tenants.
Try to hold off on raising the rent too much-come lease renewal time and watch your property stay occupied. Your tenant will appreciate the steady rent rate.
6. Provide Stellar Customer Service
Whether you self-manage your Atlanta investment property or rely on a property manager to handle things for you, your tenants will respond positively to excellent customer service.
Happy tenants are more likely to renew their lease with you because they know what to expect from you. Plus, people don’t like moving every time their lease expires.
Here are some ways your customer service can convince your tenants to stay:
- Respond to maintenance and repair requests promptly
- Offer to upgrade one appliance, replace the flooring, or paint with a lease renewal
- Communicate with your tenant on a regular basis to make sure they’re okay
- Inspect the property to see if your tenants need anything fixed
- Have someone on-call for all emergencies
- Follow-up with any maintenance appointments to ensure the contractors or maintenance crew were satisfactory
Lastly, check up on your property manager to make sure they’re providing the customer service to your tenant that you expect. You are paying them to manage your property and your tenants are part of the package.
7. Make Paying Rent Easy
Late rent payments are one of the biggest headaches for a landlord. However, even for those tenants that don’t want to pay late, paying rent can be hard if you don’t offer a simple solution.
Requiring tenants to pay in person, mail in a check, or wait for you to show up and collect their rent in person is a pain. Instead, you can use software so people can pay their rent online and on-time from the convenience of their own home.
This will reduce the number of late rent payments and make tenants happier, which can reduce your property’s vacancy rate. And since 40% of all tenants are cost-burdened, making it as easy as possible to pay rent can help.
If you work with a property management company, see if they have an online portal for your tenants to use for paying rent.
8. Long-Term Lease Agreements
If you really want to reduce vacancy rates in Atlanta, never let the property get vacant in the first place by offering long-term lease agreements.
You might not want to have a long-term lease in place for a first-time renter. But after one tenancy, you’ll know whether you want your tenants to continue leasing from you.
If you’ve found a perfect tenant, offer them a long-term lease renewal. Doing this will ensure your property will not go vacant unless something bad happens.
Even trying your best to keep your Atlanta, GA rental property occupied all the time won’t work all the time. That’s why sometimes you need the help of an experienced property management company to offset those times you face a vacancy.
Here at Atlantic Property Management, we help busy landlords who want to maximize their ROI and keep vacancy rates as low as possible, but just don’t have the time. In addition, we help find the highest quality tenants possible, backing our decisions with a Quality Resident Placement Guarantee. This way, you know your property will be leased for the entire tenancy, or we’ll place another tenant immediately free of charge.
If you’re looking for efficient rent collection, superior customer service, timely maintenance, and repair responses, and help with all aspects of placing the right tenant in your property, contact us today and see how we can help. Let us worry about vacancy rates and lease renewals while you enjoy being a landlord and reaping the financial reward.