3 Ways in Which You Can Get More Exposure for Your Californian Rental Property

Realtor in empty apartment giving keysOver the last six months, you’ve done everything in your power to improve the looks and feel of your Californian rental property. You’ve fixed those awful cracks in the walls, changed the decking and you’ve even climbed on a ladder to repair those old gutters. You’ve also invested a lot of time and effort in a basic remodel project, conducted to make your rental seem more inviting and much more comfortable. All your efforts seem to have been in vain. Even after implementing all these positive changes, you are still having a hard time trying to fill your vacancy. Some people call but don’t show up. The ones who actually knock on your door don’t seem very determined and look like they’re going to search for the ideal home for ever. At the end of the day, you feel like your Californian rental isn’t properly promoted. How can you solve this pressing problem? Here are three simple tactics that you can apply to maximize the level of exposure of your rental property.

  1. Find a New Way to Get in Touch with Your Potential Tenants
    Let’s face it: these days, people love modern technology that enables them to save time. They order food, buy stuff and even find their soulmates online. The Internet has changed the way in which we socialize and do business. This being said, you should know that more and more people dislike the idea of submitting their rental application in person. You can stay on the same page with this category of tenants by simply choosing to use a reliable apartment scout as your intermediary. For instance, Apartment Hunterz puts its exclusive iConnect feature at your disposal. As a landlord, you would just have to upload the application in MS Word or PDF format and let potential candidates apply online.
  2. Rely on Uncomplicated Online Account Management
    The same type of apartment finding service gives you the opportunity to create and utilize an online account. You can use this account to post and update listings, perform credit checks, update your profile or improve the visibility of your online listings. All these tools and features enable you to bring and keep your rental property into the spotlight and maximize your odds of finding the perfect tenant.
  3. Great Listing Features and a Privileged Position in Search Engine Results
    We will let you in on a little secret: companies that are listed on the first pages in Google, Yahoo and Bing benefit from the highest level of visibility and attract new visitors like a magnet. By listing your property with Apartment Hunterz you automatically start to profit from a better position in search engine results. Using the most effective search engine optimization tactics, Apartment Hunterz is committed to bring your content in front of a larger audience that is looking for properties just like the one that you are trying to rent. Moreover, each listing is a new opportunity to attract clients. Comprising up to 12 photos, virtual tours (on demand) and a specific description focused on the strongest points of your Californian rental, this type of listing is your first tie with serious tenants who are looking for a new roof over their heads.

If you want to rent your house or apartment in California safely and conveniently, list it with Apartment Hunterz and start scheduling online appointments with potential tenants today.

Make Your Apartments Appealing to Renters Ready to Relocate

Businesswoman With House Model And KeysSummer is on its way, which means a lot of apartment dwellers are going to be looking to relocate before school starts yet again. You can take advantage of all of these motivated movers by making your apartment units stand out in the crowd.

Harness the Power of the Internet

Most apartment dwellers looking to relocate do so through the internet. They will make the decision to move, then search for new apartments online. The most important thing you can do is optimize your online listing. You should have what renters are looking for and more importantly, be the listing that entices renters to pick your units over the rest.

Some renters might be under time constraints. And, if you have renters that are looking for a new apartment but don’t have the luxury of looking at the apartment, they will rely on the online advertisement to tell them about what your unit has to offer.

Use Visual Aids

Renters often don’t have the time or willpower to look at dozens of different apartments. Instead they will narrow down their choices online, schedule some tours and appointments, and make a decision based on the few units that they see. Some renters might not look at all – especially if they are moving a long distance.

Make it easier for renters by showing them what your apartment has to offer. Use high-quality photographs and include video tours of your units. Use colorful advertisements and tell renters what they can expect. List every amenity and perk – especially those that help you stand out from the competition.

Be Clear About Rental Prices

The last thing a renter wants is to guess what the rent is or make a list of apartments to call asking about rent. Make your rental rates and deposit information clear on the advertisement. Include everything the renter gets for that rent – such as utilities that are included or parking.

Add Reviews from Past Tenants

Reviews from tenants are one of the bestselling points you can add to an online listing. These customer testimonials attract new tenants to your apartment. Also, by including testimonials in your advertisement, you keep interested renters on the advertisement page versus going to another site to look for your reviews.

Follow Up

If a renter does contact you, follow up as fast as possible. The longer a renter has to wait in between contact, the more likely they are to contact a competitor. Renters looking to relocate that are on a short timeframe need answers and responses fast. Plus, the faster you respond, the better it looks for your reputation. An apartment manager that takes too long to respond could mean that is how you conduct business on a day-to-day basis.

Mar 2014

Raising the Rent? How to Tell Your Renters

bigstock-Keychain-And-Key-41443585As the southern California economy improves, housing prices and rental rates are on the rise. The National Association of Realtors has already predicted a leap in rental prices by 4.3 percent in 2014. As your own operational costs, taxes and overhead go up, you’ll be forced to raise the rent. Unfortunately, there is risk of a lower renter retention rate when your rates make the climb, but if you do it right, you can raise the rent and not sacrifice keeping renters.

Be Upfront

When you make the decision to raise the rent, tell your renters why you’re raising the rent. 100 percent transparency goes a long way with renters. If you’re open and honest, renters can understand the need for a change and be more accepting than if you aren’t clear on why the rental rates are going up. You can mention costs that have gone up and how their rise has impacted your ability to operate. Be clear that you don’t want to raise the rent to make more money, and state the economic changes are forcing you to increase it.

Inform Right Away

Don’t wait until the last minute to tell your renters the rates have gone up. Most states require a minimum of 30 days to inform renters, but you can be courteous and offer even more notice (if you have it available). You can only increase rent on new lease and renewed leases, unless your documents specify that increased rates are allowed mid-lease. Tell tenants with leases about to expire about the change and give them at least 30 days so that they can decide whether or not they will renew. If you tell residents last minute they might move because they feel as though they were deceived.

Be Flexible to Renters

If you have a strong track record and your renters trust you, you might make it through a rental increase just fine. Listen to the renters who come to you and cannot afford the higher rent. There may be instances where you can afford to negotiate a slightly lower rate for those who have been long-term tenants. Remember that having long-term tenants can be more profitable than a high turnover rate in your units.

When you show that you understand what your renters are going through, especially during a rental increase, you are more likely to keep your tenants than if you don’t. Remember that managing a property means you still have to show your human side and show that you’re compassionate about what your renters are going through. Offer a budgeting class, incentives, and discounts to renters who chose to renew their lease even with a higher rate as a “thank you” for sticking it out.

Feb 2014

Benefits of a Higher Resident Retention Rate

rentalsAs a property manager or owner, it is your responsibility to aim for a high resident retention rate. While it does require a lot of effort and some funds, having a higher retention rate pays for itself. If you are finding it difficult to see it that way, here are some benefits to keeping the residents you have versus working on finding new ones.

Save Money

When you have residents that stick around, you have a stable income. Consider it this way: when a resident leaves, you have a vacant unit. Open slots waste potential income as they remain vacant, but also cost money to fill. Think of how much it costs to advertise a vacant unit, the time you will take to show the unit to potential renters, the cost and time associating with doing a background check and approving a new resident, etc. When you have residents that stay in place, these costs can be avoided.

More Referrals

Long-term residents know how you operate as a property owner or manager and they like there they are living — if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be a long-term resident. Long-term residents could increase the number of referral residents you receive. You can even offer incentives for referrals, such as a new microwave or discount on rent for referring new tenants.

Better Income for Bad Times

Net operating income is important for a rental property. As a property owner, you need a solid NOI and when you have a high resident retention rate, you will.

Less Turnover Costs

You already know that it is cost-efficient to have a higher resident retention rate, but your turnover costs are also reduced when you have a high rate. You can avoid turnover expenses like changing the locks, replacing carpet or having carpet professionally cleaned, replacing blinds, repainting, changing appliances, etc. All of these costly repairs and replacements aren’t needed when the same tenant remains in a unit, which means you could potentially save thousands of dollars per year on turnover costs.

Reduced Rental Income Losses

You don’t take in rent when you have vacant units. Not only are you spending money advertising for new tenants, but you are missing out on income you could have had if the tenant stayed in that same unit. In some cases you could see a potential rental income loss for months, especially when you hit those months where residents just aren’t looking for a new place. If you have multiple units that sit vacant at the same time, you’ll encounter an even larger rental income loss.

Focusing on the tenants you have right now is the best investment you can make as a property owner. The more time you take keeping your residents happy, the less time you will spend finding new ones, taking care of turnover and suffering extensive losses.

Feb 2014

Tips for Creating an Attractive Rental Ad

bigstock-Couple-4843660The competition is fierce for rental properties. If your advertisement doesn’t stick out in the crowd, your vacancies could stand open for months. It’s important to feature the best things about your rental property – including all pertinent information. While you cannot include everything, you need to include the information that makes prospective renters interested in seeing the property in person.

Enhance Your Description

You could use a general description, but doing so leaves out a lot of information about your property. Include the details that aren’t in a normal description, especially those features that people are looking for, such as:

  • A spacious garage or parking stall
  • Great views
  • A private yard or community park

Give directions to your property and include any key landmarks or amenities you’re close to. These include things tenants are looking for, such as access to public transportation or being within walking distance to local colleges, coffee shops and malls.

Take a Lot of Photos

You might be limited on the number of photos you can include in your advertisement. If so, make sure to at least cover the main areas your tenants are concerned about, including the kitchen, living room, main bedroom, and bathroom. If there is additional space after that include other amenities like parking stalls, pools, community rooms and floor plans.

You want your prospective tenants to picture themselves living in your rental property. The pictures and spaces should be clean, clutter-free and have plenty of natural light. Take the picture during the day and never use the flash feature on your camera — this makes the site too artificial. Get pictures from different angles and if you have it in the budget, include a virtual tour.

Include the Price

Even if your rent isn’t your selling point, you need to include it. Properties that don’t have a rental rate listed are automatically skipped over. Tenants don’t have time to follow up on simple questions like how much the rent will be. So, include the desired rental amount, security deposit and lease term in your description.

Don’t Copy Other Ads

Even if you have your ads listed on multiple sites, you need each one to be unique. Even more so, if you have multiple units or properties, don’t just copy and paste your advertisement from one site to the other. The more unique your advertisement is, the more it will stand out to prospective tenants.

Sell With Incentives

People are always looking for ways to save. If you have specials or incentives going for that month, include them in your ad. While you don’t have to list any terms to the incentives, do be truthful. Don’t use an incentive on false pretenses. This is not only poor ethics, but it could potentially open the door for liability issues in the future.

Review your ads from time to time and change them up if they aren’t giving you much traffic. The goal of your ad is to fill your vacancy, so continue to edit and adjust until it does just that.

Feb 2014