Tips for Filling a vacancy

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Being a property owner has its merits, however if you’re a hands-on owner, then you are also familiar with the challenges that come along with having investment property.

There’s maintenance, odd requests from tenants (yes, we do mean ‘odd’), seasonal yard care, early morning/late night call and vacancies.

In a perfect world, one tenant would move out and another would move in as soon as the property has been cleaned and inspected. Of course, that is not always the case. There are times when you may have a waiting list of approved tenants and then there are times when the phone doesn’t ring, especially when you’re eager to fill a vacancy.

If you’re faced with this problem on an ongoing basis, consider these simple tips to ensure you fill all your vacancies immediately and continue to reap all the benefits of being a property owner.

  1. This may seem basic, but do you have the units priced competitively? Be realistic and consider the current marketplace and other units that are similar in age, size, amenities and location.
  2. People like stability and they like to get a bit of a deal when they can. Consider offering qualified tenants a discount or incentive for long-term occupancy, such as one year lease.
  3. Canadians love their animals. According to 2014 statistics from the Canadian Pet Market Outlook, almost 60 per cent of the Canadian population own pets. With that in mind, perhaps you should consider allowing pets within your property.
  4. You may have a good sized property at a good location, but if it’s not in great shape it can be a difficult sell. Consider making improvements such as updating the paint colour, changing the flooring or appliances, or even adding additional appliances (laundry or dishwasher) to make the unit more appealing to potential tenants.
  5. If a potential tenant has a limited rent history or bad credit history, perhaps you need to take a little extra risk with them if they can provide a qualified co-signer. They might prove to be your best tenants ever!
  6. Value the opinion of others. If you’ve shown the property several times, but weren’t successful in renting it – perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the situation. Call the prospects that did come to view your property to get their feedback on why they choose not to live there. If the feedback is consistent, be proactive and make the changes that people are looking for.
  7. Choose your advertising message carefully. If you’re targeting an ideal tenant for a particular location, then create your advertising messages based on that targeted audience. For instance, if you’re trying to attract students, mention the proximity to the local post-secondary institutions and other amenities that students might be attracted to i.e. nightlife!

Vionell Holdings Partnership (VHP) provides rental housing and property management for an array of residential and commercial customers, including Condominium Management.  VHP currently has over 2,500 units under management in Manitoba.