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How Can Landlords Navigate Through a Tenant’s Market?

For at least the short-term, renters are holding most of the cards. There are more spaces available than renters looking to move. This situation creates a two-fold problem: If your lease is up, there have never been so many options. However, if you’re a property owner, you’ll need to attract renters to fill vacancies.

What is a Tenant’s Market?

Often, short- and long-term rentals are in high demand, especially in desirable locations. These areas, usually busy city areas that are close to work, school, and entertainment, are hot-ticket items for equally active people.

The 2020 pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into this normally well-oiled scene. More tenants are working from home instead of in their posh high-rises. Renters that are stuck in their apartments are starting to want more space, and many high-end renters from urban areas are flooding the suburbs to get a slice of that pie.

This situation is only temporary. In the past, when attacks have happened in or near cities, such as 9/11, professionals and anyone with the financial ability, fled to the suburbs. Once their sense of safety returned and the economy rebounded, the lifelong city dwellers returned to their urban life.

However, even temporarily, it’s created a tenant’s market. Landlords and rental companies are scrambling to fill vacancies and stop current tenants from vacating when their lease is up. It may sound disconcerting, but, it’s just another step in evolution. Rental owners can attract new renters and build fruitful relationships that are mutually beneficial.

Attracting New Renters

As mentioned, the new tenant’s market won’t be here forever. In the meantime, it gives property owners a chance to attract new renters and change how these see their rental income. Tenants and landlords need each other. In a landlord’s market, renters have to show the property’s management that they qualify to live there. The tenant is responsible for appealing to the owner.

In this switch, the owner has to change gears. No, you don’t have to rent your home or apartment to people that don’t meet basic requirements for past evictions or criminal convictions. But you may need to lower some conditions based on the current economy.

For example, if an applicant has an eviction, learn the circumstances. If you can verify they’re employed now and have the first and last month’s rent, you may be able to look past the eviction. To attract more applicants, remove the line from your ad that says “No past evictions” and just conduct a more substantial review of the potential tenant.

Other options to bring in new blood is to make the property more desirable. A simple way to do that is to allow pets. You don’t have to let renters have a small zoo in your building, but a dog- or cat-friendly apartment gets more applications than ones with strict “no pets” rules. Small changes can increase your value without increasing your expenditures.

Save on Rental Management Fees

Many property owners run to the age-old option of rental management companies. These can be great options for people with large, multi-tenant buildings. But they’re a bit over the top for small-scale landlords with a few properties.

Management agencies rarely offer a personal touch, which can create animosity among tenants and landlords. By providing a more personable approach to your rental occupants, you can reduce tenant turnover. If you’re paying 20% per tenant to a rental management company, there are ways to skip the fee and handle the property yourself without adding too much extra stress to your day.

Build Relationships for Long-Term Tenants

The best way to prevent turnover and vacancies is by maintaining a relationship with your tenants. A renter that’s experiencing problems with a neighbour or struggling to meet the month’s rent is more likely to speak to you when they have issues. Communication can reduce stress for all parties. You don’t have to be an owner-occupied building to complete this crucial step. There are ways to improve relationships rather than keep things 100% formal.

Technology Can Bridge the Divide

Often, people discuss how technology drives people apart and removes the personal element from business transactions. The pandemic is changing this mentality. During shutdowns around the world, technology has saved people, repaired relationships, and generally, helped make life easier for many people during one of the most challenging times we’ve known in the past century.

The RentDesk offers the right approach to property management. This platform helps property owners manage their rentals online and save time and money. Landlords can list their units on multiple sites, operate their property inspections digitally, and manage and review applications with a few clicks on a smartphone.