Working as an investment real estate adviser here in Kansas City I get asked all the time on how to rent a vacant rental property. And while there is no one way that works all the time you really just have to keep a close eye on your micro-market(s) and know and adjust to what is going on. For instance, just this morning a real estate investor couple I work with just closed on a super buy of a duplex in Blue Springs. Now they are worried about getting it rented quickly as there are a couple of other vacancies in the same neighborhood.
But before you worry too much for them just know that the vacant rental property they purchased over in Blue Springs went for $188,500 with about $4,000 in carpet cleaning and paint and misc repairs needed. Comps in the neighborhood? How about $215,000 to $220,000!
Getting back on track here are some tactics, sometimes guerrilla, that you may wish to consider when trying to rent your vacant rental property.
- For Rent sign in the front yard with number you will answer most of the time.
- Pointer For Rent signs that lead to your rental property from at least one “busy” intersection.”
- Place add on craigslist. It’s free.
- Make up a flier pointing out benefits and put in a “Info” tube on your For Rent sign.
- Post a few fliers up at local grocery stores, hardware stores, etc.
- “Bandit” signs in other rental neighborhoods or at busy intersections around town.
- Create a blogsite with your rental properties listed on there.
- Publish an add in LOCAL newspaper. For instance, I wouldn’t waste my money on the Kansas City Star. But I would consider the Blue Springs Examiner, or something like that.
- Mailing to other rental neighborhoods advertising your property.
Get Creative With Promotions – Nobody wants to give money away. But every month a rental property sits vacant you lose money. So consider some of the following if you are in a sluggish environment.
- Sign 13 month lease and get 6th month free!
- Pay rent by 1st of every month and receive a $500 rebate on 12th month’s rent.
- Half off security deposit.
- Offer to pay for the rental moving truck and give a gift certificate for pizza on move-in.
- Offer to pay any local leasing agents one month’s rent to get a qualified tenant.
Other tips for when the income property is empty.
- Buy a secure key-box for the units to keep a spare key in. That way when you send over a contractor you don’t necessarily have to be there.
- Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out and let you know if anything is amiss. (This has helped me more times than you could possibly know.)
- Make sure the place is spotless so that when prospective tenants see the rental property they will want it!