Why is my Rental Property Vacant?
We all know that a vacant rental property in Ipswich, or in any location, can be a problem. Your cash flow stops, your asset becomes a bigger liability, your chance of break in and vandalism grows. Not to mention the frustration you feel as an investment property owner.
Vacancy is the number one enemy for all successful property investors!
There are a few key reasons behind the reasons for vacancy:
- Pricing for rent
- The presentation of the property
- Your Property Manager and how active they are.
More frequent than not, the issue with vacancy will be down to the price. As an investor, it is important to remember that rent is very price sensitive and it is important to seek balance between the need for cash flow and what the market is willing to pay.
As part of this balance, you need to understand your competition. For example, how many similar properties are there like yours in your area and the surrounds? There are always people moving but no one wants to pay more than they have to. A good property manager can provide you with this insight, particularly into the local market.
If you have a good amount of enquiry, but very little follow up after inspection (i.e. applications, second inspections etc.), it will most likely be because the potential tenants are underwhelmed upon inspection of your property.
This may be because of the way the current tenant is maintaining the property or it could be that upkeep hasn’t been completed (lawns mowed and tidied). Another reason could be that something about the rental advertising was misleading (e.g. is that really a bedroom?). As property investors, it is important to keep maintenance up in a proactive manner or else you could run the risk of securing less qualified tenants.
A little about Advertising
Property advertising (and real estate in general) has definitely moved online. Your listing needs to be well presented and on a dominant website. Quality photos are important as many rental companies still rely on poor quality phone shots (or even photos from a previous agency with old date stamps). If your rent is $440 a week then the buying decision is $22,880 per year, so it is worth taking your investment seriously when the cost is an investment (plus they can be used again for future listings).
And finally, the Property Manager…
Communication is key when limiting vacancy on your rental property. It could be that your agency is too slow in responding to potential enquiries. The first few weeks are the busiest time for new enquiries. If your agent is to slow to respond, then after some time your property will begin to look stale or that something may be wrong with it (that property has been listed for a long time, there must be something wrong with it!).
The agent should show the property at convenient times. After school and work or Saturday mornings are busy times when people are usually free and are looking at options. These times will allow more people through, with more applications to choose from.
The location of your real estate agency is important!
Consider if your property manager is on the Gold Coast, but your investment property is in Brassall, Ipswich. Do you think that your Property Manager is going to be able to react to short notice inspections if they know they must drive a massive 2 hours, 20 minutes (including the return trip) to show your property to a perspective tenant.
This is unlikely. They are more likely to stick to fixed inspection periods which may be spread far apart (to save them from driving), resulting in quality tenants finding a property that they can view at an earlier time. We all know that quality tenants do not stay ‘in the market’ for long.
Progressive agencies also use technology so potential tenants can register easily for inspections without the need to play phone tag.
Get some good advice about rental pricing, stick with a quality, local agent who communicates well and quickly and make sure that your property is well presented.
Is your property vacant? Can we help fill it with some great tenants? Why not get in touch and see how Collins Gregory Real Estate can help.
Call us on (07) 3622 6436 to discuss your helps today.