At Smith Hearn Property Management, we’ve engaged in countless discussions with property owners facing upcoming vacancies. It’s only natural for owners to want a new paying tenant in as quickly as possible to minimize lost rent. Yet, it’s crucial to remember that the best investment decisions are driven by long-term gains, not just immediate returns.
With years of experience managing hundreds of units, we’ve suggested the six reasons why resisting the urge to advertise occupied units is a strategic move. By doing so, you’ll not only mitigate risks but also set the stage for maximizing rewards in the long run.
1. UNPREDICTABLE OUTGOING TENANT TIMELINES
While most tenants do vacate as planned, unforeseen circumstances can arise. Whether it’s a delay in their next living arrangement or unexpected logistical challenges, there’s no foolproof way to ensure a seamless transition. Advertising an occupied unit may lead to complications, pushing back the rental schedule and potentially costing both time and credibility.
2. COORDINATING SHOWINGS: A BALANCING ACT
Showing an occupied unit demands a delicate dance between three parties: the current occupants, prospective tenants, the property owner or property manager. Aligning their schedules, especially with the mandatory 24-hour notice, can be a logistical puzzle. While a stroke of luck may result in a harmonious meeting, more often than not, it’s a challenging endeavor.
3. PRIORITIZING SAFETY AND PRIVACY
Opening up a tenant’s living space to strangers introduces an element of discomfort and, at worst, a safety risk. Imagine a prospective tenant inspecting closets or peering into personal spaces. It’s a situation that demands caution and respect for privacy, especially in a post-Covid world where the sanctity of personal space is paramount.
4. THE DELICATE SECURITY DEPOSITS
As a responsible landlord and property managers, it’s our duty to assess damages and handle security deposits fairly. Rushing this process may result in overlooked issues or a failure to document damages adequately. This oversight could potentially lead to costly disputes and legal entanglements.
5. TIME FOR THOROUGH MAINTENANCE
If the outgoing tenants have left behind a unit that requires attention, it’s crucial not to rush the turnover process. Carpets, walls, bathrooms, and kitchens often demand a thorough overhaul. By taking the time to address these needs properly, we ensure a high-quality rental that attracts top-tier tenants.
6. THE POWER OF STRATEGIC UPGRADES
Successful real estate investment hinges on adding value to the property. Skipping this step in favor of a speedy tenant turnover can ultimately hinder future returns. Don’t settle for showings of tired, used spaces. Instead, invest in upgrades that position the property as a sought-after rental, commanding premium rents.
While the prospect of a vacant unit may weigh on an owner’s mind, it’s imperative not to be swayed solely by loss aversion. Achieving success in the rental market requires a strategic approach. Take the time to do it right, focusing on efficiency rather than speed. Establish systems or consider professional management to streamline the process and position yourself for sustained profitability.