Every type of investment has an element of risk, but property management may be higher on the list than others: not only do you have to rely on tenants to pay on time, but if the investment sours, you’re saddled with trying to sell an additional property while continuing to pay taxes. However, unlike some other investments that depend on a large, impersonal market, a bad property can turn into a great one simply by partnering with the right property management company!
At Verandah Properties, we pride ourselves on knowing how to market and re-brand even the most dire rental situation—just by doing our jobs. There may be factors that no landlord or property manager can account for such as a sudden downturn in the Florida housing market, but most likely, the following three points will be the reason your property is suffering—and how we’ll get your investment back on track.
Getting the Rent Rate Right
Setting a rental rate is more than just figuring out the mortgage and expenses and charging enough to cover it. In many cases this method can price you right out of the market, leaving your property vacant for months at a time and you paying for multiple properties.
Figuring out the rent you should charge should be determined after conducting a thorough market analysis. A market analysis first considers the big picture: what is the rental situation in your neighborhood? Questions like:
- What types of rental properties dominate your area? Are they single occupancy rental homes, or are there multiple apartment buildings? This gives you the lay of the land and helps you evaluate what kind of standards are being set for renters in this area.
- What is the typical turnover rate of tenants and how quickly do new renters take their place? Is this an active rental community or can properties sit vacant for months at a time? If you understand how quickly renters move in an out and how long the turnaround time frame is, you can gauge your rent to cover you when the home sits vacant.
- How many rental properties are in your neighborhood? Is the community a mix of owner-occupied and rentals, purely rentals, or would you be the only rental on the block?
Once the big picture is satisfied, the market analysis narrows down to comparable properties or "comps." A comparable property needs to be close in proximity to your rental unit and needs to be roughly the same square footage and type – you wouldn’t want to compare one unit of an apartment building to a single-occupancy rental house.
From these comps, you can determine where your property succeeds and deviates and how your rent rate should fluctuate based on those differences and similarities. A savvy tenant will compare the price per square foot much like checking the price per ounce at the grocery store, so a quality comparable property can help you determine if you’re overpricing based on what you offer.
Verandah Properties stays on top of the Central Florida markets that we serve and will have this information on hand so we can determine if your rental rate is over or undervaluing what you have to offer.
Amenities You’re Not Providing (But Could Be)
One thing any good property management team understands is how to sell the experience of living in your property. Right now, we are in a landlord’s market, meaning more people are looking to rent than there are properties available, so if your unit isn’t occupied it’s more likely that you need to make some changes in marketing, policy, and possibly some updates. Verandah Properties will help you determine what needs to change to grow your investment and how to implement those changes.
Marketing is a career unto itself, so if you’re a single landlord without a bachelor’s in that field, it’s not surprising if the property isn’t attracting renters! With a property management team like ours, you can ensure your property is being listed in the best places for what you have to offer, with professional staging and photos that will show your home in the best light.
A great (and free) way to attract more applicants is to loosen up stricter policies such as allowing pets or giving your tenants access to an online payment portal. Good pet owners often make for great tenants as they understand responsibility. With Verandah Properties as your partner, your tenants will have online access for not only making payments but filling out maintenance requests and emergency contacts as well.
Sometimes making simple updates to your property can up the “wow” factor and attract more tenants: these can include a fresh coat of paint, changing out switch plates and cabinet hardware, or doing some minor landscaping with new plants and trimmed trees.
Depending on what shape your property is in, Verandah Properties will know what can stay and what needs to go for your home to attract the best tenants. Some of these may include considerable expenses like new carpeting or updating appliances, but the return on your investment will make this more than worth it.
A Professional Face for a Professional Investment
As a single landlord, your resources can be limited compared to a property management team, and tenants know that. Most research for Central Florida rental units is conducted online, and as a landlord, with one or maybe two properties, you may not have the time or the money to invest in a website. Tenants feel comforted when they see that a rental has the backing of a larger company with online access to rent payments and maintenance tickets; partnering with a property management company gives your single occupancy rental home more credibility. Verandah Property Management makes it easy to navigate our website and highlight the fantastic things your property and our team can offer.
Struggling to keep your investment property afloat can be a scary situation, but Verandah Properties is here to help. Contact us today for your FREE rental analysis, and let's turn your investment around, together!