You Can’t Lose with this Vacancy Reduction Plan

 

How are you protecting your rental’s cash flow? Keeping your good tenants happy is the best strategy, but sometimes they need to move.

 

Creating and using a vacancy reduction plan really helped me this year.  I’ve received two move out notices and I was able to sign a leases for both units before the departing tenant moved out. This stunt even impressed my wife.

 

Streamline Plan

 

There are a lot of things you can add to your plan to make it fancy and custom, but the absolute essential components are:

 

1 – Start marketing your unit as soon as you get a move out notice. I already had some professional looking pictures of my units so I was able to create a Craiglslist ad that outshined the other landlords/managers that use smart phone pictures. Even though I’m a cheapskate, I’ve come to realize that I need professional looking photos taken through a wide-angle lens to make my offering look great.

 

2 – Enlist the help of your departing tenant. We offered our departing tenants $10 for cleaning their unit before each showing and a $100 bonus if we signed a lease before they moved out. They were thrilled. As a result, we were able to present “staged” units that looked and smelled fantastic.

 

3 – Line up your helpers to minimize down time. I installed floating vinyl plank flooring in one unit and furnished the other unit that I’ve dedicated to my corporate housing venture. In both cases, I was super happy that I pre-scheduled with my contractors and had time to find good deals on furniture. It’s far better, and arguably less expensive, to be proactive when turning rentals around.

 

None of these steps are novel ideas but I’ve just been too lazy for too many years. A strong cash flow can make you lazy. I see the light now. And since my mission is to reduce your expenses and increase your income, I have to share what I’ve learned.

 

Now for a Bonus Tip

 

I’m afraid to share this tip because I’m embarrassed that I didn’t have it in place years before now. But we’re all learning right?

 

I finally sat down and on one sheet of paper, I listed cleaning fees associated with every significant component in each room in my apartments. Then I gave this sheet to my departing resident a week before their move out appointment. This way my departing tenants knew ahead of time that if the ceiling fan was dirty during our move out inspection, it would cost them $25, and if the oven was dirty, then they could expect $45 less of their deposit.

 

Click HERE to see my form.

 

Immediately after inspection, I totaled the cleaning fees and returned their remaining deposit to them.

 

I discovered this checklist made me a tougher but fairer judge of how much of their deposit to refund. And even better, I was able to have the units cleaned for less than what I withheld (not including my administration fee of course).

 

Anyway, go do this. Prepare an action plan that you can put into action once you get that inevitable move out notice.

 

As The SavvyLandlord, says “You can’t be passive if you want passive income.”

 

Please share your top turn over tips in the comment section below.

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Al, hope all is well. Great info. I like your philosophy regarding happy tenants. There is a win win relationship with all this.
    thanks,
    Matt

  2. Thanks Al, #2 is an excellent tip! And as a professional photographer, I have always encouraged this one, too:

    “I’ve come to realize that I need professional looking photos taken through a wide-angle lens to make my offering look great.”

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