O% Vacancy Chart

What to do when your property is sitting vacant

24/7/2018

With all this talk  and truth behind Sydney Vacancy rates, we look at what property owners and agents should be doing to get prospective tenants through their doors.

Settle in this might be a long one!

Every Property Manager and Property Owner, I’d expect, will start getting a little anxious at some point when the weeks and open for inspections are passing by and a property still is not leasing or in some cases, not even attracting prospective tenants to turn up, let alone apply for the property.

This is always a bit of a tense time. The property is not bringing its owner in any income and therefore the agency isn’t collecting any fee’s either.

How this period is handled though on the agencies part can decide though how long the property owner will stick with their current agent. If the relationship has already been fraught with other issues then this could be the deal breaker if the agent is not being as proactive as possible, making the right recommendations and genuinely trying to “sell” the listing as best possible.

Basically, it’s time for the agent to work to secure your business.

Property owners rely on the agent to pass on feedback and make these recommendations but if time is passing and there haven’t been many people through the property or any applicants then someone needs to get proactive, owners get involved or ask your agent to if they’re not already across this.

Let’s be positive and seize some opportunity with my:

5 P’s to get Prospective Tenants through your door.

Presence

There is always room for improvement, check over all of the details, text and photos of your online advertising. The key being to Rewrite and refresh headings and text to make sure it flows and is clear to prospective tenants.

Photography

If you’re photos are dark, unaligned or you’re reusing obviously old photos then it’s time for a photo shoot. Professional photography is a great investment, inexpensive and keeps your ad in line with the majority. Done well they can be reused for some time. If professional photography is not an option then your own photos will do but check them and check them again, making sure the lighting is right and you’ve included your properties best features. Leave out anything that’s unnecessary and it also helps to ensure the order is appropriate e.g.) Bathrooms should not be the first and feature photo!

Placement

If your property has been sitting online for some weeks then your placement online has likely dropped well below any new listings and it’s likely the Ad itself has shrunken to a smaller listing when searching by area and amenity. Sometimes it’s worthwhile paying to upgrade your listing with domain.com.au and realestate.com.au. A small investment to get your, once refreshed, Ad back in the game and to get prospective tenants to click on your property.

 Property Presentation

Your property is vacant so something that’s not an issue is gaining access! If your property is sticking on the market then as an owner it’s an opportune time to go and inspect it, take your spare keys, collect the agents copy or meet the agent there. Now is the time to add value, and by adding value I mean adding to give value to prospective tenants. Have a walk through as a prospective tenant would view the property and attend to anything that needs maintaining. Think of it as an opportunity (however inconvenient the timing) to refresh, improve and update.

An important part of presentation is how your property is shown and by that, I mean the bare minimum should be being carried out by the agent showing your property. It’s obviously not the hot rental market it has been and we as agents need to do more than just open and stand at the door. Be early, open up blinds, turn on lights and welcome questions and feedback that prospective tenants might have. Agents should be finding out what other properties prospective tenants are seeing and get their feedback on your price point.

Pricing

Of course it comes down to this in many cases. Scour through similar listings online and place your property up against others that offer the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms and amenities. Compare locations, presentation and decide which you would prioritise to go and inspect on a Saturday.

Price is everything so if you’ve covered all of the other P’s listed here and are sure you’ve covered all bases then it’s time for the asking rent to match or beat the market. Rental price achieved is never a permanent thing but as many smart investors know, weeks and weeks of unnecessary vacancy can be much costlier then not meeting the market at the time.

Agent’s should be making recommendations and suggestions in terms of pricing along the way, not an ideal conversation but one that must be had! Don’t let it sit too long trying to achieve a rent that the market just isn’t there for.

(Picture source)
0% Vacancy Picture a Screen Grab of our portfolio #humblebrag

Need suggestions or an obligation free review of your properties online advertising, feel free to give me a call!