IP vacant - how to reduce vacancy time

One of our properties has been vacant since end October. This is in Burnside Heights VIC. API magazine tells me the vacancy rate is 2.4%.

We have only received one application so far, we rejected them as the applicants incomes did not check out.

The place was listed for 390 p/w in October, we've gradually dropped it to 350 p/w just to try and get it tenanted before the quiet period starts. Equivalent properties would typically go for 380-400 p/w. We also tried doing a special - pay 349 p/w for first month, then back up to 370, no bites.

Would appreciate ideas/strategies/comments on how we can try to get this tenanted quickly.
 
A big problem is it would've gone "stale" by now, and usually if a property isn't leased it's due to price.

How many inspections is the agent doing? Private inspections? Advertising to vacating tenants etc?

I'd suggest looking at the advertisement, photos and ad copy. Advertising on Gumtree, make sure your agent is running private and open for inspections, especially after 5pm if possible. Also ask the agent for feedback from anyone attending the property.
 
I have to agree with Lil Skater, it's got to be price or presentation and the ad would have gone stale.

One option if you live locally is to pull the advertising and do a little work in there over the Christmas Closure period if you don't have any takers before then. Just some gardening, maybe a splash of paint if you have time. Then get some new photos and new advertising up in the new year so it's ready for people wanting to re-locate before schools start back.

Agree again - what is the feedback you have been getting? Does the property have a large garden? Perhaps include lawn maintenance in the rent? Is that effective in your area?

Time for a big chat with your property manager on what can, has and will be done to get it leased :).
 
Contact the PM pretending to be an applicant.
See what type of response you get, and how long it takes to receive a reply.
 
Thanks all for your replies.

Inspections are done weekly on a Saturday, haven't had many enquiries so no private inspections so far. Advertised on realestate.com.au, domain and some other websites (can't remember off the top of my head but there was a fair few). I'll ask the PM to do weeknight opens to see if there is interest.

I just find it really strange how comparable properties could have rented quicker, and at a higher price to ours. Nevertheless we have dropped our asking price and offered a few weeks free.

The PM has been creating a new listing every week on all the real estate sites, does this also contribute to the ad going stale?

Since we have listed it the only feedback was around the carpet; we have replaced it but still no bites. The property is quite new (about 3-4 years old) so there really isn't much we can do to improve things further. The yard is small and low maintenance so no real need for a gardener.

We did go to last week's inspection, but did not identify ourselves as the owners until all groups have left (so for the first 10 mins or so the PM would have thought we were prospective applicants) They weren't actively pointing out the features of the property, but they did take down names and contact details and asking for feedback on the property. They do follow up on the groups who attended the opens and keeping us informed on what they are doing to get this property tenanted. i'm just not sure if they're doing enough or if it's just the state of the market (it's in a relatively new estate).

One thing I did notice retrospectively; the house next to ours has some dodgy looking vehicles out the front. no rego, doesn't appear to be in working order so maybe that could have turned prospective tenants off?

We'll see how this goes, I might go up and have a look again this weekend to gauge interest, and also organise for better photos. We also have had weekly chats with the PM to figure out what else we can do to make it more attractive to tenants, so far the strategy proposed seems to be just dropping rent. I'll also keep asking if there's anything we can do to improve interest.

Keep the ideas coming, they are helpful!
 
We are on the same boat. Our property has been spruced up, we even bought a new BBQ and advertised it as free with the rental (not to keep of course, but only whilst renting). Our unit has the biggest outdoor space of all the other units, but one other unit I admit has better indoor quality tiles. We used new vinyl flooring.

I guess situations are different for everyone and the market is not always so obvious. We've had two open days and everyone that came in loved the place and took application forms, but none of them came back! So just like auctions when people turn up all excited but don't bid, it's the same with rentals. You have to have that >>one<< thing that pushes them over the fence to committ. And that could be good neighbors, good grounds, clean and tidy, new paint, I could go on and on.

However, you will find a tenant eventually. Eventually someone does come in and signs on the dotted line! I've seen dumps been rented so I don't see why someone will not move in eventually. However, of course, if you let go of your emotions a bit and give someone young a go and remove any possible restrictions like no pets, then you suddenly open the flood gates. And then you can choose whom you want to move in.

Best of luck there.
 
What's the link to your property online? I'm sure some of us will have suggestions on how the ad may be improved.

Look into getting some professional photos and a floor plan done up. Good investment to have as you can reuse time and time again for the property each time it's vacant. (Although I will say, generally photos turn out better when there is some furniture in there..but still, professional photos will highlight the good points of an empty property).
 
We've had two open days and everyone that came in loved the place and took application forms, but none of them came back! So just like auctions when people turn up all excited but don't bid, it's the same with rentals.

My PM tells all applicants to ensure they apply if they like it. Many times, applicants see a bunch of people there and go "I wont bother applying as someone else will get it" - and if everyone thinks the same thing then you have a house full of good potentials none of whom apply
 
Just a comment on the BBQ FJO. You need to be really really careful supplying one with tenancy. Actually I would advise all landlords NOT to do so. The potential for safety issues and the dramas at end of tenancy when left full of grease etc is an absolute nightmare.

You are also leaving yourself open to a legal nightmare if something goes wrong with the BBQ and causes physical damage. Very high risk because you have no control over how the tenant treats or maintains it.

It does sound like a nice thing to do for a tenant but you are just shooting yourself in the foot.
 
How long before the OH&S crowd move in and make it so you can't rent an IP until they give a report with their approval?

And, while we're at it; the insurance companies won't cover the 20 mill pub liability without the OH&S report....

I can see the day....
 
Just a comment on the BBQ FJO. You need to be really really careful supplying one with tenancy. Actually I would advise all landlords NOT to do so. The potential for safety issues and the dramas at end of tenancy when left full of grease etc is an absolute nightmare.

You are also leaving yourself open to a legal nightmare if something goes wrong with the BBQ and causes physical damage. Very high risk because you have no control over how the tenant treats or maintains it.

It does sound like a nice thing to do for a tenant but you are just shooting yourself in the foot.

From an insurance point of view I would definitely agree with this.. It's just a minefield .. A gas bottle exploding could cause an insurance nightmare, particularly if BBQ wasn't tested between tenants
 
Semi private inspections

We had an IP vacant after the tenant moved out after 2 and 1/2 years. It was just in a period where we had high vacancies in town due to redundancies. We acted very pro actively by advertising the property with good photos on a local face book page for rental. Offered to do inspections when anyone was interested. Showed the house to two parties and it was rented within a week. I did liaise with the Property Manager and she took the applications and did all checks. Ended up with a good tenant quickly and paid 1/2 of the letting fee. Happy all around :). Sometime the tenants finds it easier to do a private inspection and talk to the Landlord.
 
Top