Landlords and property managers struggle to maintain their investment properties as the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague the US. With many residents unemployed and unable to pay the rent and mandates in place to prevent eviction, keeping the lights on is an ongoing battle. While the next-best solution to covering costs would be to fill vacant units, these chaotic times have also made it challenging to attract financially stable tenants.
For starters, people have become so fearful of contracting this deadly virus that they’re leery of visiting properties in-person. Added to the madness is the uncertainty of job security as financially strapped businesses lay off employees to survive. Though these pandemic-related changes have created several obstacles for landlords and property managers to overcome, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
If you’re looking to attract new tenants to your rental property during the pandemic, consider these marketing and management tips.
Identify Your Target Audience
To increase your chances of locating financially-stable tenants amid the global pandemic, you need to identify your target audience. Fortunately, not everyone is without a job at the moment. Some front line and essential workers have taken on additional hours and, therefore, have the means to cover rent. Depending on the rental property location, your ideal tenants may be doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitation workers, police, government employees, or restaurant workers, to name a few.
Clean and Sanitize Your Units
The coronavirus can live on hard and porous surfaces for days at a time, increasing exposure risks. Ensure the safety and well-being of potential tenants by ensuring that vacant units arere thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to prevent the spread of the virus. Cleaning and disinfecting should include deep-cleaning carpets, furniture, and upholstery, mopping floors, wiping down walls and hard surfaces, dusting, and clearing ventilation systems.
Throw In Some Perks
Any financial savings, aesthetic, or functionality improvements to a rental property can increase your chances of finding reliable tenants. Assess your current budget to determine how much you can dedicate to enhancing the unit. Swapping out outdated appliances for more efficient options or insulation removal and installation saves tenants hundreds of dollars each year on their energy bills. Renovating the kitchen or bathroom, on the other hand, improves functionality and adds comfort to the rental unit.
Make a Killer Ad
Attracting new tenants to your rental property amid the pandemic will require you to expand your reach. Window and lawn signs are useful in grabbing passersby’s attention, but advertisements on the right platforms reach a broader audience. Create a detailed yet catchy ad for digital newspapers and real estate sites that encourages readers to contact your office.
The advertisement should include essential details like the rate, location, property type (i.e., house, condo, multi-unit apartment building), square footage, and rooms. You should also include any items that you believe would help you stand out from the competition, including recent renovations, upgrades, and additional amenities (free hot water, laundry rooms, picnic areas, pools, etc.). Don’t forget to highlight important facts about the location, such as nearby businesses, shopping centers, prolific school districts, and popular entertainment sources.
Offer Virtual Tours
Before making a final decision on a rental property, tenants are encouraged to take an in-person tour. During the pandemic, however, in-person visits come with significant risks. Not to mention, essential workers often have schedules that make it difficult for them to visit during regular business hours. Offering virtual tours, however, can remedy these problems. Available 24/7, interested parties can view the rental property from the safety and comfort of their homes.
The necessary changes to everyday life amid the coronavirus pandemic have caused several problems for landlords and property managers. With no idea as to when the pandemic will end, filling vacant properties will require strategic and creative marketing and management efforts. While nothing is foolproof during these uncertain times, the above-discussed strategies will significantly increase your chances of finding financially reliable tenants to fill the gap.