Vacancy Reduction Tactics: Keeping Your Rental Property Occupied in LA - Article Banner

Reducing your vacancy rate will lead to higher earnings and more stability for your LA rental property. When you can keep your investment home occupied with fantastic tenants who are paying rent on time, taking care of the place, and following the terms of the lease agreement, you’re earning consistent and recurring rents, and you’re increasing your equity and appreciation. 

Vacancy comes with dangers you’d rather avoid. When your investment is unoccupied, you’re not earning any rent and you’re not able to keep a close eye on its maintenance and condition. There’s also the threat of squatters, vandals, and other potential crimes. 

Keep your vacancy and turnover periods to a minimum. This can be done with good marketing and pricing, excellent maintenance, and an understanding of how to place and retain high quality tenants. 

Provide a Really Great Rental Home

You need to provide a home that tenants will be eager to rent. Attractive homes do not stay vacant for long. When you offer a great looking property that’s modern and updated, tenants are going to be eager to rent it. If your home is deteriorating and looking old, you might have to worry about a longer vacancy. 

Make cost-effective and targeted updates, especially during turnover periods. Replace the carpet and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. These things will attract new residents quickly, reducing the time that your property is empty. 

Pricing Your Property Accurately and Competitively Avoids Long Vacancies

Pricing always impacts vacancy, and this is something that a lot of rental property owners tend to overlook. Be mindful of your pricing, and always let the market lead. 

While it’s important to price your rental home as high as possible in order to maximize what you earn, you don’t want to over-price your property. This will only lead to a longer – and more expensive – vacancy period. I have seen landlords wanting the additional $300 and let the property sit for 60 days or more all the time. Time is money!

Tenants have access to most of the same pricing data you do; they’re not going to pay more than they have to for a home, especially if similar homes are available for less. When you price your property too high, you run the risk of leaving it vacant for longer. 

Conduct a comparative analysis that shows you the rental values of properties similar to yours in the immediate neighborhood. Ideally, you’ll gather information about what those homes rented for and how long they were on the market. This will help you establish the right price for your own property. 

If you’re having trouble accessing the data you need, reach out to a property manager in Los Angeles who knows the local market and gathers insights and analytics regularly. 

Strategic Marketing Reduces Vacancy in LA Rentals 

Marketing is also an important part of avoiding long vacancy periods. You might have the most impressive property in Los Angeles. If no one knows that it’s for rent, you’re not going to generate a lot of interest. If you’re simply throwing up a yard sign or posting a two-line advertisement on Craigslist without any pictures, you aren’t going to rent your home quickly. Marketing has to be a priority when you’re trying to reduce vacancy.

Take some really great photos that can serve as the foundation for your marketing campaign. Use good lighting and the right angles. Make sure you’re including photos of everything you can, including bedrooms and the kitchen and any outdoor space. Tenants are going to look at photos first when they’re searching for a home. You have to make them count. You have to make them grab the attention of potential renters. 

List your home on all the popular rental websites that tenants are using, including Zumper and Zillow and and Trulia.  You want as much exposure for your property to generate interest and limit vacancy. If your rental is $7,000, we recommend you put the property on MLS. You will be surprised how many high profile tenants use agent to find a rental!

Be responsive, too. When someone gets in touch to ask questions, talk about your rental qualifications, or schedule a showing, make sure you answer the phone, respond to messages, and make yourself available. 

Retaining Your Current LA Tenants 

Keep Property OccupiedThe best way to avoid vacancy is by keeping your property occupied. 

If you already have a great tenant in place, it’s wise to do everything you can to retain that tenant. You want them to continue renewing their lease agreement, year after year. How can you increase tenant retention? We have some ideas:

  • Make sure you’re responsive and attentive during the entire term of the lease. You have to be a good communicator, and you have to be willing to listen to your tenants. Be available and accessible. Answer questions. Provide support. Offer resources. 
  • Take care of maintenance issues right away. Tenants are never going to stay in a property when repairs aren’t made in a timely manner. Be proactive. Work with good vendors who are respectful of your tenants. Make maintenance a priority. 
  • Check in with your tenants once in a while, and be sure to answer their phone calls and respond to their messages. But, respect their privacy. Tenants don’t need to hear from you every day.

You’ll also want to think about rental increases and what’s appropriate during a lease renewal period. 

By retaining your tenants, you eliminate the expensive turnover costs that wait for you if your tenant moves out. So when your tenant wants to renew their lease agreement, don’t be in a hurry to raise rent dramatically. Most tenants will expect a slight increase, and they won’t fight back against it. But if you raise the rent by a shocking amount, you’re putting yourself at risk for losing that tenant. 

Keep increases moderate and check the local market so you know how much homes similar to yours are renting for. Signing a new lease for another year saves you money on turnover costs and helps you to begin financially planning your next year. 

These are some of our best suggestions for reducing vacancy when you have an LA home you’re renting out. Would you like some more tips and strategies? We have them. Contact us at Earnest Homes, and we’ll help you have a better – and more profitable – rental experience in LA.