How did you decide what to charge for rent in your apartments? Do you rent them quickly or do you show them to dozens of people only to get a tenant once you lower the rent? Maybe you need to check what the other comparable properties are renting for in your neighborhood. Here are a few ideas on how to confirm you are maximizing your rental amounts and minimizing the apartment’s time on the market:
- Drive around the neighborhood and call on some “For Rent” signs. In fact, introduce yourself, tell them which buildings you own, and give them your phone number. We all need to help each other as landlords.
- Use Craiglist to quickly see what landlords are offering their apartments for. Be careful that you are looking at ads that are actives. I found one ad where a landlord wanted $1400 for his unit, but after further investigation, I found he had been looking for a tenant for 6 months (with a vacant unit). He should have just dropped the price to the market value (of $1200) and got it rented.
- Also check out the “seeking housing” section on Craigslist to see what tenants are willing to pay.
- Ask your existing tenants what they think about the rent amount you are planning to charge.
Even if you think you have the rent amount correct, watch how quickly or slowly your apartment rents once you start advertising. If it is taking a long time to rent or you are experiencing a low call volume, lower the rent sightly. You may also need to change your rent amount based upon the time of the year, changes in the neighborhood, and the condition of the unit while showing it. Check your rent amounts at least yearly. Setting your rent amounts correctly will help you rent your apartments quickly which will help you minimize leaving money on the table.