Yes, it has been quite a bit of time since my last blog for you all – Yikes! September 21st. I apologize. With my very active schedule, it is so easy to procrastinate and put off items such as blog writing and replace the items on the all-important to do list with household chores, paid contract jobs and my schooling. Now, the holiday season fast upon us and it has been even more hectic than normal around here.
Now, on to the good stuff!
Things are starting to slow down a bit in the rental market here locally, as this is the time of year that is less ideal to make a move. The weather is wetter, colder and it makes it so much more of a chore to move to a new place.
If you are a landlord, and end up with a vacancy, the sense of dread may creep up on you. Yes, it does take longer on average to fill a vacancy at this time of year. Don’t fret! You don’t have to make a lower rental amount on your unit the only alternative to rent your unit faster! I have a few low cost suggestions that may help you fill your rental income property quicker than normal and not break your pocketbook.
As a renter, you too can use these suggestions to your advantage. Maybe you have your eye set on two different units, both of which you really like. As a negotiating tactic, see which landlord may be willing to agree to one of the suggestions below. After all, a moving truck makes the move easier, feeding the troops you find to assist you is always a plus and who really wants to discard all those moving boxes – and around here, pay for the added trash? Wouldn’t you rather spend your time unpacking?
1. FREE use of a moving truck for a day. Call several of the local companies and find out how much they charge per day for the most commonly used size of local moving truck. Make a rent concession the first month to deduct that amount from the rent and it may be the tool you need to rent your unit before your competitor. This way, your new tenant still has to sign for and be responsible for the rental truck itself, but they receive back the cost. Even if they don’t use the truck, is it worth it to find a renter and get the income flowing again?
2. FREE pizza on the move-in day. Find out what the local delivery companies charge and decide which you’d like to use. Then, on the day of the move, send a few pizza’s and maybe some bottled water/soda on over to feed the hungry movers – You could even provide delivery yourself. Don’t limit yourself to pizza’s either, sub sandwiches, a bucket of chicken – it’s all food! It will be much appreciated, I’m sure…
3. FREE disposal of the moving boxes. Instead of having your new tenant be stuck with the task of tearing down and filling up their recycling can with the moving boxes. You could haul them to the recycler yourself, or you may be able to list them on one of the upcoming listing sites and find someone else who can use them locally and charge a nominal fee. There are several listing services out there, including U-Haul. Try Google searching for cardboard box listing services if you are interested in this route.
I hope these tips encourage you to think of some other creative ways to rent your unit faster or give you some negotiation edge on finding your next rental. I’d love to hear your ideas!
Until next week, may your rentals be filled and your home be your “happy place”.
Lori Hartjoy is the owner of Blue Mountain Rentals, established in April of 2011. As well as being a devoted mother of 3 toddlers, she provides over 20 years of clerical experience to her clients. Her background includes processing employment, tenant screening and background checks, working as a property manager for 25 rental units, as a bookkeeper for a HUD apartment complex and as the sole payroll clerk for a major telecommunications corporation.
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