Empty rental units mean no income and only expenses, so you want to do everything you can to reduce your vacancy rate. A good rule of thumb is to try to bring the average vacancy rate down to about 5% over the long term, though this number can vary depending if your unit is in a rural or urban area. It’s also normal for occupancy to fluctuate seasonally.
There are a couple key ways to keep vacancy low.
- Rent to high-quality tenants – don’t rush the screening process! Good tenants are more likely to stay in your rental property for longer. That means fewer turnovers and fewer weeks (or months) when your unit is sitting empty.
- Streamline unit turnovers – the quicker you prepare the unit for the next tenant, the faster you can start earning income again.
Here are some ways to speed up the turnover process on rental properties in Franklin County.
- Follow a turnover checklist – You want to create a repeatable and sustainable workflow for your turnover process. This becomes especially important as you scale. Anyone should be able to look at your list and know exactly what to do and in what order. Things move a whole lot faster when you’re not hemming and hawing over every little thing that needs to be done. Referring to a turnover checklist will also help ensure you don’t miss anything.
- Create a go-to vendor phone list – Many property management companies will have in-house maintenance staff to handle the majority of turnover repairs and upgrades, but for investors who self-manage their units or for specialty repairs, it’s helpful to have a network of vendors to call upon. Take the time to vet quality vendors in the Columbus area and get to know their pricing structure and availability. Then, when it’s time to turn over a unit, you won’t have to waste time calling up several vendors only to discover they’re not available or are cost prohibitive.
- Start thinking ahead to leasing – As you finish up unit repairs and updates, the next step is to get the unit leased. Our leasing department at RL Property Management engages a photographer to take new photos of the unit and then lists it for rent. During this phase, the team schedules showings with residents, leads tours of the unit and manages the tenant screening and application process.
At RL Property Management, our team manages around 600 units, so we’re dealing with up to 30 unit turnovers at a time. To successfully manage properties at scale without compromising on service to our clients, we lean heavily on our checklists and processes to ensure that we can deliver a high-quality living experience for the resident and a high-quality return on investment for the property owner.
If you have questions about property management here in Franklin County, Ohio, or what we can do for you, get in touch with our team today.