Tips on Minimizing Vacancy Periods (And Lost Profits) in Charleston

February 06, 2020 | By Charleston Property Company

Even with the most efficient property management company in Charleston, landlords will have to deal with vacancy and turnover—this is an even greater truism when you face vacancy alone. An empty investment property can be a scary concept, but working with seasoned property management professionals helps minimize the costs of turnover and achieve shorter vacancy periods than a landlord can achieve alone.

Regardless, It's crucial to have emergency savings for covering terms of vacancy that every landlord has faced at some point.

Weathering a vacancy period can be beneficial for homeowners as well: an empty property gives them time to evaluate the rental price on their home and perform upgrades if they choose. 

However, the best way to maximize profits as a landlord is to achieve the shortest vacancy period possible. This post details strategies that effective property management companies in Charleston explore to rent homes quickly, shorten turnover, and minimize costs for investment property owners.

Young adults moving in new home

1. Increase Tenant Satisfaction and Retention

Tenants that are satisfied with their property management company and the upkeep of their home have an increased chance of signing long-term leases—and staying in a house for many years. Employing a property management company in Charleston that treats tenants kindly and responds to concerns promptly is essential in maintaining tenant satisfaction.

Choose a property management company in Charleston that fosters goodwill returns from tenants and owners alike. These management companies attract more tenants through positive word of mouth and show they care about keeping tenants satisfied. While some tenant frustrations are unavoidable, a competent property management company in Charleston works with tenants and owners to find an agreement that keeps both parties happy.

Excellent customer service can go a long way in maintaining tenant satisfaction, even when you are a DIY landlord. One useful tool to gauge satisfaction is through surveys; these either pinpoint the effectiveness of the property management services in Charleston provided by a partner or your own—and help you address pain points when it comes to tenant satisfaction.

Cropped shot of real estate agent passing key to client in front of cardboard house

2. Raise Rental Rates Slowly

A surefire way to drive tenants out of your rental home is to spike the rental rate without notice. While market rent rates fluctuate, it's essential to provide a stable and predictable rent rate for your tenants.

Working with an experienced property management company in Charleston can help you find the "sweet spot" for rental rates that maximizes your profit while maintaining consistency with tenants. If the rent rate needs to be adjusted to match the market rate during the renewal period, notify tenants early about the change so they can plan accordingly.

Keep in mind for most households, the rent is by far their most significant expense—and that carries strong emotions with it. A property management company in Charleston can ease the strain of rent adjustments by providing open and caring communication with your tenants. They can also advise you when it's an ideal time to raise the rent.

3. Address Lease Expirations Quickly

Staying aware of upcoming lease expirations goes a long way to minimizing vacancy for your rental property. An efficient property management company in Charleston will have established workflows in place to stay alert of future renewal periods and act accordingly. However, when you're a DIY landlord, you need to remain diligent when it comes to this part of your investment property's lifecycle.

  • Remind tenants of their lease expiration early, preferably about 60 days before the expiration date.
  • Each renewal period should also consist of an evaluation of the rent rate by you or a trusted property manager.
  • If the rent is to be adjusted, send notice of the change as part of the renewal reminder.
  • In case tenants are discouraged from renewing by rising rents, think carefully before enforcing: are turnover costs worth what you would gain in the higher rent? A compromise may be more financially rewarding.
  • Encourage tenants to renew, and make the process easy for them with automated systems such as electronic renewal and e-signatures.
  • If your tenants are staying in Charleston for a while, suggest a multiple-year renewal. A long renewal provides stability for both tenants and landlords.
  • Expressing gratitude for the renewal is essential as well to increase tenant satisfaction. 

If tenants elect to give notice to vacate, a competent property management company in Charleston can aid you in getting your investment property re-leased as quickly as possible.

Side view of handsome plumber taking tools from toolbox in kitchen

4. Address Maintenance Issues Promptly 

Another headache that deters tenants from renewing their lease is recurring maintenance issues. As a landlord, it's vital to the health of your investment properties to handle work orders quickly and with compassion. If a tenant feels ignored, they will be quick to turn in their notice.

When you work with a property management company in Charleston, you significantly reduce workflow processing time and increase tenant satisfaction. If there is a recurring issue, make sure the root of the problem is addressed by dedicated professional maintenance staff. It may be tempting to save money by slapping a bandage over the issue. Still, proper maintenance is vital to maintaining tenant satisfaction and safeguarding your home against future problems.

Happy at home

5. Market Your Home Effectively

Quickly placing a home on the Charleston rental market is crucial to minimizing vacancy. Once notice to vacate is received, a 'for rent' sign should be in the yard, and an ad should be up on online rental markets soon after. Getting the home advertised to as many prospects as possible is best practice to getting the house re-leased and enduring less turnover.

When you partner with a professional property management company in Charleston, you ensure that your rental property is displayed on as many rental sites as possible: property managers often have access to listing services that DIY landlords don't.

Remember, your property manager does not get paid until your home leases—so they work tirelessly to secure tenants for your investment properties.

Don't fret about a vacancy in your rental home—turn to the professionals! Whether you're facing a potential vacancy—or you're in the middle of managing one right now—trust Charleston Property Company to get you through. We are your property management experts in Charleston and the surrounding area! Get in touch with us today to see how we can put our skills to work for your investment property!


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