Diagnosing Vacancies

What keeps a property from renting?

Tenant turnover cannot be prevented. Renters will eventually move. Although the economy may be taking baby steps toward a recovery with national vacancy rates on the decline, regional rates continue to outpace the average. The national rental vacancy rate dropped to 4.9 percent the first quarter of 2012, its lowest rate since 2001.

While Idaho’s rate has slowly been declining as well, down to 6.2 percent, it is still well above average. Utah jumped from 5.9 percent fourth quarter 2011 to 7.2 at the end of first quarter this year.

What do we do to keep vacancy rates down?

Since an empty property does not generate income, we must pay careful consideration to the current environment. If a property is not renting it is typically due to price, presentation, and/or exposure. Our entire team meets weekly to review each vacant property and address each factor for our owners.

Is the price right? If your property is listed too high then it will take longer to rent and in most cases the extra rent you were trying to get was lost in the time the property was vacant. We run rental comparables for your property and area and use that information to determine a starting price, which we then review weekly and make adjustments as necessary based on the traffic, phone calls, showings, and applications.

How is the presentation? We make recommendations based on experience and feedback from showings. Obvious maintenance or cleaning issues could repel potential tenants. If the property needs more cleaning or other improvements that will help the presentation, we will discuss these items with you.

Who knows about it? If renters can’t find information on your property for rent, how will they know it is available? We give our vacant properties maximum exposure through our marketing program. This includes websites, local media, tenant referral program, yard signs, and our own top ranking website. More exposure gives us more options for screening for good tenants, less time vacant, and increased rental income. If you want even more exposure, ask about our marketing fund.

Unlike a lot of property management companies, we do not make money on vacant properties. Our system is designed to reduce vacancy rates and maximize rent potential. Most owners who have switched to our system have seen a decline in their vacancy rates.