The best way to avoid having vacant properties is to buy one that is in a good location. Some areas are better to buy in than others are, so be very careful as to which neighborhood you decide to invest in.
One way you should base where you buy on, is what type of renters you want. Do you want well-educated, older responsible tenants? Do you also want to be able to charge a rent that is higher above the average?
Then you should probably purchase in a more affluent area, for example. You really don’t want your building to be in a scary part of town. It’s definitely going to limit the scope of renters that your’e able to rent to. Unless your building really offers something super special. What, we aren’t sure. However, your building is always going to have to have something better than the others in the area, if you want to keep it rented. This is true for no matter which location you purchase in.
Especially if it’s a very popular area. Think as if you were going to rent the property. Would you want to live there? Why, or why not? Think like a renter when you’re deciding on which rental property to buy. Read: How to Determine a Fair Rental Price.
How visible is your property? Can people see your For Rent sign? If your property is in a secluded area, you’re likely to have a tougher time renting than a landlord who is located next to busy streets that people frequent. Unfortunately, this person will have the advantage, because people are always on the lookout for a friend or family member that needs an apartment.
If you know you’ll have tenants moving out next month, you need to act quick. Schedule for your handyman to arrive the day that they move out so that they can examine any damage, and schedule repairs for as soon as possible. For example, the apartment may need a new microwave that has to be special ordered. You want to be prepared. See: Tips for Renting Property During Winter Months.
Pricing your rent correctly is extremely important. You don’t want to lose money, but you also don’t want to run off buyers by charging a ridiculous amount of rent. Landlords that refuse to lower their price usually sit on empty units for quite some time. Eventually, they’ll rent, but considering the months it sat vacant, they didn’t make a profit in any kind of way.
Don’t forget to advertise on the internet. Just putting a sign outside isn’t going to cut it. It’s important, too, that you have your phone number and the rental price on it. So many people don’t see a price, so they don’t call, assuming they won’t be able to afford it (depending on the location). However, you might be charging a very modest amount of rent, and they never knew that.
Consider requiring that your tenants sign a lease longer than one year. This is another great way to ensure that your unit(s) stay rented. Throw in some incentives for them, such as paying for cable, or water. Renters love when landlords pay for a utility (especially when they pay for all of them). For further reading: The Real Cost of Tenant Turnover.