The truly successful property investors aren’t always the ones with the deepest pockets. Instead, the real winners know how to play the property investment game. Part of being successful in this game means developing a strategy, and that begins with your rental vacancy.
Expert property investors know that the real estate market functions in a cyclical way – there’s ups, downs, high and low and periods – and the rental market is no different. The biggest mistake you can make as a landlord is choosing the wrong time to advertise your property and leaving your investment exposed to the market for months on end and sacrificing the weekly rental income.
As property managers, we’re often asked when the best time is to lease. From our experience, the rental property circle sees two peaks throughout the year: the January/February period and the June/July period.
The January/February Months
Year on year, January and February have been known to be the busiest months in the rental market. It’s the time of year people are most on the move because lease agreements are ending.
Other lifestyle reasons for moving in the Summer months include transferring for work, settling kids into new schools and even young adults heading off to University. Other times, renters just need a change of pace this time of year – new year, new house, new location, new lifestyle.
Roughly six months after the busy January rush, the Winter months are the second busiest time in the rental property year. Mid-year University intakes have begun and other short six-month tenancy agreements are coming to the end of their term.
This presents an opportunity for landlords looking at the rental vacancy of their investment property. But it’s important to get it right this time of year, or you could miss out on maximum rental income.
How to Market Your Property
Periods of high rental demand are favourable to landlords – the only problem is, a lot of other houses are on the market at these times as well. While timing is fundamental to the success of occupying your rental property, it isn’t the only factor.
Competition is high, so you need to set your home apart from the rest. Remember, these are not decisions renters take likely – your property is going to become their home potentially for years to come.
In the high periods, consider ways that you can increase the desirability of your property – whether that’s a fresh coat of paint or updating the kitchen appliances. These extra features will set your property apart from all the others on the market and attract the right tenants. This also gives you the opportunity to increase the rent if you’re offering features tenants are willing to pay more for.
Just be sure not to invest in any unnecessary changes. This is when it is important to consider your tenant demographics. If you’re property is situated in a family-friendly suburb surrounded by schools, an extra bedroom as opposed to a study may be attractive to your potential tenants who are looking to grow their family. On the other hand, if you are looking to appeal empty-nesters and retirees, a playground or pool in the backyard won’t add much value to the property.
Seek Expert Advice
The seasonal fluctuations we see around rental property demand means that it’s a good idea to seek professional investment property advice to find the best strategy for marketing your investment property.
The team at Image Property Management have years of experience managing portfolios of successful property investors. We’ve worked with a variety of landlords and properties so we understand rental vacancy. Find out what we can do for you and contact Image Property Management.