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5 Tips to Increase Your Rental Income

February 27, 2019

Managing rentals is not an easy task, and looking for creative ways to increase rental income, minimize expenses, and cut losses is always a chore. Here are five creative and simple ways to increase your rental income that you can start doing today!

Creative and simple ways to increase rental income

1. Stage Your Vacant Rental

While the majority of statistics regarding staging homes are derived from "for sale" properties, similar results can be expected in the rental market. Research has shown that, on average, staging a house for sale results in that home being sold 73% faster (according to the Real Estate Staging Association) than a comparable home that is not staged in the same market. 
Can you imagine reducing your vacancy time by 73%? That's incredible! Now that you are armed with that data, the next time you have a vacant unit for rent, stage it!

2. Pay the Price for Professional Photography

The rental market has become more competitive, and there are more listings online now than ever before. If you want your listing to get attention, then high quality, professional HD photos are a must. The data on real estate imagery online has settled this a long time ago, and it only rings truer every day. You must have good photos if you want to compete with other listings online. It's also becoming popular to get professional aerial drone photos, as well as 3D interactive tours. Take it to that level and you'll be head and shoulders above most of the competition in your market!

3. Have a Set Move-Out Time in Your Lease

While you always want to have a unit pre-leased before the current tenant moves out, that does not always happen. When a tenant moves out, just a few hours can make a huge difference in how quickly it gets leased again. Whether you get the keys back from them by 12 p.m. or 5 p.m. is a lifetime in the residential rental market. If you have not yet rented out the unit, you're about to lose rental income, and will continue to do so until the unit is ready for a new move-in. The sooner you get it done, the better! If you get the keys back at 5 p.m., chances are that you may not walk the unit or start "make-ready" work in the unit until the next day. If you get the keys back at 12 p.m., chances are you'll walk the unit and even start the "make ready" that same day. If it's a light "make ready," there's a good chance you'll have it ready for a new move-in before the day is over. The sooner a vacant unit is clean and ready to move in, the sooner you can start showing and accepting applications for immediate move-in. You may want to consider including this verbiage in your lease contract, as well as your move-out reminder notifications that get sent to your tenants leading up to their scheduled move-out date!
Keep in mind that requiring your tenants to turn the keys in earlier in the day on their scheduled move-out date also allows you to turn units faster, which means you can pre-lease them for a scheduled move-in date just a couple days after your scheduled move-out!

4. List Your Rental the Very Moment You Receive Notice to Vacate/Non-Renew

Nobody wants to have vacant rental units, so it's never fun to receive a notice of nonrenewal from a good resident. But that is a day in the life of a landlord! It's important to note in your lease contract that the moment you receive notice of nonrenewal from a tenant you will be listing the property for rent and that once it's pre-leased, they no longer have the option to change their mind and renew. The sooner you have a unit on the market for pre-lease, the greater the chance of leasing it before the current tenant moves out. This is easier to accomplish when you have a model unit, but it can still be accomplished if your lease allows you to show the occupied rental unit before the current tenant moves out.

5. Eliminate, Delegate, and Automate

Eliminate

80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. That also means that 20% of your results come from 80% of your efforts.
Identifying what it is that you're doing that generates results and eliminating the things that are a waste of your time is the first step in streamlining your management processes.

Delegate or Out-Source

You can outsource many tasks for a relatively low cost to a third party or hire someone to handle it for you either part or full time. Chances are you're great at a few things and not so great at others. Spend time on what you are great at and focus on the things that are contributing the most to your business's success. Then delegate or outsource the rest.

Automate

Before you delegate, though, find out what you can automate. Using a rental management software (such as TenantCloud) can help semi- or fully-automate rental listings, online rental invoicing and collections, maintenance request management, year-end tax reports, equipment management, reminders, notices, and much more. This will free up your time and allow you to focus on generating more business and growing your real estate in general, rather than drowning in the administrative aspects of what you already have on your plate.

These five tips can help you increase your rental income and are quick and easy to implement. Small adjustments to your current process have big impacts when it comes to your bottom line. All of these can be started today with results just as soon.