5 Smart Tips for Landlords to Fill Tenant Vacancies Fast (With Video!)

by | BiggerPockets.com

If you are a landlord, I am sure you would agree that vacancies in your unit can KILL you! It can kill your cash flow and kill your profits.

For this week’s blog post, I have shot an 8 minute video where I share five tips to fill your vacancies. This is a “hot” topic for me and my team right now. We have some buildings that have vacancy, and we are working hard to find creative ways to fill them even if it is the “holiday season.”

Related: 5 Things a Landlord May Not Want Their Tenants to Know

We hope you watch this video and learn something! Better yet, I hope you learn something and implement one new idea! Like all landlords, we don’t know EVERYTHING! I would love to hear in the comments section any other “tips” that work well for you to fill vacancies, especially during the holiday season!

Thanks for watching this video!

Landlords: What do you think? What are your most clever tips to fill tenant vacancies?

Leave us a comment below!

About Author

Matt Faircloth

Matt Faircloth, Co-founder & President of the DeRosa Group, is a seasoned real estate investor. The DeRosa Group, based in historic Trenton, New Jersey, is a developer and owner of commercial and residential property with a mission to “transform lives through real estate." Matt, along with his wife Liz, started investing in real estate in 2004 with the purchase of a duplex outside of Philadelphia with a $30,000 private loan. They founded DeRosa Group in 2005 and have since grown the company to owning and managing over 370 units of residential and commercial assets throughout the east coast. DeRosa has completed over $30 million in real estate transactions involving private capital including fix and flips, single family home rentals, mixed use buildings, apartment buildings, office buildings, and tax lien investments. Matt Faircloth is the author of Raising Private Capital, has been featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast, and regularly contributes to BiggerPockets’s Facebook Live sessions and educational webinars.


  1. Brad Boone

    Like the open house idea, thanks for posting. One I find that works well is if I have an appointment to show a unit I tell them if they don’t call me one hour before the appointment to confirm I don’t go show the property as I to have had many tell me “I’ll be there” and never show.

    • Matt Faircloth

      Hi Brad,
      We did an open house this weekend and had 6 people show up! It was awesome. We pushed it hard on Craigslist and put an add in the paper also.

      I’ve used the “call me” to confirm the day of also when I was doing one off showings of properties.
      Take care,

  2. Kimberly H.

    Matt- Thanks for posting. Open houses are the only way to go. Before that we had 50% flake out rate. Now we do them 2x/week. I’ve tried the move-in special before, for a smaller amount though, didn’t seem to make a difference for us on a smaller amount (I think it was $300 off $1600/mo rent the first month).

    • Matt Faircloth

      Hi Kimberly,
      I am an open house convert. We used to do it the old way also. Being doing OH’s for the last few months and it has been a world of difference!
      Good idea on the discount, I’ll try that out. I had always offered first month free or 1/2 first month as an incentive for a quick move in.

  3. Kyle Hipp

    I like the open house idea. I have usually told interested parties that I have a couple openings. Like friday from 4pm – 7pm and Saturday from 8-noon then set up all the showings during those times in 15-20 increments so if someone doesn’t show then it is not a big deal.

    I have also done the “move-in special” with a little variation being that they must complete the hole term or year lease or they owe that back. So if they sign up in december and I give $400 off decembers rent and a year lease but they leave in july then that $400 is to be paid back in addition to the early termination fee. Great post!!

    • Matt Faircloth

      Thanks Kyle,
      I have done the showings in blocks also like you said. It’s almost like an open house but you are staggering the appointments. I liked having more than one person show up at a time because it created a bit of competition.
      Thanks for reading,

  4. Richard G.

    Another great post this week Matt, you bring up some good key points as far filling tenant vacancies.

    I like the open house concept, I wonder if this would be a good time to introduce property management team members and/or maintenance people as a courtesy? Move in specials is something I never thought but could be an incentive. The referral program is important and in some cases I may send a “open house” flyer to the references listed on the past tenants applications – you never know! Visiting quality businesses and networking with owners and leaders in the community can definitely help your cause. And the last one, it is important to make sure your rent is comparable to market value, you do not want to scare anybody away.

    • Matt Faircloth

      Thanks Richard!
      I appreciate your feedback and hope you enjoyed the video blog. We are hoping to do more of them! I like your idea on developing a mailing list of prior applicants and their references. If you collect emails perhaps you could use something like Constant Contact as well.
      Have a great week!

  5. margaret smith on

    I love this format- great presentation, Matt. I will be looking for others, now that I have found you!

    BTW- A crowded open house creates a sense of urgency- wonderful situation for you. I would an info sheet on the unit as a handout, plus have apps ready to go on the counter, ready to receive the non-refundable cash for the background checks for those applicants who are ready to apply today. Git ‘er done!

    • Matt Faircloth

      Hi Vicki,
      No, we’ve never offered snacks. I’ve thought of baking something so the apartment smells “lived in” or having a case of bottled water on hand, but have not done either yet. I don’t think people expect this type of thing for an apartment open house.

  6. We accept only email replies initially asking for a name and phone number. We reply with our criteria, e.g. minimum household income, credit score, reference requirements etc and ask them to do a drive by. If they are still interested they can reply and we do a group showing. We eliminate a lot of tire kickers and can concentrate on qualified prospects.

    • Matt Faircloth

      Hi Shaune,
      Good idea – nice way to automate things!

      We don’t go that far as in my area its a bit more competitive – tenants will call / email 15 places in 10 minutes. At times the landlord that gets right back to them with answers to their questions and pushes for a commitment to the open house is the one that lands the tenants first.


      • Matt

        We am fortunate to be in one of the hottest rental markets. Our properties are in central Alberta, Canada. It is definitely a seller’s market with a low vacancy rate.
        In a slower market we would be looking for incentives to attract tenants. We currently have prospective tenants offering to pay more than the posted rent just to get in the door.


  7. Shawn Lepley

    The video blog was great! I will certainly implement your practices, when looking to fill a vacancy in the future. Having an open house works great. I’ve had one for my last two openings, filling the units quickly and with great tenants. I plan to use your idea of multiple showings during the week, which will cut down on the single showing, that seem not to show. Thanks Matt!

    • Matt Faircloth

      Hey Shawn!
      Good to see you on BP. I got stood up so many times in the past doing one off showings, I had to do something different. We went with the block of time showings for a while and just moved to the Open House concept. It’s made a world of difference.
      Take care and Happy Thanksgiving!!

  8. Brian Karlow


    Great video blog! I love the open house idea and move in special. Currently I’m sitting with two vacancies and this is a tough time of the year for that because of the holidays and the start of the colder weather here in Chicago. I’m going to immediately update my ads to include the move in special to see if I can get some traction for a December 1st signing.

    Thanks again!


  9. You could also hire a real estate agent!

    Don’t wait until the lease is expired to start the process. Ask the tenant for permission to market the apartment 1 month before their lease expires (seeing you already sent a lease renewal notice which was declined).

    Lets also not forget the power of the internet. More than half will start their search online whether thats buyers, sellers or tenants.

    Anyway thats my two-cents. Best of luck to everyone.


  10. Matt,
    A year ago I certainly wouldn’t have thought I would be up at 1:39 in the morning getting sound advice on a situation I couldn’t get my mind wrapped around. It sounded like great advice and even better still it was completely doable things.
    THANK YOU, Gary O

Leave A Reply

Pair a profile with your post!

Create a Free Account


Log In Here