How long does it take you to rent your property out?

21 Replies

What is recommended, hiring a real estate agent to find you a tenant or do it yourself? I know it depends on what market your at, but how long does it take you on average to rent your property out? And if you use a property manager to rent your property does he/she do a good job leasing your property, what do property managers charge for managing your property, and leasing.

I just copied and pasted a cool strategy from @Geof Greeneisen. I hope he's cool with it! BTW... Any BPers reading this- Is it cool if I copy & paste answers that I find helpful?

Answer: I've found success in the market just north of you with Once you create an account (free) you can create your listing which then distributes to Zillow & Hotpads (where I get most of my leads) among others. It will also create a brochure you can drop into Craigslist for a more professional look.

I screen tenants myself, in the Central Valley CA middle income 3-2 homes take me about 2-4 weeks to get the perfect tenant. (I'm picky and I haven't had any disasters in four years)

In my low income houses it takes up to two months! It's a hassle to find someone that will treat the home like I would and I am phasing those few homes out. I would rather a home sit empty than have it destroyed by a bad tenant.

A good realtor or property manager has more resources than I do such as waiting lists etc. that would make the process much faster and efficient.

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To answer the question ask your self.

1. do I have money to leverage my time? or

2. do y have time to leverage my money?

If the answer is 1. get an agent, if 2. get educated by reading on the subject and do it your self.

I have done both and have had success/failed with both methods.

Based on my little experience my current "work backwards" approach for selecting, rehabbing and renting my own properties is as follows:

1. go to apps like Zillow and others where you can determine what is the Median monthly rent for your desired area.

2. Call 10 to 20 for rent listings to determine the average vacancy rate.

3. look at 10 to 20 of this median rental properties to make an assessment of what is the offer and demand for your area. Also to help you learn not to under or over rehab your rental.

4. I like to make $500+ to $300 minimum cash flow per month so I will subtract this from the median to work back to my desired ARV.

With this strategy my intent is to have the capability to offer a product that is in the median of the market and this way I don't get the low end (bad tenants) or high end (higher rents but higher vacancy rates).

my last one I was able to rent it 3 days prior to finishing the renovation.

I usually assume I'm going to have a rental unit empty for 1 month between tenants. I rent mine out on a 1 year lease. I am a real estate broker, and unless you are dealing with 'high end' properties, I don't think hiring just an agent to lease out your space is cost effective, as long as you have time to do it yourself, and it shouldn't take that much of your time.

What an agent charges will vary by market, but expect a minimum of 1/4 of a months rent, and probably 1/2 to the whole month. That is also true for many property managers, plus they charge a % of rent each month. I know a few that charge a flat fee per month, but really they are providing a more limited service.

For pricing, you can get a feel for going rents by reviewing Zillow, Trulia, and my favorite Craigslist (if its in your market). I take the strategy of overpricing my asking rent, and working my way down (quickly). If you get no calls and your are doing a good job of marketing, your rent is too high. If you are getting several calls a week, you are probably about right.

If you are showing the property and not getting applications, there is a problem with your property in comparison to competition or your rent is too high. Lowering the rent can fix every problem, but it might mess with your return on investment.

Like Luis said, if you do it yourself, get educated. Make sure you are following fair housing rules in your marketing and following all the local laws applicable to being a landlord.

When I buy a property I put a sign in the yard immediately, even if the rehab will take 30 days. I normally have a property rented before the final touches are put on the rehab.

I have had 2 vacancies in the last 2 1/2 years, in both cases I had someone ready to move in as soon as the prior tenants moved out and I made a couple of repairs (in both cases they were great tenants leaving), I showed the house with them still in it, if you have a problem/messy tenant it might not go so both cases I had the house vacant less than 3 days (also worked with leaving tenant to leave a couple of days before the end of the month so the timing would work out)

A couple weeks. If it rent real quickly your rent might be too low. If it takes more than 30 days your rent might be to high or you property is ugly.

I always put a clean professional for rent sign out. I would avoid any hand written store bought signage.

For my single family homes it takes my property management 4 weeks. I find I can shave off 2 weeks by posting daily on classified ads etc. I send the lends to my management and they show and qualify the tenants.

For my multi-family properties my management turns over units in 2 weeks or less. This is because they are always advertising as units become free each month.

I have never lost a day in rent. As soon as I am told a renter is moving out I start to advertise and show. My leases say that I am allowed to show the house.

My houses are class A single family houses. I do it myself because it allows me to save the money. Plus based on what I have noticed Is that I am able to get someone in faster and within my guidelines than many management companies.

Other than using Craigslist and a few other sources I use to incentivize realtors to bring tenants to me. Ecampaignpro is a comprehensive list of all realtors in your area. You can send out up to 3500 emails in a month for $30. You can throw $250-$500 bonuses for qualified tenants... This also works really well for lease option.

We rent in the "affordable housing" market. So screening and qualifying and selecting a good tenant takes more time. If the departing tenant left the unit in good shape, then an average of 30 days. If the unit needs a lot of work, then it could take many months. My husband and I both work full time jobs, so we are not putting in the hours per week it would take to do the turn overs more quickly. This is something we aim to improve. Most of our properties are paid off and most of our tenants are long term (5 years or more), so we have some flexibility that allows us to take more time for better tenant selection.

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I manage my own properties (I have 3), and have had pretty good luck. Best advice, take your time finding good tenants, i.e. screen out the bad ones. I think many new landlords get too anxious to find a tenant, and end up with bad ones. It takes me 2-3 months on average to find decent tenants. I use to screen tenants, simple and reasonable, and they run the credit checks for you. You may consider checking out They provide management services, and pretty good rates, not sure where you are, but you can see if they serve your area.

One month or less usually. I had a zero vacancy rate for the last 10 years untill this year when I evicted a bad tenant who had three months of unpaid rent and his SFR needs work. It will be vacant for at least a month or two because it is taking one month of work. Rent is $2300 which is high end for me and this is first time I am using a leasing realtor hoping she has more access to highly paid tenants as this SF is near Chicago downtown business center, and close to many hospitals. Looking for a minimum income of $100000. Previous tenant was at $150000 family income but lost his job, his wife, and now his house. He left the house in total mess with repainting needed and carpets too dirty to clean so I am installing bamboo hardwood. He was obnoxious with neighbors, myself, and everybody he came in contact with. I could not have screened that as he was polite and paid two and a half months rent as security and timely rent at least for a year. good credit 700 and very good reference from a previous landlord who was in a lower income property. Last few months he subleased his basement and extra bedroom since the wife left with kids. My lawyer suggested not to pursue eviction on lease violations in Crook county but wait untill he fails to pay. I filed right away at missed rent and evicted in 3 months. He got a tenant lawyer. He would have stayed longer but I had a good lawyer(High legal fee but worth every cent in Crook county). There is a 5500 dollar judgment I am going to pursue after six months by lawyer hoping he would be back on his feet then.

Recently about a month but in this area in the winter several months. Single family houses that are family size don't rent in the winter around here. Parents hate to change school districts. One bedroom apartments no difference by season.

It's really a question with no one answer, as it depends entirely on your local market, the type of rental, and your target tenants (section 8, students, families, etc). My rentals are in very high demand with students, so they often rent very quickly. As soon as a current tenant gives me notice they are leaving (at least 30 days), I start the marketing process to get it rented. I use a combination of physical sign on the property, Facebook, business website, craigslist, and other sites like Postlets/Zillow etc. With these methods, I often have a new tenant committed to rent before the current tenant even vacates.

@Banis Boortian The longest it has taken me to rent out a unit is 10 days - usually I do it on the first showing. I do this by advertising on CL and postlets and do an open house style showing (usually 1.5 to 2 hours)

We bought a vacant building on Aug 8th - I did open house showings that night had leases all signed within 2 days and all tenants moved in by Aug 31 - that has been my only vanacny in 3 years.

Originally posted by @Banis Boortian :

@Jeffrey C. on average how long do your tenants stay in your rentals?

@Banis Boortian

Out of all the homes I currently have had the last three to four years, only one house has had any turnover and that house has a great tenant that never wants to leave now. 

I manage this by having the nicest house on the block and renting it out for the same price as the run down rentals on the same street. I make a little less but I have no turnover and the tenants treat the home as their own so it works out well for the long term in less management and vacancies.  

Patience is key..I found one tenant in 3 days, but about 7-14 days average...I advertise when 30 day notice given and show about 2 times before tenant moves(2 hour window)...Takes about 2 days for process..

1. Prelim investigation..history of tenant/income/address verify/on time

2.  Pull Credit/review ?? delinquencies

3.  Request proof of current address(utility bill)/proof of income

4.  Call references/previous landlord

5.  Secure deposit/1st month/sign lease..