A Month on the Market and Too Few Bites for Comfort

22 Replies

We bought a rental a little over a month ago. We're advertising on Postlets and Craigslist (renewing every few days) and so far have only shown the house four times. 

We've got reserves to cover the mortgage for a long while, but I honestly didn't expect it to take this long.

It's in a great school district, has great amenities in the community, blah blah blah.

If you'd be so kind, below is my copy. Please let me know how I can tweak it for maximum effectiveness.

If it's allowed, I can post the link as well so you can see the photos

This home has it all. Three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms in the historic Jamestown 1607 neighborhood gives you all the amenities you could hope for. Laminate flooring throughout the entire downstairs, along with a formal dining room with crown molding and a large, eat-in kitchen with newly installed back splash.

Fresh paint and updated fixtures make this the perfect home in the perfect location. It is in a very sought after school district and close to shopping, William & Mary, and many military installations.

The community has a swimming pool and playground just steps away from the home. A mile from the Jamestown Settlement, ferry and beach.

The home is available now for lease, lease option, or lease purchase.

Call Brooks at xxx-xxx-xxxx  to apply to move home to Jamestown 1607.

@Brooks Rembert   have you considered that although it's a great house, the rent amount you're charging is too high?  If you lowered it, you'd probably get more hits.

Rent is right in the wheelhouse for the area, plus we've lowered it once already.

I am with Dawn, lower your rent if you want it to move. Winter isn't the ideal time for people to move so there are less people generally looking at rental and homes to buy. Your rent might be fine for summer or spring time, but could be too high for winter.

I would seriously consider lowering your rent again and getting someone in there. You can always raise the rent after the first year and a reduced rent is better then no rent.

I think the other posts are on the money. It is a slow time but there are still people moving at all times of the year. If you are not getting interest then the rent may be too high for prevailing market conditions. Sometimes I lower it for a bit, then move it around a certain target range. Sometimes though it is just luck. You can have a string of bad luck and then hey presto, the tenant shows up. But it is sobering to figure out how many months of higher rent it would take to pay back the costs of one month's vacancy. A lower rent to avoid vacancy can be a powerful argument. Especially since you seem to have no rent control and can get the rent back up there at a future point.

Is it really right next to the pool? Is that a good thing? When I read that I hear screaming kids. (well, to be fair, I often hear screaming in my head. But this time, it's kids)

Jean,  it's about 100 yards away

Another thing to consider is to get this on a 18 month lease, so the next time you are marketing the rental it will be in the summer...when move renters are active.


This post has been removed.

how about other properties nearby that are for rent, are they being rented and your's sitting idle or slow for everyone.  I would look at your competitors and compare.

another thought the way your ad is worded as far as being available for lease, lease option and lease purchase, don't know if people are reading ads or glancing ads, some might misunderstand it to mean available for lease or for purchase...and they think you are trying to rent it and sell it.

Looks like there are several townhomes listed for rent in the same neighborhood as yours. Most are listed at the same price yours is at $1250, but you are asking for $250 more in deposits than the others. You might need to lower down to $1200 with so many of the same type of unit available nearby.

You've had plenty of showings. What's been the feedback? Lookers are the best ones to give you direction.

Properties don't rent for 2 reasons: the property itself or the price.

If the property is good, it's priced too high. Tenants don't care about crown molding or chair rails, they care about price.

Has anyone had luck offering say $100 for a successful referral (one that leads to tenant placement), bec. it sounds like you aren't satisfied with the quantity of showings and that might get people to come out. 

@Brooks Rembert  

It's the time of year or it could be how much your charging.  Once tax returns roll in it may pick up if your priced right.  @Matt G.   Provided some good info as well about the deposits.  

@Brooks Rembert   Did you include pics with your ads?  I have renters tell me all the time that if the ad does not have pictures they do not even consider it.

@Michael Noto  We do have pictures up. 18 to be precise. I like the feedback about an 18 month lease. @Matt G.  Also, the deposit was in regards to letting people know that the deposit can't be used as the last month's rent.

I believe I'll drop it to $1,200 per month and a $1,200 deposit as well, then ride it out for another month or so.

It's on a 15 year note, but even still, our PITI is only $705, so we can cash flow pretty well even if we have to drop the price even lower, though I'd prefer not to get that far.

@Brooks Rembert  

@Karen Rittenhouse  put it succinctly: Either something in your house is putting off prospective tenants or the price is too high ... in many/most cases, lowering the second can overcome the first. 

If only a month he only showed it four times, then there is something in his ad - asking price, terms, pictures etc...that's turning people away.

You can always ask the four who came what they like and not like, but you are going to figure out the 40 that didn't call.

Not sure if you have or not, because you didn't specifically reference it but what about broadening your marketing and paying a listing fee to a realtor and having it listed on MLS?

It has to be the price! In my experience if I am not getting the listing the price is to high for the time of year! I would lower it! I have found that even $50 can prevent people from looking. In off time, I have had to lower my prices up to $50 -150 in off seasons.

If you get it listed in the MLS, make sure you go with a real estate agent that has experience in marketing rentals.

If you don't want to pay an agent, you may try dropping the price and offering as a short-term rental (5 to 7 months).  Obviously 18 months would be better, but a short-term tenant will also get you on the market in the prime moving time.

Are you marketing to military families?  Is it close enough to the base(s) it would be attractive?

Be PATIENT!  This is a hard time of year to rent (at least up here in the North).  Better to wait for the right tenant than to rent to the wrong tenant out of desperation.

Of the four people you've shown it to, why have they not rented?  Did you follow up with them?  They might be able to give you some idea what the problem is if it's not timing/seasonal related.

@Susan M.  Two failed to qualify.  The other two gave the ol' "we'll get back to you" excuse. 

Following up with them is something I definitely need to be better at. 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here