Hard time finding a Renter for Executive Condo

14 Replies

Hello!  Thank in advance to anyone that has some advice on helping find qualified tenants.  This year is my first year has a landlord, and I now have 4 properties.  The first two, a townhome and a single family, rented very quickly and things were smooth. However, my third unit is a freshly renovated condo, with a ton of amenities. Two bedroom comps in the area were renting for $1900/mo.  This unit is near many employers such as Boston Scientific, Deluxe, Land O' Lakes and others.

I started my listing at $1825, and then dropped it to $1795, when I didn't get any leads or contacts after the first two weeks. 

It has been another two weeks, and I've now paid the first month mortgage on the unit, and still have no renters.

I've listed in Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, TenantCloud (including the third party sites ie: Zillow, Trulia, Apartments, etc..)

My listing reads as such:

Enjoy Lake Owasso, tennis or the pool with this architecturally designed remodel. This open living concept kitchen dining and living room area has 2 Bedrooms, and 1 bath with Shower, and 1/2 bath connected master Bedroom. Has Owens corning insulation was added to the ceiling and a sound deafening highend cork floor to keep the place peaceful. The kitchen has Quartz counter tops and stainless appliances. The east facing balcony has great sunlight in the morning.

Some Shared Amenities include: Pool, Tennis Courts, Sauna, Beach Access, Car Wash, Heated Underground Parking

Tenant to pay electricity utility.

I've recently mailed 45 Postcards to all the other tenants in the Condo building offering a $200 Referral. Ya know...  "Pick Your Neighbor, Earn $200"

I have worked a vacancy rate into my numbers, however this unit has a $368.00 HOA...

I'm starting to panic a little bit. I have some strict criteria for my properties, one of which is at least $200 per unit in cash flow.

I've spoke with a couple other investors, and thought I'd toss it to the group, and any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Next Steps might be:

1) Lower rent below my min criteria for cashflow. (offer $1695/mo)? my cashflow would be $128.00/mo 

2) Offer shorter lease terms rather than annual?

3) Allow Pets? 

4) Offer 1/2 off, or a Month Free as an incentive?

Or... Any other ideas on how to attract more leads into the pipeline, that can convert to qualified tenants.

Thanks a ton for any advice...

-Chris

Its  December , one of the slowest times of the year to rent out a unit . Dont be suprised if you sit empty till spring .  i have 2 units up for rent now also , all I am getting for applicants are people that are being evicted .  I winterized the plumbing and will wait till someone qualified applies . if they sit empty , not much I can do 

Have you tried marketing the condo to other residents of the same building/complex esp those who live in 1 bedroom units? They can be very high potential tenants looking to upgrade. Try it. Overall this is a slow time to rent. January will be better.

I would lower rent and allow pets with a pet fee as you said.

If you DO find a renter during this slow time (winter) ask/suggest an 18 month lease. Then your next vacancy will be in the spring/summer.

The unfortunate thing that I have learned the hard way is that high end 2 bed units just don’t rent as fast as 3 bed units. My hypothesis is that if you can afford and qualify for $1500+ rents, more often than not you’ll be looking for 3 beds instead of two. I fully realize that this is market dependent but that’s been my experience.

You mention local employers maybe a gift basket followed by a phone call to those HR directors mentioning that you have a place available for new or existing employees.

Or maybe furnish it and put it on Airbnb or chbo for 30day minimum leases and try and get traveling business people.

You didn’t lower the rent much. I would lower it but make it a 4 to 6 month lease and renew or find a new person in better weather

Consider listing it on the MLS where realtors will get paid to find you a tenant. It will cost you a commission, but only if the realtors are successful and it gets them marketing your property for you too.

Otherwise, it is the holiday season.  Expect nothing and you won't be disappointed.

@Chris Luger  I believe it's the way you advertised.  Zillow, Hotpads and the like are dominate for rental listings.  Your listing is a dead end.  I managed to find it, click thru, and get to "The Point at Cedar Grove".   It was a terrible first picture.  

If that's not your property, then it's not showing up.

Bottom line, starting from Zillow, search like you're a renter for a corporate rental in your area.  You'll see that your listing isn't showing up early and/or isn't competitive.  If you don't see the problem, then you may want to pay an agent to get it rented and learn how from them.

Good luck!

It's most likely the time of year, there is not a worse one than the period before Thanksgiving to after Christmas.  

Also, try Zillow Rental Manager (which used to be Postlets) and make sure your photos are top notch.  Relist your Craigslist ad every few days with a different subject line to keep it near the top.  You can add Zumper to the list, although they are not very well trafficked yet. 

Also mentioning insulation for sound makes it sound like the unit is noisy to start with.  Try saying something like "Nice quiet unit with high end cork flooring and upgraded quartz counters and stainless appliances. "

Don't panic, I've had this same scenario.  You'll get a tenant in the spring.  Bite the bullet til then.  (You do have reserves to cover this sort of situation, don't you?)

This is why I pay cash and invest in the hood.

Tenants that are well qualified for you are well qualified for everybody else. 

This impacts both recruitment and retention.

@Chris Luger you are in the void between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then you are facing sub-zero temperatures and snow. Very few people want to move during this time. I would offer a 6 month and 18 month option only for lease and lower your price. The goal is to get someone into the property and keep them there until a better time of year. At the end of their term offer them renewal at market price.

As far as your price, you are currently losing money every month. I would focus on finding a price that it will rent fast, rather than trying to get optimum cash flow. The problem I see is landlords try to get $100 more out of a property, not understanding that is only $1200 a year. You are better to rent at a lower monthly price and not have vacancy.

My suggestions:

1. Pictures should be great quality. Floor plan is also very helpful. If pictures show the unit furnished that would be even better.

2. This time of year is tough. Cutting the price by $30 isn't going to really help. Instead maybe offer 50% off the first month.

3. Relist on craigslist every few hours.

4. Loved your postcard / referral fee idea to current residents.

5. You posting is pretty wordy. I would get to the point. Tenants aren't going to care about your owens corning insulation, instead say that the unit has been renovated with an attention to details, including added insulation and sound insulation.. etc.

6. Pets with a pet fee and/or an additional security deposit for pet could make a lot of sense.

7. Don't do a year least, have the lease end at a better rental period for you market.

@Chris Luger , can you see who your competition is? How many other exec rentals are there in your area and what are they renting for? It might be a slow time of year for new leases but we rented an exec rental last year this time---cross country move, being under contract with a new home, etc. and I'm sure there are others going through transitions during this time of year.

December/January/February is the crappiest month to have a vacancy in my market. And a high end unit in those months = worse. Hang in there. Make sure to hit every place you can think of to advertise (zillow, etc) and keep thinking of new ways to advertise. Try to find a realtor that deals with relocations a lot and mention your unit.