Condo - Two Months on Market

19 Replies | Dallas, Texas

Looking for suggestions...

We have a two bedroom condo in North Dallas (North of LBJ) in a decent neighborhood.  We bought it two years ago, fixed it up a bit, and put it in the market.  We got about 5 serious calls per day and had it rented within a week.  The tenant moved out at the end of June.

On July 3, we put the condo on Zillow, Cozy (which lists it on Realtor.com), and several other sites.  We have gotten 2 to 3 inquiries per week since then and just 3 showings.  The vast majority of inquiries are not serious and 75% of the showing appointments have not shown up - even though we exchange texts about an hour before the showing to confirm.

Our asking price for rent is $100 more than it was two years ago, which is still $25 lower than the two bedrooms at the apartment complex across the street.  (The complex across the street is not nearly as nice.)  At one point, we lowered the rent back to where it was two years ago.  But, that week, we got no calls at all!

On Sunday of this week, we posted the condo to Craigslist.  We verified that the listing as posted.  But, we got no calls from Craigslist.

Suggestions?  Has the rental market slowed this much?

Jim

Lots and lots and lots of places for rent.   Something like 65,000 apartments have come online since 2012 in DFW area and 24000 more under way and probably that many more in the planning stages.   This year all of DFW has only seen about 1% growth in rent increase.   Apartments can often offer something individual owners have tough time doing....free rent....recently saw a sign in uptown offering 4-8 weeks of free rent....OUCH.   Apartments also staff where tenants can walk in to apply and see units.   That's some of the tough issues in investing in condos in DFW area.   The newer places can and probably are more expensive, but they also offer great amenities in most cases and some people are willing to pay extra for those.

There are additional strategies you can take.  You didn't provide us the listing, so we can't see the info and pictures, but could give you tips there.  Is the place easy to show or do the tenants have to work around your schedule?  Often people emailing, texting, calling when they're sitting in front of the unit.  They've driven there to ck out the area and now ready to see it.  Do you answer the calls on the fly or send them to VM to call back later?  Do you have a good sign out front?  Do you have text messaging on the sign?   Is it a professional sign or handwritten?   Do you have great pictures or ones taken from phone?  Do you have clearly written rental guidelines online or to give out?   Do you allow pets?  Do you allow Section 8?   Is everything in good repair and look good?   Does your ad use the right keywords for great SEO.   Are you offering realtor compensation for bringing tenants?   They'll get anywhere from 50% to 100% of one month's rent typically for recommending apartments.     Have you outlined the bonuses for staying in a condo vs apartment?   In some instances there are many.   

That's a start....and can keep you busy marketing for a while.

Not enough interest = wrong price point, try dropping by $50 every couple of weeks until you get enough interest that you have good tenants to pick from.

Lots of viewings but no applicants wanting to rent = problem with the property. While price is good, they didnt like the look of it and you may need to freshen it up with paint, renovation, adding new appliances etc.

Bruce, I just sent you a private message with the address.  The answer to most of your questions is "yes."  Live answering.  Text.  Flexible appointment times.  Yes, we would pay Realtor commissions.

You mentioned a sign.  We had one for about 10 days - before it got stolen.  I got one call from the sign.  It was a gentleman who claimed that he was currently paying $900 for a 2 bedroom in the same area.  (I do not believe that.)  I told him that I would suggest he not move because he is getting a bargain. :-)

Go onto rentometer and type in your address....that should give you an idea if you're asking the right amount of rent. Here'a hint....see what the "median" amount of rent is.....and then go "slightly" under it.....You may not get all the rent you want....but it will definitely give you a VERY good idea what you should be asking.   

The amount we have been asking for the past 2 months is at the 11am position on the clock.

We just decreased it to the 10am position.





Originally posted by @Brian Garlington :

Go onto rentometer and type in your address....that should give you an idea if you're asking the right amount of rent. Here'a hint....see what the "median" amount of rent is.....and then go "slightly" under it.....You may not get all the rent you want....but it will definitely give you a VERY good idea what you should be asking.   

If you can NOT quickly get someone wanting the place in a few days, it will BE THREE MONTHs as after first of Labor Day it will be tougher to rent out to.  I think your asking price need to be LOWER than others to get the attention of renters. 

Before they built more apartments and condos here it was people lined up wanting to rent 2+ years ago. Now new apartments are offering 1 month rent for free with <1.5% unemployment rate.

I'm not an expert in your area, but no matter where a property is located, the #1 REASON a home doesn't sell OR rent is PRICE. :) 

It's tempting to look into the past and wonder why a property is not being snapped up like it did X number of months/years ago. In these instances, it's important to remind ourselves that the market is shifting daily. New day, new market. Anything past 3 months ago is typically no longer relevant. So even if it's painful, a price adjustment is usually in order, especially if your listing otherwise is impeccable. 

You may also be experiencing some listing aging, where your rental has been sitting on the market so long, potential renters feel there must be something wrong with it if no one has snapped it up yet. Choose a new/different feature image, spruce up the text, make the listing feel fresh again. :) I hope this helps!!  

Still an interesting scenario.  On Friday, we lowered the rent $100 - to the same level as it was 2 years ago.  There were 2 calls over the weekend.  One resulted in a showing.  The potential tenant took an application and commented that "you are asking much less than similar places."

No return of the application and no calls today.

Not sure what to make of that.

I live just inside 635, and have rentals in the area (and elsewhere in DFW).  Care to post the listing?  Happy to take a look.  Either way, the point Bruce made about units coming online is very true, especially in the Tollway corridor.

Is there anything about your rental that stands out? I just rehabbed a condo and was beating wannabe tenants back with a stick because I spent about $1000 on a rock wall feature with a 50" TV in front of it. I'm able to get above-market rents (which quickly gets me my money back) in a very hot rental market by adding in a bit of eye candy here and there.

Nevermind on the address question. Pretty sure I found it.  If other things are actually going for what they're listed, you're definitely competitive on price.  And without knowing the actual building, that intersection is a really great location.  I'd pull the listing, get WAY better photos made (lighting and wide angle), and relist $75 *higher*.  Get it on every site possible.  Remove the html break tags and the boring details about background checks, etc from the description.

It is in the top 25% for the complex and area.  Granite countertops, etc.  But, nothing like a rock feature.

Of course, nobody would ever know if it did have something like a rock feature - unless they call.


Originally posted by @Hunter Fitch :

Is there anything about your rental that stands out? I just rehabbed a condo and was beating wannabe tenants back with a stick because I spent about $1000 on a rock wall feature with a 50" TV in front of it. I'm able to get above-market rents (which quickly gets me my money back) in a very hot rental market by adding in a bit of eye candy here and there.

Ok.  I took your advice and hired a professional photographer.  I also relisted it for $75 *higher* effective now (7:20pm 8/28).

How does it look now?

Originally posted by @Eric Kephart :

Nevermind on the address question. Pretty sure I found it.  If other things are actually going for what they're listed, you're definitely competitive on price.  And without knowing the actual building, that intersection is a really great location.  I'd pull the listing, get WAY better photos made (lighting and wide angle), and relist $75 *higher*.  Get it on every site possible.  Remove the html break tags and the boring details about background checks, etc from the description.

@James H. Good luck on your rental James. Let me know how it goes because i was looking to buy a condo around that area next year to rent it out . How far is it to a&m dental school ? if you dont mind im asking how is the HOA there ? Thank you

It is about 15 miles, +/-, from downtown and the dental school.  The HOA seems great.  The grounds are kept beautifully and the outside repairs are taken care of nicely.

We got quite a few calls yesterday and two people asked for applications.  It is still not leased.  But, the pictures definitely helped significantly.  Lesson learned.

Originally posted by @Hao Dinh :

@James H. Good luck on your rental James. Let me know how it goes because i was looking to buy a condo around that area next year to rent it out . How far is it to a&m dental school ? if you dont mind im asking how is the HOA there ? Thank you

Back down to one call every 2 or 3 days.  I notice that the apartment across the street just lowered their prices $40/month.  We are still a bit cheaper, though.

I work exclusively in the North Dallas area, specializing mostly in condos & townhomes. What are the feedbacks that you have been getting from prospectives?