What the 2014 Rental Crisis Means for Property Managers

Rescue of real estate conceptThe recent recession and foreclosure crisis has led to a spike in rentals that has not seen its equal in several decades.  Particularly in metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York, a decrease in property purchases has led to a vastly increased market in rentals.  For property managers, this is a blessing and a curse: on the one hand, new renters are an untapped market for property owners; on the other hand, financial instability makes renting more of a gamble for both renters and property managers.

Your Property Is In Higher Demand

Ten years ago a potential renter might look at the rental price of a unit and decide that the same money would be better spent on mortgage payments.  But today, with confidence in banks diminishing and the housing market volatile, more and more young professionals are choosing to rent rather than tie money up in property.  Property managers in major metropolitan areas should be prepared for the increased interest in their properties; centrally located properties or buildings with easy access to public transport are in particularly high demand, and it’s a good idea to adjust the listing of your property and schedule more showings accordingly.

You Can Choose the Best Tenants

Especially if you are renting out property for the first time, it is very easy to want to rent to the first qualified tenant who shows an interest.  However, it is important to remember that the housing crisis has led to an unprecedented number of qualified, reliable renters, meaning that a property manager really does have the luxury of choice when renting out a property.  In a Silicone Valley market, look at the company a potential renter works for: someone in development at Facebook or Google is likely to have reliable income for many years, while someone working at the latest fad game might have nothing once the game is no longer popular.  Choose the renters that will best be able to form a long-term relationship with you, which will save you a lot of money on tenant turnover.

Know Where Your Market Is

If you’re within a block of a Google Bus stop, that’s something positive to put on your rental listing.  If you’re walking distance from Wall Street, that makes you attractive to up-and-coming stockbrokers.  Knowing what market your rental property serves gives you a big advantage in finding qualified tenants: there’s absolutely no shame in aiming for the very best in potential tenants.  With qualified tenants who know the benefits of your particular property, you don’t only build long-term tenant relationships: you increase the likelihood of current tenants recommending you to their friends and coworkers.

Aim for Tenant Loyalty

Millenials are notorious for an inability to commit to anything, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get a young professional renter to commit to your property for several years.  Prompt responses to maintenance requests, tenant-oriented social events and a personal approach to tenant concerns are all great ways to ensure that your tenants feel comfortable in your property.  The more at home a tenant feels, the longer you’ll be able to leverage that comfort into a long-standing tenant relationship, and the more reliable referrals you’re likely to get from that same tenant.

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