How many times have I heard the question ?How long will it take to rent my house?? Every investor that brings us their property wants to know the answer to this question. So, being in the property management business for five years I pull out my crystal ball and give them the answer. It isn?t always what they want to hear, but it is the answer.
I tell them that renting a house is similar to selling a house. If an investor chooses to do it themselves typically the results match the efforts that are put into it. Certainly a sign is necessary, so they pick one up at the local home improvement store, but will the homeowner covenants allow rental signs? They can put an ad in the local paper, but it is expensive. Don?t all the gurus tell you that print ads are a thing of the past and that the internet is the way to go? Well maybe you put it on a free internet site, and wait.
If they choose to use a professional property management company, the Management Company should put the property on multiple internet sites that reach agents, other property managers, as well as individuals. Individuals know to look for property managers because they remember their signs and other marketing and the tenants know they have a wide variety of properties. The better tenants also feel more comfortable renting from company because they know that they have recourse if there is a problem.
We have had investors turn properties over to us that they have had on the market for six months and they are amazed when it rents so quickly with us. The professional property manager does the marketing and also the qualifying so the resident you get is typically a better caliber of tenant, better screened and managed. They also know landlord tenant law protecting you and your asset.
There are cycles to the real estate market whether buying, selling or renting. Spring and summer are the best times to be on the market. There is a big rush to get into a house over the summer before school starts. It typically slows down in the fall, and then picks up again at the end on the year. We find that at mid month people are looking for a place for an end of month move in. Very few tenants look more than one month in advance.
Currently the Atlanta market has good rental absorption. Finally, the apartments that we compete with are no longer offer three months free rent and a flat screen television just for moving in.
For the past several years we have seen rental properties sit on the market and rental rates drop. Rents have declined for the past three years in the Atlanta area, but we are now turning the corner. Now we are able to increase rents each time there is a renewal. Every 3-5% helps.
One thing that has helped is the rise in mortgage rates. With many lenders raising rates and becoming more stringent in lending guidelines, many would be homeowners are now being priced out of the market. Less and less people are qualifying to buy, so they must rent. Everyone wants a house with their own yard. This is good for you and for us.
In reality you never know how quickly the property will rent. Curb appeal, cleanliness and livability mean a whole lot, so make your place look good. Look at what price comparable houses are renting for and then keep your price in line.
Soon you will have a qualified resident moving in and then you will have that answer to that question ?How long will it take to rent my house??
About the Author:
Mark Lackey is a real estate investor in Atlanta and works with The REI Team at Solid Source Realty, Inc. http://www.theREIteam.com. He frequently helps other investors in their pursuit of financial freedom. In addition, he is the Vice President of Solid Source Property Management, Inc. http://www.solidsourcepm.com.