How Long Does it Take to Find a Tenant?

Marketing a RentalEvery time a property we manage goes vacant, the first thing the property owner wants to know is, how fast can we find another tenant to put in it.

This makes perfect sense as most property owners either have a mortgage on their property that needs to be paid or they’re living off the cashflow from the property.

Unfortunately, finding a tenant is not something that can be guaranteed or predicted with any certainty.  So, sorry if you were expecting some astounding revelation.

Here are the top three factors (in our opinion) that impact how fast a tenant can be found for a rental property.

The number one factor influencing how long it will take to find a tenant for a property is how much rents the owner wants.  This is true regardless of the condition of the property as even a slumlord can find tenants at the right price.   Be skeptical when you hear stories about property owners that always rent their homes out quickly.  There’s only two reasons a property would always rent out quickly – the owner’s asking a below market rent or they’re taking the first applicant they get.  There’s nothing wrong with these approaches if it works for those property owners.  Our clients though, hire us to maximize their cashflow and screen out bad tenants.  This often means it may take several weeks or even a month or two to find a good candidate.  Of course, we also have our success stories that sound great – we just rented a condo in Royal Oak that took all of 10 days to find a tenant and got the highest rent ever for that condo complex.  Royal Oak is a hot market though and we got a little lucky that in finding a tenant so quickly.

The second most important factor impacting how fast a tenant can be placed is how you market the property.  There are actually two components to marketing your property – how many prospects can you expose it to and what type of emotional response can you trigger so that they want to come see your property.  We can’t believe how many rental properties we see being advertised only on real estate multiple listing services, or have barely legible, tiny “For Rent” signs from Home Depot, or how many are on the web without pictures!  Many ads we see are poorly written and just state the basic facts about bedrooms, square feet, etc. and will never elicit any prospect to think, “I’ve got to see this property”.  Of course, we actually like the fact that our competition is doing such a poor job of marketing their properties – it makes it easier for us to rent out the properties we manage faster.

The last important factor we’ll discuss that influences how fast your property will rent out is the condition of the property relative to the marketplace it’s in.  If you’ve priced the property right and marketed it correctly, prospects will show up to see it.  If it doesn’t meet their expectations when they get there, you’ll get zero applicants. 

Many tenants today have lost their homes to foreclosure and are looking for nice clean, well kept up homes to rent for their families.  Despite their credit issues, they usually have higher expectations than young professionals that are just moving out of their parents’ homes.  So, if you have a rental property in the affluent areas of Oakland or Macomb counties, then it’d better be in very good condition if you’re expecting top of the market rent.  On the other hand, we manage several properties that are in lower income areas.  Fixing up these properties to the same level of quality as a property in an affluent area will get it rented out quickly, but a significant percentage of your money spent to do so may often go to waste.  You won’t get that much more in rent to justify the expense and often the property is returned back with needed repairs that exceed the security deposit.

So, there you have our top three factors in finding a tenant for a rental property.  Even if you do everything perfectly, it may still take weeks or even a few months to find a solid tenant. 

If you’re frustrated with this process or don’t have time to do it right, maybe you should get in touch with us?

Posted in: 1. Property Owner Blog Posts, Finding Tenants

Read More Posts

Leave a Reply or Comment