Determining the appropriate rent to charge has always been a matter of science– and target practice. You know that the figure you chose is too low if you are getting a flood of calls on your ad, and too high if only problem tenants are calling you.
In today’s market, with both the high vacancy rate and high unemployment, property managers are reporting they are getting fewer applicants.
You need to set the rent with precision accuracy to maximize your chances of filling a vacancy without scaring away good prospects. To do that, you need to know what your market is. That requires a little research:
Check out RENTOMETER, a free online sources for comparable information.
Don’t just consider rentals in your comparables research. Find out what the same tenant could buy in your area with all the incentives now available to stimulate home sales.
Listen to what your applicants are saying about comparable rentals.
If your price is right, but the market is slow in your area, now may be the right time to consider upgrades or amenities that offer incentive for new applicants, as well as steps to retain your existing tenants.
You may also want to encourage referrals from existing tenants.