If your city or town has a high vacancy rate, it might mean landlords have had difficulty finding and retaining quality renters for their various properties. Though properties undergoing renovations are also a part of this figure, vacancy rates still represents how many unoccupied (or vacant) dwellings there are on the market in any region. The lower the vacancy rate, the higher the occupancy rate—better for property owners or managers as a whole, but more difficult for people looking for a place to rent.
Aside from a major spike in vacancies in 2009, the overall Canadian rental vacancy rate is back up to 2.9 percent—the same percentage it was in 2004, well before the economic crisis of 2008. In every province except for British Columbia and Alberta, the country has seen rental vacancy rates increase steadily between 2011 and 2013. While most provinces hover around the 2–4 percent mark, the east coast has dismally high rates: 7.1 percent for PEI and 8.9 percent for New Brunswick.
Many economic elements come into play when considering such figures, but one thing that’s certain is some landlords simply aren’t adapting to the changing rental market and capitalizing on every opportunity to lease their properties. Getting in touch with quality tenants means reaching as wide a network as possible, and extending your reach means maximizing your online presence. The best way for landlords and investors to see their apartments and other housing units fill up is by purchasing premium listings from the best online database and classified services available. Here’s why:
Today, apartment seekers are flocking to the web to find places to live. A great online portal will not only let you create a live ad — with unlimited descriptions, photos, videos, floorplans, contact details, and more — but it will push your listings across numerous social media sites (like Twitter and Facebook) via accounts with major followings. These companies ensure your listing details are accessible on Apple, Android, and Amazon-based mobile applications, making your listings viewable from desktop, tablet, and smartphone interfaces. What’s more is that premium service means your one listing description is syndicated across a wide range of websites (places like RentSeeker & Kjiji) that you’d otherwise have to deal with (or pay for!) on an individual basis. And if you’re willing to pay extra, you can have properties with high turn-over or vacancy rates showcased at the top of each tenant’s queries, pushing your visibility and potential beyond anything you’d be capable of achieving alone.
Other advanced features of rental database companies include tracking reports, which let you monitor how often your listings are viewed, and how successful a certain kind of description or preview really is. They build you 2D and even 3D floor plan mock-ups to give renters a better sense of your properties. They can help you edit and narrate videos of your premises if you’re not the most tech-savvy person in the world. And they can help you access the always-booming student housing market if you live in a city with post-secondary institutions.
This is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg of what online rental portals can do for you. Having empty houses, basements, condos, or apartments isn’t always a reflection of the economy, or rent prices, or even other issues regarding space and proximity to attractions. It’s also about how well you advertise, how efficiently you get your listings blasted across the Internet, and how well you navigate a social media presence. The best way to turn a high vacancy to a perfect occupancy rate is to take control of your online listings and ensure more renters see your ads and get in touch!