How Can Kona Property Owners Achieve Shorter Vacancy Cycles?
21 November 2019
Hawaiian Dream Properties
Many property owners dream of a life with tenants who stay—happily—in your investment properties year after year. While not every tenant is a perfect tenant, we do see many tenants renew leases for more than one year in the Kona area. With a shortage of quality rental housing, many renters prefer to stay in a place they enjoy rather than fight over limited housing with other renters in the market.
However, every investment property owner eventually experiences a tenant that moves out. Whether it's due to relocation or they aren't happy in your property, don't waste time mourning the loss of a tenant when you should focus on finding your next quality tenant. It's critical to keep your vacancy time to a minimum, so you don't lose money on an empty property.
What Is a Vacancy Cycle?
The word "vacant" can instill fear in the hearts of even the most experienced landlords. A vacancy cycle is that time between tenants living in your property. When a tenant moves out, you want the shortest timeframe possible before your next tenant moves in.
The longer your property sits empty, the more money you lose. An empty property means you pay for utilities and other expenses without a monthly rent payment to offset your costs. On the Big Island, it can quickly get expensive to manage the costs of an empty property—or more than one vacant property.
When you know a tenant plans to move out of your Kona property, don't panic. Follow these steps to help reduce the vacancy time before your next tenants.
1. Start Early
As soon as you receive notice that a tenant doesn't plan to renew their lease, start looking for your next tenant. There's no need to wait until the current tenant leaves the property. With a head start on your search, you can have another quality tenant ready to move in as soon as your property is ready.
In most cases, owners use leases that state that tenants must provide at least 30 days' notice that they plan to vacate your property. With 30 days, you have plenty of time to market your property and screen a new tenant. After the current tenant moves out and you complete the make-ready process, your new tenant moves in with no lapse in monthly rent payments.
2. Have a Screening Process
Starting your new tenant search early doesn't help if you don't have a tenant screening process already in place. Even if it's been a while since you've had to look for a new tenant, you need an established process.
Know where to post your property listing to attract the best quality tenants.
Know how to screen an applicant's credit history to verify employment, income, and receive a credit report.
Losing a long-time tenant can be stressful, but being prepared can help. Take some time to check your screening process before you need to find a new tenant.
3. Don't Lose Tenants
What if that dream of your perfect tenants staying forever came true? They might not stay "forever," but you can always work to keep tenants longer. Not having a vacancy at all is the best way to shorten your vacancy cycle!
Always offer quality service for your tenants.Helping tenants feel like they're at home might help them stay in your Kona home for one more renewal cycle.
Make quality repairs, so tenants don't have to call you for the same issue more than once
Offer amenities that Kona renters want
Be conservative if you need to raise the rent.
When it comes to raising the rent, "If it's not broke, don't raise it!" It's easier to stay competitive with other rental property owners on the Big Island if you maintain a consistent monthly rental rate for as long as you can. If you're losing money because your costs increase, communicate with your tenant. Make a small, incremental increase that won't break your tenant's budget while you generate more income to keep your profits on target.
4. Work with a Property Manager to Reduce Vacancy Cycles
If you don't live on the Big Island, it can be tough to stay on top of things when it's time to find a new tenant. Expert Kona property managers know how to find your next best tenant—without leaving your property empty for too long.
Long vacancy cycles delay your long-term wealth. At Hawaiian Dream Properties, we are your experts when it's time to move quickly and find a new tenant. We're always ready to enact our tenant screening procedures to market your property and place the right tenant in your rental. Everything starts with our free property analysis to make sure the rental price is right for your next tenant. Put our expertise to work for you; contact us to get started!