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Finding a Higher Profit Margin by Reducing Vacancy Rates

Raising the rent on a rental property may seem like an easy way to increase profits, but reducing vacancies is a more effective strategy. While it is important to ensure that rents keep pace with inflation, taking some steps to reduce vacancy rates will have a far greater impact on the bottom line.

Consider that vacancies reduce a rental property’s gross annual income by approximately 8 percent, and it is easy to see why property owners need to provide good tenants with a reason to stay and continue paying on time.

It sounds like a no brainer, but the first step is to simply find a property with a great location. Chances are, if the property is located somewhere you would like to live, then it will appeal to renters as well.

Finding a property in a school district with a good reputation is very important. It’s also vital to find a property that is located nearby all the necessities of life, from shopping and employment centers, to restaurants, freeways and parks.

There are a variety of other topics that should be addressed when shopping for a rental property, such as whether or not it’s located in a flood zone or subject to a significant amount of noise pollution. Air traffic, problem neighbors and train tracks can drastically reduce a home’s resale value and attractiveness to potential renters.
  
It’s always a good idea to drive, bike or walk by a property on numerous occasions to get a feel for the neighborhood. Do people take care of their homes? Is the property in a high crime area? Do people park their cars in the yard, driveway or garage? These are important questions to ask when considering an investment property.

Knowing about the stability of the neighborhood is also essential. If the house is currently very private but a neighborhood is planned for construction behind it that will take down all the trees, then rent prices and desirability for tenants will be affected. A newly planned shopping center that increases traffic rates or hurts access to a neighborhood could also exert a negative impact on a property’s viability as an investment.

Another question investors should ask is regarding the type of renter they are seeking to attract. A house that is located near a high concentration of students will probably not appeal to long-term renters. It’s also true that a property located in a quiet residential area far away from campus will most likely not be attractive to students.

The bottom line is that nobody likes to move. If you can find a solid investment and a solid tenant, the result is a winning combination.

Of course there are other strategies for reducing vacancy rates; finding a home with a great location is just the first step. My next article will detail some tried-and-true methods for retaining good tenants and ensuring that your house feels like home.

For information about finding a well-located investment property, please send an email to our office at 
info@sweyerrentals.com, or visit www.WilmingtonForRent.com.    


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Wilmington, NC 28403

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