As reported in a MultifamilyExecutive online article late this spring, nationwide occupancy rates are falling with vacancy rates up. According to MFE data, the national apartment vacancy rate sits at 4.7% in quarter one of this year. It’s a fairly significant rise from the low we saw in the third quarter of 2016 when vacancy rates were at 4.1%. Yet for property owners, the property managers can step in and leverage planning and skill to help ensure your property occupancy remains high. BAM looks at how a solid property management company can work to the owner’s advantage and dodge the bullet of rising vacancy rates.
Your Team Matters
A good property management team will have a solid team and game plan. The company will be able to look at the numbers and if vacancy rates are climbing, dig in and find out what is happening as well as how to turn things around. Although the vacancy rates have been increasing nationwide, that doesn’t mean that things happen for no reason at every property or that nothing can be done to help keep your property fully rented. A good team is invaluable for keeping your property rented and keeping your occupancy rates high.
Keep Up with the Joneses
In this case, the Joneses aren’t the pesky neighbor in the ‘burbs with the new sedan. The Joneses your property has to compete with are nearby apartment communities that are trying just as hard to keep up with your community. That means if you haven’t made upgrades in years and don’t have in-demand amenities that renters are after, they’ll easily move on to an apartment down the road that can offer a living experience you can’t. Property managers must look at what is important in similar communities and strive to provide a similar-or-better standard of living at your property.
Tech is In
We’ve written about it before and many renters have admitted they’d even pay more for it: smart home tech. Property managers must stay current with the tech that renters want in their homes. Much of this tech can be budget-saving and time-saving for the renter – as well as for the property. Smart thermostats, smart security cameras/enter features, and delivery options are all examples of tech that renters want that can help save time for busy property managers. Well-designed web sites with the option of online bill payment can also make the community more appealing for prospective and existing residents.
The silver lining is that even with vacancy rates currently increasing, experts have predicted the rise will stall as job growth sparks a greater rental demand. By having a quality property management team in place, you should be able to mitigate some of the risk to your property and maintain or increase occupancy.