How Can Landlords Stay Competitive During a Housing Shortage in Visalia, CA? - Article Banner

The Visalia housing market has some serious supply constraints. Whether you’re buying or renting, you’ve likely noticed that demand still outpaces supply in a lot of the most desirable neighborhoods. 

Things are beginning to even out, however, and a lot of rental property owners have noticed that the market is less competitive for tenants. There are more residents willing to move out, and the high rental prices as well as the rising cost of living are pushing more people into roommate situations and multi-generational family households. 

Landlords need to be more competitive – when it comes to attracting and retaining good tenants. Even in the midst of a housing shortage. 

As property managers in Visalia with a deep understanding of market trends and tenant requirements, Here’s what we recommend. 

Focus on Tenant Retention in Visalia and The Surrounding Areas

Remaining competitive and profitable requires you to keep the excellent residents that you place. When you don’t have to worry about vacancy and turnover costs, you’re saving money and providing stability for your property. There’s less danger in having to navigate an uncertain rental market

To retain your tenants, we recommend sound maintenance policies, good tenant relationships, and an easy and convenient rental experience. 

Every landlord, by now, must understand that it’s critical to be responsive when it comes to maintenance. Emergencies will obviously require your immediate attention, but you should also treat routine repair requests with a sense of urgency. Try to have routine maintenance requests completed within a week or two. 

When you respond quickly to maintenance requests, your residents feel like you’re taking them seriously and that you care about their comfort and happiness. One of the main reasons that tenants leave rental properties is because repairs were not taken care of in a timely manner. Don’t lose tenants this way; make the repairs quickly. Not only does it retain tenants, it also protects the condition of your investment. This is an excellent way to remain competitive. Tenants will not want to risk moving to a home with a bad landlord. If you’re providing great maintenance, they’re going to stay with you.

You also want to develop a good relationship with your tenant. This does not mean you should blur professional boundaries and become best friends and have them over for dinner. Set your own boundaries and keep a professional distance. However, you should know who they are and who their families are. Get to know them on a personal level and be responsive to their needs. They should feel like more than a rent check.

You also want to offer technology and other conveniences that might benefit your tenants. As a private owner, you don’t have the resources that we have as Visalia property managers. But, you can still collect rent electronically so they don’t have to write out a check and drop it in the mail. You can collect maintenance requests via email so they’re in writing and documented. You can be available, accessible, and responsive to their needs.

Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and your tenants are no exception to that. Your residents want to live in a home they can be proud of, and you can help make that happen by not letting your investment property fall into disrepair. 

Provide a great rental experience for your residents. You’ll retain them easily and ensure your property remains competitive in any market. 

Invest in Property Updates and Upgrades 

Tenant demands are shifting. Many of them work from home now, so they may be looking for homes with great tech features. Security is more of a concern than ever before, so they might be more willing to rent a home that has an alarm system or a video doorbell. 

An attractive, modern home is always competitive. Be willing to invest in upgrades and updates that will help your home stand apart from others in the rental market. Some of the best and most cost-effective updates you can make include:

  • Fresh paint. This is an easy way to make your rental property look brand new. Keep the walls a neutral color and consider shades like eggshell, taupe, and off white. Cover up any small nail holes and pay attention to the trim and baseboards. Painting those will really make the room pop and give it the clean, modern look you’re hoping to get. 
  • Replace the carpet or even better, consider investing in hard surface flooring. Some types of vinyl look great and don’t cost a lot. Faux hardwoods are also popular. These are cleaner and easier for tenants to maintain. You’ll also have a longer lifespan, which means you won’t be cleaning and replacing carpet during every tenant turnover. 
  • Make minor changes to kitchens and bathrooms. New fixtures, tile backsplashes, and updated lighting all make a big difference and help you stay more competitive while seeking tenants and setting rents.

Stay Competitive with Reasonable Rental Values

Price of PropertyThe price of your property is what will make it most competitive. 

Pay attention to the market, and make sure you’re well within what’s normal for the type of property you rent out, the neighborhood you’re in, and the competing homes on the market. 

Think about this during renewal times as well, when you’re raising your rent. A higher rent is typical when the lease renews, and most tenants in Visalia will expect a higher rent, even if they’re renting a property that’s covered by rent control laws. Study the market and make a smart decision about how much more you’ll ask. 

Price your property just below market rents. It may seem like you’re losing money, but in the long term, you’re really not.  You’re staying competitive, you’re attracting and retaining great tenants, and you’re not losing money on long vacancies and high turnovers. Be proud of this. Don’t be afraid to let your tenants know that you’re keeping the rent lower than what the market would otherwise demand. Tenants appreciate getting value from your relationship and their property. They have probably done the math and determined that moving out would only be more expensive for them. 

We can take a look at your property and make some personalized recommendations for how to make you and your property more competitive. Let’s talk about the market and how you can best position yourself. Contact us at The Equity Group.