Preparing for a Slow Rental Market

To understand when is the best time to rent out a vacancy, or figure out how much the rental price should be, keeping a keen eye on the rental housing market in your area is a big part of that process. While you can easily spend hours reading market trend reports and analyzing the impact on your community, it’s important to come up with a plan in case the rental market slows. With technological alternatives and preparation to decrease your costs and improve your internal operations, you can create a buffer for your community in case the market takes a turn for the worst.

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), their recent quarterly survey “remained below the breakeven level of 50,” with “market tightness” hitting a score of 41 and “sales volume” reaching 30. From 25 to 41, 20% of respondents reported that the market had tightened since January. Half of respondents reported lower sales volumes (with 11% reporting a higher sales volume) since January as well.

Although your community could be unaffected by this slight increase in market tightness and sales volume (or it could very well rise this summer), it’s vital that you consider cheaper technological alternatives to prepare for a potentially slow rental market. Give yourself some extra wiggle room in case your vacancies don’t fill up as quickly by switching to an affordable PM software, cutting listing costs, and by organizing your internal operations.

  • Switch to an Affordable Property Management Software

Easily one of the most expensive monthly costs for communities is their property management software. While large properties might automatically have software covered, medium, small, and independent apartment communities might have to front the bill themselves. As many property management software providers charge extra for accounting or marketing packages, consider saving money with an all-inclusive, subscription-based software. Ultimately you’ll save money in the long run.

  • Use Free Rental Listing Websites, First
    Get rid of paying to post rental listing ads and opt to use free listing websites instead. With free listing websites like Zillow and Craigslist, you’ll find the perfect tenants for you without having to impact your community’s budget. Take a look at our list of Top Rental Listing Sites.
  • Streamline your Internal Operations
    We all know the phrase “time is money”, but it’s about time we make some effort to reduce the amount of time we spend on internal operations. You can do this by getting rid of your paper and printing costs by opting for online rental applications or by simply establishing a more standardized leasing and maintenance process. Getting organized can make a huge difference in allowing you to invest time into what you need to do during slow months.

When considering technological alternatives that will allow you to cut costs and streamline your internal processes during a rental market slowdown, make sure that you aren’t compromising on quality. Accepting poor rental applicants or cutting down on rental property maintenance might financially help you short term, but will hurt you and your property in the long run. With an established plan before the rental market slows, you avoid making uninformed, emergency decisions like that.

Do you have a plan in case of a rental market slowdown? Let us know your emergency steps in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe!


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Becky Bower is the Content Strategist here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in English, with a focus in creative writing, from CSU Channel Islands. Her biggest weakness is cake and favorite superhero is Batman.

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