How to Market Rental Vacancies during the Slowest Time of the Year

Promoting a rental vacancy in the midst of a market slowdown is a challenge. You have to work twice as hard to get your rental property visible online, deal with a decline in demand, plus prep, show, and go through your move-in procedure during cold, winter conditions. Additionally, many people take advantage of this time of year to go on vacation or visit family for the holidays. While attracting new renters to your property might take a little more elbow grease than in the summer, if you follow these steps you’ll breeze through the marketing and leasing process.

  1. Sell the Benefits of Your Rental Property

With any rental vacancy you’ll want to highlight the benefits that your property can offer to any potential leads. First and foremost, think about what your rental property has that your competition doesn’t. Are you in a good area or within a good school district? Are your appliances updated and energy efficient? Promote the things that set you apart from the rest of the competition, like:

  • More square footage than your competitors
  • Location, Location, Location
  • The local school districts
  • Amenities like a pool, garage/carport, or backyard
  • Energy efficient appliances
  • What utilities you’re offering to cover
  • Convenient online rental payments
  • If you’re pet friendly and for which types of animals
  • Extra storage options


  1. Concentrate Your Efforts on Sites that get Results

This isn’t your first rodeo. You’ve been marketing vacancies for a while now, and you know what works. While it might be tempting to try to branch out onto rental listing websites to try to catch all the applicants, you don’t want to attract rental applicants that you already know are unqualified. Rather than expending your energy on a bunch of listing websites, stick to a few sites that you know are successful. If the website offers additional paid exposure, consider investing in it. This can help you if you’re in a time pinch. Otherwise, set reminders for yourself to frequently post your listing on some of these free listing websites!

Quick Tip: Find your best marketing channels with CICTotal Manager™’s built-in analytics.


  1. Make the Leasing Process Easier

Take the time to look at your internal processes. Is there anything you could do to make the leasing process easier and faster? During the winter holiday months, usually the faster, the better. If your tenant screening reports take time to process, you might want to look into finding a new service provider. Consider getting rid of your paper processes and move to digital file storage or online rental applications. This can keep you organized while also offering ways to expedite the process for your applicants, wherever they may be.

While navigating a rental market slowdown is tough, by pushing further than before to promote your property you can obtain the renters you want. All it takes is a little more elbow grease.

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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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