How to Find Renters During the Winter Freeze

How to Find Renters During the Winter FreezeStatistically, people don’t tend to move or look for a new residence in the wintertime (compared to other seasons), so renting out property can be difficult and stressful for landlords and property managers. However, there are strategies for overcoming this problem.  

Don’t blame your work ethic, think you’re out of touch with the market, or jump to the conclusion that the units are overpriced or that people hate the condos. From mid-November to mid-January or February, the lack of traffic is due to the poor weather. So hang in there. You can lower rates if you want, but not association standards. Instead of dropping your prices, consider these tips to help you property find new, quality renters even in the dead of winter.

Attracting New Renters

Crank up marketing more than normal. Utilize online renting site ads, YouTube videos, outdoor signs, and general word-o-f-mouth. Run multiple online ads and keep renewing them every couple of days so they stay closer to the top. Consider discounting the first month to get a good tenant in place if needed. Spend the time you are not showing units, in marketing for renters.

You may need to be patient. Don’t take a tenant out of desperation. A bad tenant will be far worse for your property in the long run. People always love offers, such as free TV at move in, 1/2 off first month, or one gift card a month to places like Starbucks or Target. Get creative with the incentives. Since it is winter, consider paying the tenant’s heat for the first two months of the lease.

Conduct periodic inspections of vacant properties throughout the winter, and ensure the rental office and common areas such as clubhouses are also equipped to deal with the harsh winter weather.

If your area is prone to damaging storms, make sure that your Condo Association Insurance is completely updated and ready to cover anything that could happen to the property in a winter storm. This will demonstrate to renters that you take their safety and their property’s safety seriously, and will make your properties more attractive.

Keeping the Space up to Par

Some properties can get a little run-down in the winter months. In an already difficult month for business, you shouldn’t allow your property to further disrupt your business. Instead, prioritize these importance maintenance tasks.

  • Pipes: You may need to drain outdoor pipes and sprinkler systems to ensure they don’t freeze or cover exterior plumbing in unheated parts of the property with foam pipe insulation.
  • Cracks: Inspect the edges of doors and windows and the exterior walls of your properties for gaps or cracks through which heat loss can occur. Replace caulking or sealant as needed.
  • Roof: Check the roof and chimney for broken or cracked shingles that can come loose during a storm. Since blocked gutters can cause snow dams and ceiling leaks on warmer days, make sure that the gutters and downspouts are completely clear and free of dirt and debris. If the property has wood-burning fireplaces, hire a professional chimney sweep to clean them and inspect them for any sign of damage or obstruction.
  • Snow and Ice: If you have contracted snow and ice removal to a vendor, confirm that your contract is current and valid. Now is also the time to call and shop around for rates if you were unsatisfied with their performance last year. Be sure to have all essential supplies such as salts, shovels and properly functioning snow blowers handy.
  • Trees: Check for weak trees or branches that can fall due to high winds or snow accumulation and cause property damage, or worse, injure your tenants.

 

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