What’s the secret to keeping your rentals full and vacancy rates down?
Occupancy rates will make or break your income property investments. Yet, it seems that from the brand new DIY landlord to even the world’s largest alternative investment funds, many have trouble keeping their units full. Why is that? Especially when the experts are complaining that we are in the middle of a crisis due to housing shortages?
Art, Science, or Empathy?
Real estate has long been considered as much of an art as it is a science. Few of us are really like the Steve Jobs of real estate, which can just build it, tell people what they should want, and have billions of customers lining up.
Most DIY house flippers and landlords flop because not everyone shares their artful vision applied to renovations. They also often fail because they didn’t know their numbers. They didn’t dig into the data enough themselves to figure out the true value, what the property could really rent for, and how big their customer pool was.
So, which is better for eliminating vacancy risk? Getting better at the art of real estate? Knowing your numbers better? Or something else?
How Data Can Help & Hurt Landlords
At the other end of the spectrum, it is crazy to see how even billion dollar funds with all their technology and large workforces can completely blow it. They have access to all this data and these algorithms, but their apartment complexes sit mostly vacant, and their investors suffer subpar returns.
Why? Because they can be lost in the data as well. They often try to apply what they know from one market to another, and it just doesn’t work. What works for multifamily rentals in Manhattan or Brooklyn isn’t going to fly in Atlanta or Austin.
You can get lost in the metrics too. They can be very misleading if you aren’t also an expert at deciphering them at knowing which are distractions and which are influenced by external factors, versus those to trust.
Is it Empathy?
It may not be a very trendy word in the boardroom or corner office, but could it be empathy that is the real secret to keeping your rental apartments full?
It doesn’t matter what business you are in. If you don’t really know what the customer wants and needs, and doesn’t, you’re in trouble. It’s been the downfall of mom and pop rehabbers, as well as multi-billion dollar real estate developers selling the most luxurious condos.
From design to the tenant application process to retaining long term tenants and amiable exits – it’s worth asking, “what does the customer want?”
You can survey them, use data, test, and put yourself in their shoes with a little common sense. Serve them what they really want and need, and cut out the junk that is holding them back, and you shouldn’t have any problem finding renters.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Zahller is the President of Park Capital Properties and resides in Asheville, NC. As a Multifamily Real Estate Investor and Syndicator, he founded Park Capital Properties in 2016 after 14 years involvement in real estate investment. He works with accredited investors and professionals who are interested in real estate investment, diversification, and financial freedom.
Bill has been flying since high school. His father was a Naval Aviator and Captain for TWA. Bill has been flying professionally for over 25 years, 23 of those at his current company. He has accumulated over 12,000 hours and 7 Jet type ratings. He has also held Instructor, IOE Instructor and NRFO pilot positions with a large fractional flight company. He is currently flying the Global 6000 in a long range mission capacity. This keeps it interesting – one week its Beijing or Sydney; the next Rio or Rome.
Bill is also the founder of the Asheville Multifamily Investor Club. Visit www.ParkCapitalProperties.com for more information.