In part 1 of this blog series, Melissa explained reported rents are not effective rents. There could be back-end concession or other facts that overstate rents. Landlords should always have their property manager provide a market analysis before considering changes.
In part 2, I want the property owner to determine what their goals are and some considerations and potential costs before looking to maximize rents.
Goals: Most investment properties are intended to be held for a number of years and therefore decisions tend to support the long-term, such as maintaining market rents. Maximizing rents by choosing rents at or above the very top of the market range tends to be more of a short term goal, like the example we used in part 1 with the builder selling the newly constructed multifamily building.
Bad will: Many landlords feel increasing rents at lease renewal should be expected and are not personal whatsoever. I can tell you that a good portion of tenants take it personal. They really do associate rent increases to poor performance, which is not the case. Some get defensive. Others fight back.
Goodwill: By showing a tenant what market rents are and offering a renewal lease within the middle of the market range, the landlord and/or their property manager can show some goodwill. Additionally, by offering a renewal incentive like free carpet cleaning is a nice way of saying thank you.
Tenant performance: Do not increase rents because the tenant is regarded as a bad tenant. If the tenant has a history of lease violations and other performance related issues that are of real concern, just give notice to terminate. Then you can focus on maximizing rents once vacant.
Market Data: Know the actual market rent range and be able to identify differences between comparable rentals, to include amenities. Know the market and current occupancy rates.
Market Seasons: Identify the peak and slow seasons and know that being aggressive in the slow seasons can result in extended vacancies. With multi-family rentals, be consistent throughout your property.
Improvements: How recent and to what degree has the interior and exterior of the property been updated. Additionally, what improvements have been made in the area that makes it a “destination” location?
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