From coast to coast most major cities across Canada are seeing an increase in vacancy rates. Retaining tenants on renewed leases and obtaining new ones will be crucial to protecting your bottom line.

 

Take the first steps toward decreasing your vacancy here with these 10 tips.

 

1. First impressions are everything.

Keep the common areas of your building neat and tidy at all times to give a great first impression.

 

2. Complete repairs in a timely manner.

Investing the time and money to properly repair and complete preventative maintenance (link to maintenance blog) in your units will return tenfold with lowered vacancy.

 

3. Its all about the curb appeal.

If your building appears run down on the outside it won’t matter how beautiful it is on the inside. Boost the curb appeal by regularly painting, and maintaining the building and grooming the lawns.

 

4. Stay in the ballpark.

If you have a low rate of tenant lease renewals, you may be charging too much rent or raising the rent by too much at the end of the lease. Perform some market research to see what your competitors are charging. If you can offer your tenants a better deal to stay, then do it!

 

5. Reward long term tenants.

Give your tenant the best gift and hold off on raising their rent as long as possible. If you have done so, when the time comes to raise prices its more likely your long term tenants will stick with you.

 

6. Provide amenities.

Add as many amenities as you can to your buildings. The more you can offer to your tenants the more desirable your property will be.

 

7. Include utilities, if you can.

Offering your clients included utilities is another way to attract new tenants and retain existing ones. For tenants on a tight budget, a set rental cost will help them stay within their budget and is an attractive reason to start or renew a lease.

 

8. Incentives keep tenants.

If you’re seeing your vacancy rates climb, bring extra incentives into play. For example, offer current tenants a discount on one month of rent for a renewed lease and offer new tenants a gift such as a small appliance. These small gestures can go a long way to gain rapport.

 

9. Consider what the neighbourhood is like.

Adding a security system to your building located in a less desirable area is a simple way to give your tenants peace of mind.

 

10. Be friendly.

Take the time to learn more about your tenants and do your best to make them feel at home.

 

Taking steps to encourage lower vacancy rates is something all property owners should be mindful of. 15-18% vacancy is an ideal point to stress test your investment. If you can operate within that 3%, you’re far more likely to be successful as a business owner.

 

To learn more about actively encouraging lower vacancy rates get in touch with me today.