My college aged son, JC, recently signed a lease for his first rental property as a sophomore in college. While going over the lease with him, I realized two things.
First, few young adults really understand (or even read) the lease. We’ll deal with that issue in future classes and articles for our fellow Nomads.
Second, few landlords understand the importance of finding tenants well before your property is vacant.
As Nomads we recommend starting WAY early to find your next tenant. How early?
Start Marketing For Tenants 60 Days In Advance
How about 60 days in advance of your current lease expiring or 60 days prior to you converting your property from your owner occupant property to a rental property.
Why start this early?
First, it reduces your vacancy time. Some folks wonder why we feel so comfortable using 3% for vacancy when we run our numbers for Nomad. We feel comfortable because we’re going to start looking for our next tenant two months before we need them.
You Want Forward Thinking, Planning Tenants
Second, the best tenants are planners and are looking for their next property that early. If you wait until your property is vacant to start marketing for your next tenant, you tend to get a lower quality tenant–one that does not plan ahead and is looking for a property tomorrow (or even worse–looking for a property to move into today).
These planner tenants are the same ones that plan for a rainy day and have an emergency fund and backup funds in case they have a job loss. You want that so they can pay their rent even if they have a temporary job or paycheck situation.
You Must Plan Ahead
To be able to start marketing for your next tenant 60 days in advance, you need to do some planning yourself. You need to have in your lease that your current tenant must tell you whether they’re staying or moving 60 days ahead of the lease expiration. And, just as importantly, you need to be on top of your dates (use a calendar and a reminder).
In conclusion, you should raise your own standards and not let a tenant’s lack of planning affect your ability to find tenants and keep your vacancy low. It is better for you and for them.