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How can you fill a vacancy in one week?

February 9, 2013

I have said many times that vacancies are a killer for landlords. It’s that double edged sword of lost rent and make-ready expenses that really eats into the profit. I usually attack my vacancies from the minute I find out until the next tenant moves in. Filling a vacancy in one week is tough, but it can be done. Here are some of my tactics:


Look and listen for signals. Stay in touch with your tenants and listen for signals that they may be thinking about moving. Ideally you will get notice of your vacancy, but even without it you might be able to start on some rehab before they even move out.  

Start on the rehab early. Don’t spread out the work over a couple of weekends. Get the make ready done right away even if it means staying at the property late.

Advertise early. Get those signs out quickly. Talk to neighbors and others in the area that might be interested in the property. As prospects come to look at the place start prescreening. Even If the house is not ready to show, go ahead and schedule an apt for the day it will be ready.

Answer your phone – For those who read my blog, you know how passionate I am about this topic. When I have a vacancy, I try and pick up every time. Is it a pain? – you bet. But many tenants just will not leave a message. They have short attention spans and will assume it’s already been rented, out of their price range, etc.

Be on site. If I am already there working on the house, I leave an ‘OPEN HOUSE’ sign next to my “FOR RENT” sign. I also leave the front door standing open.

Show often – Many times I feel I have gotten a tenant just because they could never schedule a showing with the house down the block listed with a Property manager that only shows houses once or twice a week. We live close to our properties and will drive over to show anytime it sounds like a good candidate.

Get completed apps. If someone is interested in the property, get them to fill out an app. Keep your app to one page, free, and simple. Check their employment and current landlord quickly if you find a good candidate. Then get back in touch with them right away before they find another place.

If you want to fill a vacancy in a week you have to act with a sense of urgency. However, don’t confuse filling a vacancy quick with just putting anyone in there you can find. This can be a much bigger mistake than taking 2 months to fill it.

From → Landlord

  1. Melisa permalink

    You always have the best advice.

  2. Hey Melisa, Glad to see you are still stopping by. You doing anything else to get your places rented out quickly? I wish I could fill them all in a week, but it usually takes longer….

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