Like the weather, the one thing you can count on in the rental property market is change. Lower interest rates and home prices often lead potential renters to the decision to buy, instead of rent. When your best prospects seem to be turning away from renting, what can you do to keep your vacancy levels low in a competitive market?

Consider upgrading your buildings and property landscaping. Nothing is less expensive and more effective at making a great impression than a new coat of paint. Adding a new feature to your recreational facility can also make a big difference when a renter is comparing amenities between rental property options. Adding a pool, hot tub, running track, or a dog park can make your rental property much more desirable. Don’t forget that most renters list Wifi in their top 10 list of “wants” when hunting for a new apartment home.

As our population ages, many Boomer generation homeowners are “cashing out” and moving into rental units. The addition of some minor features can make your property more appealing to this market segment. Bathtub guardrails, non-slip floor surfaces, easy grip door handles (interior and exterior), and extra storage facilities are features that the mature renter appreciates.

When the rental market is slow, it offers you the opportunity to evaluate your systems and procedures. Ask your tenants what they like and don’t like about your properties. Ask what they would like to see changed. Your renters will often give you some great ideas! Act on some of these ideas and you will find that you can flourish even in a difficult market.