With "shelter-at-home" orders sweeping the nation now covering the DMV area, we know the investors and property owners that we serve as Arlington property management are probably feeling some anxiety about their rental properties—especially if they don't have access to rental technology right now that makes DIY feasible.
Virginia is taking things a step further: our stay-at-home mandate is in effect until June 10th. These new restrictions will certainly change the way you choose to approach and manage your rental properties during this extended closure. If you have a vacancy currently, you may be feeling like you have been effectively cut off from helping renters who need a home to shelter in find yours.
Thankfully, the modern renter has access to technology—and they are all about finding their next home online from the comfort of their sofa—yoga pants and all. At RentSimple, we know that we will grow through this crisis as a community and emerge stronger from it—that's just what Virginians do! While we absolutely do need to take this new stay-at-home order seriously, it's also crucial that we not let this become a time of panic.
That said, here are some tips that landlords and investors can turn to during this time to help themselves stay afloat—and secure—when they have a vacancy.
Work With Arlington Property Management
This may seem counterintuitive, but the same technology we mentioned earlier can also help save your rental homes from vacancy. This all depends on whether the Arlington property management partner you work with has integrated such solutions into the way they run their business.
At RentSimple, for example, we hit the ground running with self-showing technology from the very start. What does this mean for our property owners?
- Prospective renters can view your property on their schedule—without an agent present.
- This eliminates the need for the landlord to be on-site while a future resident is viewing your rental.
- This meets and exceeds the guidelines for social distancing and limited gatherings.
- This technology also meets the restrictions on business closures and non-essential services.
With the right property management professional not only ready but able to serve you during this time, you gain access to these industry-leading tools as well. As one of the first property management companies in the state of Virginia to institute this technology, we are happy to offer it to the property owners we serve when they need it most.
Of course, this is just one of the ways we serve our owners. Before the self-showing process ever starts, you first need to attract your prospective renters with the right property listing.
Use More Than Just Words
Written descriptions are crucial—but you have to use more than just words to captivate your potential renter. The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” still holds. That means you need to make sure to have the right photos for your listing. Not just any kind of pictures—but professional ones.
The modern renter is driven by visual property listings before they ever set foot in your great space. During a pandemic, it's more crucial than ever before to show your future residents why they should make the drive during quarantine to see your property!
Professional photos have the added benefit of making your great space look its best, and the way you take a picture can either help or hinder the result. Have you ever seen a picture of a room that looked cramped, grainy, and dark? That same room could look larger, lighter, and brighter if the image is taken at the right angle with the proper lighting.
It’s also vital to have the best equipment to get high-quality photographs. This will make your listing stand out for its descriptive words and beautiful pictures. If you don't have access to a professional photographer right now (understandably), professional Arlington property management can save the day again: at RentSimple, we offer professional photography as part of our management services—for free!
Use Storytelling Methods To Draw In Renters
While we're all doing our best to #FlattenTheCurve by staying home, residents who have to move during this time will be scouring the internet for their next home-sweet-home—or their new home office. Of course, your property may catch their attention because of the features it has or the pictures you post of your home. However, another way to draw in prospects is through storytelling methods. You want the reader to imagine themselves coming home to the property—which means doing more than just listing out the features and benefits.
Highlighting features like additional room to work from home (without being able to hear your kids wrestling in the living room over a video call) will definitely make every parent breathe a sigh of relief. Mentioning great schools nearby will still be relevant after COVID-19 restrictions lift. More than ever, a sense of normalcy and structure is going to be important to your future residents. If you're not going to work with Arlington property management, then you need to be the professional who can provide it!
If the reader can see themselves sitting in front of the fireplace, swimming in the pool, or relaxing on the patio by the flower garden, then great people are more likely to call your great space home. At the same time, storytelling writing can be challenging to pull off: you need to be able to gauge the tone of the community you're writing to.
You’ll also have to ensure that the listing is error-free.
- The sentence structure must be sound.
- There can’t be any grammar, spelling, or word-choice mistakes.
- You want the writing to be polished, engaging, and accurate.
Moving Forward #AloneTogether
Even while we're apart, now is the best time to come together as a community: if you find you suddenly need help taking care of your properties with the slew of new responsibilities you're facing from home, we have your back. We are a firm believer that housing makes a difference in the health of our neighbors—and we're not going to stop providing the best property management services in Arlington any time soon.
Once you've used the above tips to find your next resident, you still need to prepare your great space for moving day. During this time, thorough sanitation and deep-cleaning are crucial to ensure your renters have a safe space to shelter in place. This is all part of the Make-Ready Process—and it's another component of what your Arlington property management partner can tackle for you.
When you're trying to prepare a property for your next resident alone, it can be stressful to ensure you've checked off every box in your head: we know you've got other concerns on your mind! To that end, we hope we can take one of those burdens off of your shoulders by offering you access to our Make-Ready Checklist—absolutely free! Use this gratis tool to get started.