The Best Way to Fill a Vacancy? The Answer May Surprise You

by Chris on September 6, 2010

Think you know the best way to fill a vacancy?  Truth is, if you haven’t done the math, you could be wrong.

There is a crucial part of tenant screening that many landlords ignore: finding out how the applicant heard about the vacancy.  Instead, many landlords guess which method of advertising – a rental sign, a newspaper classified, a free online ad,  is the best and swear by it.  But they haven’t run the numbers.

Believing that some methods of advertising are “free” is a misconception.  Every day that a rental property remains vacant, and every time an unqualified applicant applies to rent the property, money is lost.  If your “free” ad is not working, it actually costs money. 

Tracking advertising efforts is the answer.  And it’s simple.  Just ask “How did you hear about this vacancy?” every time an applicant calls or comes by to ask about the rental property.  In addition, the landlord can include this question on the rental application.  

Also keep track of the date and time that each applicant called or visited.  Then, note whether that applicant appeared qualified.  From there, compile statistics to determine which method produced the best overall results, weighing the cost of the advertising method, the number of qualified applicants produced, and how quickly they responded. 

The best way to fill a vacancy isn’t always the cheapest, or the quickest. It’s the most efficient way to bring in qualified applicants.  Once you figure out which methods work best for your property, you can scrap the others and save yourself money, time and effort going forward.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only). 

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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