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How To Maximize Your Move-Ins During Winter’s Slower Months

How to Maximize Your Move-Ins During Winter’s Slower Months

We all know that renting has its seasonal ebbs and flows. With little demand from renters to make a move during winter’s comparatively dormant months, slumps in profit can make October through January a cold time to be in real estate rental property investing.

You don’t need to let the chill in the air freeze the flow of renters who may be willing to compromise on their move-in date, however. Rather than waiting for a spring or summer uptick, make the less sought-after rental months more appealing to prospective renters.

Here’s how to capitalize on the rental market this winter.

Why Not Winter? And What You Can Do

In areas of the country where the weather can make moving during winter difficult, prospects may opt to wait until nature is more forgiving to make a move. With summer and the few months thereafter so desirable, rents may spike due to demand. Use this information to your advantage by listing slashed winter rental rates (if even for a few months of the full lease term) to entice prospective renters to rethink their summer strategy.

Starting in October, the share of discounted rentals goes up by 23%. If renters move now, any perceived or potential hassle will be made up for in money back in their pocket. And you’ll move the inventory faster than if it had remained vacant until spring. Advertise these reduced rents with a “While they last” approach.

The Search Starts in Winter – Influence Action

Surprisingly, the actual search for a new space tends to start up during winter. But these winter pursuits don’t equal instant action on the part of the prospective renter. For those who search in July, for instance, 25% more of them will move in the next 30 days as compared to renters who start in January. Winter searchers may take more like three months to move.

With the knowledge that renters are starting their search months before they are planning to move, give them a push to act now while winter rates are the lowest they’ll be all year. Countrywide, a winter lease commencement can result in an average 3.9% discount compared to the peak move-in months. As you list your properties, prompt potential renters to react swiftly to “sales” that will disappear as soon as the snow melts.

Pack on the Perks

Attracting winter tenants will take some thinking outside of the box. Lowering rent is surely attractive, but to gain momentum, you’ll need to stretch your strategies even further:

  • Consider flexibility on rental agreements. If you normally take a two-year lease, offer up a one-year or even a month-to-month.
  • Throw parking fees in for free for a few months.
  • Let a desirable prospect move in with a small pet (if you own a pet-free property).
  • Offer a credit the new tenants can use for house-cleaning services for the first three months.
  • Partner with a local moving company and pass off your referral commission as a discounted incentive for renters to use their services.

It’s the holiday season after all, so the season of giving will be a gift not only to a renter, but for you as well. A little goes a long way when potential renters feel like they are getting a great deal. Winter doesn’t have to be a washout. The lull in interest won’t disappear, but with tempting tactics to lure in the right tenants, you’ll boost your bottom line and fill those empty spaces before spring.

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