Summer is here, and that can be a tough time on the rental market for Katy-area property owners. Temperatures are rising up north, so all the snowbirds are headed back home, while many families choose to move during the summer to avoid disrupting the school year, leaving your properties empty. What’s a property owner to do?
If you’re going to deal with the summer rental slowdown without descending into debt or letting your properties sit empty, you’ll need to be proactive and strategize based on summer market variables. Consider the following approaches to bring more activity to your properties this summer.
Choose The Right Rental Market
When you’re seeking long-term tenants for your properties, the standard approach is to list the home or apartment on a real estate website used by those seeking housing, not a quick getaway. During the summer, however, you may do better listing your properties as short-term vacation rentals. That means you should choose a site like AirBnB or VRBO.
Airbnb and VRBO are short-term rental sites that specialize in reaching travelers. That means you’ll likely be housing everyone from families with children to business travelers seeking conference accommodations. Typically, you can specify whether your apartment is child-friendly and can correspond briefly with those interested in renting your properties.
Unlike a long-term rental, you’ll handle all contractual issues and payment through these secure platforms; AirBnB even provides “Host Guarantee” insurance to cover damage. Additionally, vacation rentals are highly profitable because you can charge far more on a per-night basis to vacationers than you could to someone renting for months at a time.
You’ll need to offer a furnished apartment if you’re going to host vacationers, interns, and other short-term renters, but you don’t need to go over the top with your choices. Keep things simple and minimalist, stocking the apartment with basic bedroom and kitchen amenities, a comfortable living room area, and a patio setting. If you can provide a grill, or even a simple camp stove, all the better. Who doesn’t like burgers and s’mores while on summer vacation?
Put In A Pool
Sometimes it’s the small things that make your rental property more attractive during those slow summer months – for example, having a pool. If you already rent to snowbirds, you’ve probably got this covered, but if your property doesn’t have a pool, it’s time to invest. After all, Katy gets hot in the summer.
Having a pool is also a great way to attract multigenerational vacationers – families that are vacationing together with mom, dad, kids, and grandparents. These groups like to be able to relax at home rather than venturing out to attractions every day. A pool is the perfect place for everyone to cool off and have the resort experience at “home.”
Create Sunbirds From Snowbirds
Do you rent to snowbirds that you really love? You know, they’re the tenants who are a pleasure to work with and who you look forward to hearing from each year. Well, if you’ve already got that relationship in place, consider trying to convert them into sunbirds – aka, people with a temporary home up north, but who are ultimately permanent residents of southern climes.
The fact is, the majority of snowbirds become sunbirds eventually, so have a hand in the process. You’ve already established a congenial relationship with some, so bring them here for good by discussing what you both want out of this rental. Obviously, you can’t coerce anyone into tenancy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plant the seed.
Target Summer Interns
Katy may not be New York City or San Francisco, a hot spot for interns, but we have our fair share of industry, including several major oil companies, engineering companies, and hospitals, all of which likely host interns during the summer months. And of course, these interns will need a place to stay.
Incomes are usually on a tight budget, so you may need to cut prices if you’re going to welcome them into your properties, but lower rent is better than no rent at all. In fact, decreasing your rental rate during the summer months can be a good strategy across the board when renters are scarce. Simply put, it’s what the market demands.
An added bonus when it comes to interns. Students with a summer internship in the area may come back after they graduate for permanent employment; welcome them now and they may seek you out when they need long-term housing.
Offer Vacationer Perks
Vacationers want to get out there and see what the area has to offer. Maybe they’ll want to take a few days away from your property to go camping or rafting in the area. It’s unlikely, though, that visitors will come equipped for such activities.
In order to attract vacationers with an adventurous side, consider offering tents, canoes, and other summer vacation equipment as part of your rental or for an additional fee. You can also stock your rental with maps, guidebooks, and information about local attractions.
Make Short-Term Renting Simple With Green Residential
When you screen a tenant for a year-long lease, you’re making a clear investment – you know that this single screening will be the basis for a year or more of income. But when it comes to summer vacation rentals, is the labor worth the return? On your own, maybe not, but you can make short-term rentals easier with help from Green Residential.
At Green Residential, we have over 30 years of Houston area property management experience, handling both long-term property rentals and short leases, and we handle everything. From screening and rent collection to maintenance and property listings, we take your properties from start to finish while you lean back and relax.
Summer is for vacations – and that means vacation for you too. Don’t get bogged down by the details of renting out your properties in a slow market. Let the Green Residential team take over. We’re a family business and we treat you like family, too.
Green Residential has you covered. Now, where will you be vacationing this summer?