3 Tips for Landlords During an Economic Recession

Good news! Here are some great tips for landlords who might be experiencing difficulties with vacancies and collecting on-time payments given the current economic climate.

Landlord Tip #1: Do not expect your vacancies to stay empty longer because of the economy

It’s easy right now for landlords to blame the economy for extended vacancies, and many landlords are now expecting vacancies to last longer. I strongly suggest that landlords not “expect” a rental property to be vacant longer in these tough economic times.

Why not? Because most people take action at the speed and level of their expectation. If you expect a vacancy to last longer, you will probably move at a slower and less determined pace to get it rented. That’s human nature.

However, if your expectation is to fill the vacancy within 72 hours, you will likely take more effective action to accomplish what you expect. Put another way, you tend to accomplish what you expect to accomplish.

Sadly, countless numbers of landlords across the country are losing thousands of dollars every month with vacancies because they don’t expect to fill their vacancies faster.

I’m not simply talking about positive thinking. I am convinced that if a landlord makes filling vacancies his #1 priority and takes certain action steps, they can fill any vacancy with 72 hours, (definitely no longer than 7 days) no matter what the economy.

Landlord Tip #2: Collect your rents automatically

Landlords need to consider getting as many of their residents as possible on some type of automatic rent payment plan. When economic times are tight, my experience has been that those who have rent paid automatically (without them having to think about it) have a much longer payment success rate.

There are many direct rent deposit and automatic bank draft services offered through various banks and elsewhere. Whatever service you use to get rents paid automatically, I just want to encourage you to DO so.

Direct rent deposits or automatic drafts make life so much easier for the landlord. No worrying every month when (or if) the rent is coming in; no listening to the excuses of why it’s not there.

Automatic rent collection is the wave of the future, and you know what, many residents actually prefer it. While some of you are wondering whether you should try it, your competition is attracting and even targeting the qualified applicants who prefer it.

One landlord who took this advice said, “Our business has become so much more efficient since we REQUIRE all residents to pay by an automatic rent payment plan. We explain this to prospective residents even before we show a rental. We tell them that our rent’s are collected electronically and ask if this is okay with them.

“Many are so happy and want to pay this way. Remember, a lot people are paying their other bills online anyway, so why not their rent. We even had an incident where one of our residents got into a little bit of trouble and was in jail for the weekend and of course it was the 1st of the month. Guess what, we still got our rent paid on time. Her boss bailed her out, and her rent was paid on time.”

Landlord Tip #3: A positive way to get rents on time

Another landlord has been having an “on-time rent” drawing for a $25 gift certificate or $25 off the rent. It started in January, and it seems to be working! One tenant asked him, “Did I win this month?” He had to tell her that the winner hadn’t been picked yet. (Some of the rents are due on the 15th.)

He has only 15 units, but the three tenants couldn’t seem to pay their rent on time are now doing so–it is even coming in early! With 15 units, everybody will win so much that it will be a BIG reinforcing tool. It’s a small price to pay for getting the rents in on time, as well as creating good will!

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By CREOnline Contributor

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