News & Insights

Finding Renters in the Winter

Due to school calendars, most people move during the summer months. For this reason, finding renters in the winter can be a rough task for landlords. With some creativity and hard work, however, you don’t have to leave your property empty all winter.

Here are some tips to help you rent out your property during the slow winter months.

Push your marketing harder

Whatever you’re doing already, do a little more of it. Make sure you have your rental listings updated everywhere, put a little more effort into social media or get some pictures taken that better show it off. Whatever you’re doing, putting more effort into it will help get it in front of more people.

Use word of mouth

If your current marketing isn’t working well, maybe you need to try a different approach. Do some more local or word-of-mouth advertising. This could be anything from asking the neighbors if they know anyone who’s looking to rent in the area or putting a “For Rent” sign out in the yard. Whatever it takes to get your place in front of more people, you’ll want to do it.

Make it clear what you have to offer

Renters may struggle a bit during the winter because there are fewer places on the market. Make sure that all of your advertising makes it clear exactly what you have to offer that renters are looking for. It’s easier to stand out when there’s less competition, but that’s not an advantage if prospective residents don’t know what you have to offer.

Try creative incentives

Creative incentives can help move your property more easily. Offer to pay the heating bill up to a certain amount during the winter, offer to buy a large item for the home like a TV or offer some help covering the costs of moving it. These can be relatively cheap to do but mean a lot to residents, especially if you can tailor the offer to something they specifically want or need.

Lower the price

When all else fails, you can try lowering the price of rent. Don’t go down too much — as a general rule, you probably shouldn’t lower it by more than $50-100 a month — but it may be enough to entice someone who’s on the edge to commit to renting the place.

Change the term of the lease to end in summer

Along with changing the price, changing the lease term can help make a good deal. If renters are looking for more or less than the typical one-year lease, they can get the lease they want and your property comes back on the market closer to peak rental season in the summer.

Don’t get desperate

All of these creative ways to fill your rental could put you in a bad place, however. If you get desperate to put anyone in there, it can cause problems. Make sure you don’t rent to anyone who’s likely to be trouble or struggle with paying rent, otherwise you’ll possibly end up just having to evict them a few months later. Desperation will put in a worse situation, so even if money is tight for a while, it’s not worth making a move that will hurt you in the long term.

Finding renters in winter is difficult, but with enough creativity you can still find prospective residents.

Categories: Landlords

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About the Author
Steffi Cook

Steffi Cook is the head of content for Rentals.com. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her on the tennis court, hiking in the mountains or trying a new restaurant.