If you have a rental property that is not bringing in enough income, here are some ideas to generate more income and profit:
- When the property is located in a vacation resort area like Hilton Head Island - and yes, even Bluffton - consider a short-term rental instead of a yearly lease. Vacationers and other short-term renters will often pay top dollar for a weekly or monthly stay.
Treat it like an extended stay hotel, if your association rules allow that type of rental.
- If you are restricted from doing short-term rentals, consider furnishing your property for both medium- and long-term tenants.
Buy durable furniture and furnishings that take longer to show wear and increase the rent with an appealing, furnished and staged home. Think thrift and consignment shops for affordability.
- When advertising your home for rent, stress all the amenities that your specific development has to offer, and tie those amenities in to a higher rental fee.
Sun City Hilton Head and other Bluffton plantations are great examples. In addition to an attractive and safe place to live, the renter gets to use all the amenities at no extra charge.
That's like living in a resort - and really justifies asking for more rent.
- Get great tenants. The best way to do this is to "super screen" prospective tenants. That requires running a credit check, calling references, getting salary information, and looking at job history.
An extensive rental application is a very good start.
- Keep maintenance costs as low as possible. If you're good at doing repairs, then you are way ahead of the game. If not, in this area there are plenty of reliable and affordable handymen. Get to know them.
Sometimes bartering for services is an option.
If you are unable or unwilling to maintain your rental property, a management company might be the best way to go.
- You can always seek the advice of a good property manager to improve profitability. The expertise of an experienced property manager will cut down-time and help you keep your property occupied with good short-term or long-term tenants.
Property managers know the rental markets and can help you achieve effective solutions and increased profitability.
For more information about managing and making money on rental properties, check out the websites for the American Apartment Owners Association or the National Real Estate Investors Association.
Larry Stoller is the broker-owner and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. Larry@RealEstateFive.com or www.RealEstateFive.com