I can’t rent my home in Denver. What should I do?
You have a house for rent, you’re trying to rent it and you just can’t rent it like it just doesn’t seem like things are working out.
We totally get it. Since there are many factors to consider when trying to place a tenant, our team here at Evernest has figured out just what questions you should be asking to understand why this might be happening. In this article, I’m going to take you through a step-by-step process that our team goes through with a house that isn’t renting.
I’m going to give you all the questions you should be asking yourself, all the information you should be collecting as you go through the listing process, and help you decide what is causing this thing not to turn around.
So let’s take a look at 6 factors to look at when trying to understand why your house isn’t renting in Denver, CO, and what you can do about it.
The first thing I would check is your online listings. Number one, I would make sure it’s even appearing in places like Zillow and Trulia.
If it’s not appearing in places like Zillow and Trulia, then that’s a huge problem.
Then you’re probably not getting a lot of leads, probably not getting a lot of phone calls. Zillow and Trulia consistently other than our website are the online portals that drive the most traffic.
If you’re not showing up on that portal then that’s a huge, huge, huge problem and something you need to do.
Like what are the tenant prospects looking at and then make sure you compare that to the other houses in the area.
Number one, do the pictures look good? Does your house look better than the other houses in the area?
If it doesn’t, you may need to go out and take some new pictures.
You’d be shocked at how many tenant prospects decide not to even look at a house just based on the pictures.
It is not the game it used to be 20 years ago where they would go look at all the houses in the area.
They do a lot of their decisions online, right there in front of the computer.
So if the pictures don’t look good, then you might have a problem.
Compare your house, try to be as objective as possible and compare your house to the other available properties in the area.
So like if your house looks similar to another property but it’s $100 more or $200 more, then that’s a problem.
We always talk about price and product and if a tenant prospect is looking in an area and they see that yours appears to be almost a similar house and it’s kind of priced differently, they may not spend the time to go look at it.
Unless you can provide a reason, a value reason, maybe in the description or in some of the pictures for them to go look at it, they’re just not going to go look at it.
So I would compare yours because again, renting is a snapshot in time, which is unlike selling, which has a lot of historical data.
A tenant is showing up, they have a certain amount of money in their pocket, and when they find something that meets their kind of basic criteria.
And I always say generally there are three to five items they look at what they want to know and everybody is just a little bit different.
They’re going to lease the house that meets that because it’s not a long-term commitment for them.
It is very much a short term commitment and so they don’t want to spend a bunch of time doing it. So, online.
How does the exterior look? I mean, are you basically driving traffic to your house and then people drive back?
Because a lot of people will drive by prior to even contacting you. What does the house look like?
Are they pulling up and there’s you know, the grass is knee-high and the bushes aren’t kept and there are leaves in the gutter?
And if there are, then they’re probably not going to contact you anyway to take a look at the house.
Also, what do you think the exterior tells them about you as a landlord? I think that’s super important to understand too.
If you don’t keep up the outside of your house, they’re going to have the perception you don’t keep up the inside.
And it’s pretty easy to see where they can draw those types of conclusions.
Let’s say, you’re getting a lot of showings and for us a lot of showings is you know, depending on probably two or three a week.
Once you get a lot of showings then you want to if you’re not getting a lot of applications.
So we look at it as a sales funnel. You know, we have like marketing, we have people going to see it.
Then we have people applying. Then we have underwriting and people approving.
You know, if you’re getting a lot of people to come to see your house but not many people are putting an application, there’s probably something with your house that people don’t like.
In other words, I’m a prospective tenant, I’m coming into your house and I’m saying, “I am willing because online I’ve looked at it, I’m willing to pay this much money.
And I’m willing to pay this much money to live in your house or excuse me to live in a house in this neighborhood, but I’m arriving at your house and for some reason, it’s not the house that I, you know, expected or wanted it to be.”
Now, this is where we get into the product. If you can get feedback from the prospective tenant, this is a good place to find out why they didn’t rent it.
Is it something you can fix? Like is the house dirty? Is the exterior not kept?
Is there a room that’s painted bright pink and they don’t like bright pink?
Those are things that you can correct. So you would bring the product up to the price.
We call these white elephant issues. It may be on a really busy street.
Obviously, you can’t pick up the house and move the house. And if people are coming to your house and they’re saying, “You know, wow, this is a really busy street, I don’t want to live on this street.”
Then you may have to make an adjustment in the price. Sometimes you may back up to an industrial park.
There are certain things that are white elephant issues and may be specific to the house.
Maybe all the houses in the neighborhood have a garage and yours doesn’t.
What is it about your house though that people are choosing not to put an application?
And if you need to and you can add value to the house and bring the product up to what you expect to rent it for, then that’s a great thing to do.
But if you realize, “Hey, I’ve got a white elephant issue on my hand.” Be as objective as possible.
If it’s a white elephant issue, then what you need to do is probably drop the price down to the product.
I have found that people with poor credit are willing to sacrifice on what they’re wanting to rent.
In other words, they’re willing to rent a house that is more expensive than probably the market rate because they don’t have a lot of options.
So if you’re getting a lot of poor applications and you’re like, man, I just can’t find a good applicant, then you may be asking too much money for your house.
I would consider dropping the rent and seeing if you can attract a better tenant.
For us, you know, supply and demand, finding the right tenant for the right house, the right price, and the right product will find a creditworthy applicant.
If you’re consistently getting poor applications, it could be that you’re overpriced. I would consider that.
I hope these tips will save you some future headaches when trying to rent your home in Denver, CO.
If you have any questions about why your house isn’t renting, you have maybe some specific things you want to talk about, reach out to us!
Matthew is the CEO of Evernest. He is a student of the book Good to Great and is passionate about building the best property management company on the planet (and maybe even the universe if Elon Musk will hurry up). You can usually find Matthew at the baseball field with his son, at a dance recital with his daughter, or at his favorite restaurant with his wife, when he’s not in the office. And if you can’t find him in any of those places, it probably means he’s traveling.