Location is Key

We are a mobile society, and this trend will continue . . . According to Doug Matthews (COO of Right Management, a division of Manpower, the job placement firm), 84% of employees in the US plan to look for new jobs this year.  That fact is staggering!  At the start of 2010, that number was 60%.

The main reasons for job disappointment are increased work load and stagnant comensation.  So we’re a nation on the move.  What does that mean for us landlords?   The rental market will remain strong over the next several years, for sure.  It’s a fantastic time to buy.

In real estate, we’ve all heard it before.  It’s all about location, location, location.  When I look for a rental property to purchase, I consider the distance of the house to:

  • schools/college settings
  • grocery stores
  • retail shopping
  • hospital
  • businesses/industrial areas
  • daycare facilities

The closer the rental is to some of these, the more attractive it will be to prospective tenants.  With gas prices jumping all over the place, tenants want shorter commutes.  What a wonderful advertising point this would be:  “Walk to work/school!”

And when the rental is available, you can post fliers on bulletin boards at the places listed above.  I went to a factory a few blocks from a rental of mine, talked to an office manager, posted a flier with her blessing, and got a wonderful tenant who stayed with me for several years.

If yours is considered a middle- to upper-middle income rental and there’s a company headquarters nearby, make a flier with great photos and take it there.  Many times, companies have out-of-town people in for a few months and will pay top dollar for a nice home rather than an extended-stay hotel.   You might have to furnish it but this can be done inexpensively and, if you establish a long term relationship with the company, it can mean big returns for you on that rental and very little vacancy . . . definitely an idea worth considering.

So before you buy, think about location.  And if you’ve already bought, think about how you can maximize your current location.  Using local establishments to advertise and get the most exposure for your rental will decrease vacancy rates and increase your bank account.

Here’s to smart buying and creative marketing!

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2 thoughts on “Location is Key

  1. I managed to strike it lucky with my first rental purchase two blocks from a popular college and near a major hospital as well as three of the largest employers in the county. In fact, 50 percent of my renters at this property goes to the college and 50 percent are relocating to the area to work for these employers.

    Even with so much vacancy here in this area, I am able to manage this property to a point where it is never 100 percent vacant, there is always rent coming in every month (4 units). Sure there may be a vacancy every now and then but never been a problem (currently 3 out of 4 units are rented).

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    • Now, THAT’S what I call a prime location! Wonderful spot! Also, that’s the beauty of a multi-unit building … even with one or maybe two vacant, there’s still money coming in from the others. Beautiful. 🙂

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