October 5 - Justin Elliott

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Chicago Apartment Finders


It's no secret that there are a lot of apartments sitting empty right now.

Converted condo properties and a tight economy have created a surplus in vacant units. Seasoned property owners may be better equipped to weather the storm, but there are lots of new property owners that either got in recently as an investment, or decided to rent their own home because they couldn't sell it. It is for these people that we put together some tips to help get their apartment rented.

We deal with thousands of renters each year and know what's appealing and what's a turn off for renters. We've used that insight to put together seven key tips for property owners that need help getting tenants.

1) Clean and stage your apartment.
I cannot tell you how important this is. The difference between a dirty and properly staged apartment is night and day. Shampooed carpet, fresh paint, working lights, and thoughtful touches like flowers or putting out a plate of cookies during showings really impresses tenants. If it helps, ask a friend not familiar with the property to do a walk through and point out things that turn them off. You'll probably be surprised what you overlooked and how easy it is to fix. Once you've got a clean and nicely staged apartment, and only then, do you go on to step 2….

2) Choose GOOD pictures to compliment your listing.
Give genuine thought and care to the pictures you select, as they could 'make or break' the renting of your property. Think of it like a personal ad - you want well lit, clear photos that play up the property's best features. A great view, a roof-top pool, a beautiful kitchen, etc.

3) Price your property competitively.
The few hundred dollars that you knock off now, in an unstable economy, will be recouped when things pick up again.

4) Accessibility is huge.
Make your unit as accessible as possible. Renters often have busy schedules and will make quick decision. Being rigid with your schedule or hard to get a hold of will lead to missed opportunities. Property owners that list with Chicago Apartment Finders have the opportunity to leave a set of keys so our agents will have easy access for showings.

5) Consider implementing a move-in fee, as opposed to a security deposit.
This could make renters more comfortable, as it requires less money 'out-of-pocket' up front.

6) And lastly, cover all bases when listing your property.
Beyond your own personal listing initiatives, consider listing through a professional service like Chicago Apartment Finders. It doesn't cost anything and you'll increase the chances that it will be noticed by renters.

7) Make your apartment pet friendly.
Allowing pets will increase your pool of potential renters. And with so many apartments on the market, every renter counts.

8) Incentives.
Don't rule out one month's free rent or other bonuses and perks. It could be a small investment to help your apartment stand out from others.

9) Go green.
If your apartment has energy-efficient appliances or eco-friendly anything - advertise it! Renters are increasingly interested in environmentally-friendly features.

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