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HOW CAN SEATTLE PROPERTY OWNERS CONTROL VACANCY RATES AS RENTS DECREASE? RENTAL MANAGEMENT ADVICE

Written by SJA Property Management

SJA offers premier Seattle property management services and serves as the local real estate industry’s most experienced resource for rental property owners.

The Seattle rental market is changing, and we want you to know that we are taking the necessary steps to protect your investment and ensure you’re earning as much as you can on it. SJA Property Management is an industry leader in the Puget Sound area, including Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle. Today, we’re giving you an update about what’s going on in the general rental market and how we’re adapting.

We’re glad to be working with you, and we work hard every day to give you the best property management service we can.

Seattle Rents are Going Down

If you caught the recent article in the Seattle Times, you know that the rental market is starting to cool. Rents are decreasing from a year ago, and this is data that we have confirmed with our own MLS research. We want to make sure we’re altering our strategy in this new market so you don’t have longer vacancy periods. Those vacancy rates are really what drive your investment performance.

 

Rent Increases Cause Vacancy Rates to Jump

Think about this example.

If your property rents for $2,000 per month, and instead of keeping that rent the same or making a modest increase, we decide to increase it by $150 a month, your tenant will likely move out. That increase in rent will deliver a month of vacancy. After the tenant moves out, if a property manager is doing a good job, it will take about a month to get a new tenant in place. This is the industry standard.

So, it will take us 13 months at the new rental rate to recoup that month of vacancy, assuming we can even get that new rate that we’re asking. This creates a problem. Not only will we have turnover costs, which are expenses for things like painting and new carpet – anything that needs to be done between tenants, we’ll also have to wait for 13 months before we can see a return on that investment.

The vacancy cost is high. So, we believe in modest rental increases if they’re warranted. We want to keep your quality tenants in place and at your property as long as we can. When the market turns the way it has and rents generally start to decrease, this is the best strategy.

 

Additional Property Changes and Company Updates

Additionally, some new procedures are underway at SJA Property Management. While conducting our property inspections, we’re replacing any smoke detectors that are over 10 years old. That’s a rule we need to enforce, so if your smoke detector is over 10 years old, we do need to replace it so we can stay in compliance.

We also have new team members on board to help with providing our services. Everyone is performing well, and we’re thrilled to be growing.

We’re here to provide insight on how to control vacancy costs and keep your investment performing at its best. If you have any questions about this or any topic, please don’t hesitate to contact us at SJA Property Management.

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