Location, location, location! Property location is a major sales pitch for properties around the USA, and has been for more than a decade. Renters and buyers alike want property that is situated nearby to parks, public transport, schools, shops, and nightlife, and hopefully in a great neighborhood with plenty of trees and maybe even an art center. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, even in Puget Sound, where there is an unusually large amount of perfect neighborhoods. That aside, just because a property doesn’t have a perfect location doesn’t mean it’s a deal breaker. Location is just one factor of the decision making process and while it will certainly be harder to rent out units in a bad location, you can still do it.
If you aren’t in a location that everyone wants to live in, then your only hope for finding tenants is aggressive marketing. This means understanding how and where to market, and hopefully utilizing a network to find tenants more quickly, and making sure your property is everywhere. You’ll also have to make your apartment more desirable based on its own amenities, space, storage, and offerings, to ensure that people are still interested in renting it.
The biggest reason that people end up with property investments in a bad location is cost. Price points are usually lower in less than desirable areas, and it can seem like a bargain if you don’t do your research. That aside, you can use the same tactic to get tenants to rent it. Slightly lowered pricing rates can incite more tenants, and can make up for the lack of local amenities. You can also make a higher return with slightly lower rental rate if you got a great deal on your property.
Unless the property is new or very new, consider refurbishing some elements of the home. New fixtures, new appliances, or a new kitchen and bathroom can make an apartment look very appealing. If the unit is already relatively new, then this isn’t an issue.
Many people will be willing to go slightly out of their way to live in a larger home if they get to pay less or the same price for it. This is great for you if you have a larger property. If you don’t, you can also highlight yards, gardens, and other property amenities if they are better than similarly priced properties in better areas.
If your area has any benefits at all, it is important to highlight them. You can usually find benefits in items that detract from the location. For example, if you’re located next to a cemetery, you can mention that it is very quiet. Similarly, a house right next to a school for small children is a very good choice for a family with a young child. And, houses on very busy streets are less often a target of burglars, simply because they’re more likely to be spotted. If your home has location disadvantages, highlight what benefits those disadvantages bring.
In other instances, such as if your property is very far from public transport, highlight parking opportunities, or make sure that there is guaranteed parking for the tenant.
If you do your research, you will usually find at least some area developments intended to improve, upgrade, or add to a bad location. Highlight this when marketing to renters, so that they know change is coming.
Renting out property in a bad location can be difficult, but it’s not impossible, especially if you have some budget left for improvement.
If you need help with marketing and rentals, consider contacting SJA Property Management for a free quote, or for more information about our property management services.