So far the winter is holding up better than expected. With an increase in showings around downtown the rental market remains fairly stable. Prices right now are still in winter mode. Meaning an owner should expect at least 1-2 price reductions during the marketing process if pricing started high. Property owners need to be aggressive during this process unlike spring and summer months. The demand is always less as leases tend to come up for renewal around May.
This winter I am finding an increase in owners wanting to do furnished rentals. This maybe due to last minute assignements overseas or wanting to leave DC quickly. As I currently have 2 lisitngs that are furnished most prospective tennats still prefer unfurnished. The furnished market is a niche market and short term housing companies do well flipping properties every few weeks. Owners have attachments to their furniture as they should. But just because they like it does not mean the tenants will.
My suggestion to property owners weighing on the decision of placing their unit on for rent is to take some time and stage the property so it looks the best it can. First online impressions can make the difference between obtaining a lead or not.
Some quick tips for making the property shine are:
- If vacant and the property has not been painted in some time a fresh coat of paint goes a long way. There are a ton of painters looking for work so pricing should be farily competative.
-No clutter on countertops. Clean minimized counters are best.
- Professional cleaning is the most important. The property should not only look clean but also smell clean. No mold or mildew in the showers, or bathrooms. Carpets should be shampooed. Wood floors buffed.
- HVAC filters should be changed out prior to a new tenant coming in. I have found that if the owners provide some filters to the tenant they are more likely to change them.
-Make sure your DC business licese is up to date.
-When taking pictures use wide angles. Dont take a picture of the corner of a bedroom. Broad wide shots work best.
In the Washington DC area winter generally hits hardest in February and March. So the next two months will be a test of just how strong rentals will be during the winter months.
Property owners that I speak with are already prepping for spring. We are getting the properties rennovated, and ready to be the first out of the gate on the market.