Have the phone calls and emails slowed down on your available units? Interest seems to have fizzled? Don’t fret–this is normal for this time of year. We will break down why this is happening, and what you can do to prepare yourself for the future.
Why has interest slowed down around this time of year?
Chicago is known for having 5 seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer and Construction. There’s a 6th season not everyone is aware of: Leasing Season. As winter approaches, demand for apartments in Chicago tends to slow down. With lower demand and higher supply, an investor’s bottom line can be affected.
Why does moving have a season?
There are a lot of factors as to why renter searches and move-ins follow seasonal trends. Some of these factors include college graduation and new jobs, the start of the school year, Chicago weather (it’s more difficult to move during a snowstorm), and the avoidance of having to move around the holiday seasons.
What are some things I can do to fill my vacant units?
When a unit is marketed vacant, the standards shift for the renter. Without furniture, rugs, and accessories, the renter can see every little deficiency that may be present. Vacant units need to be spotless and 100 percent move-in ready while they are being marketed and shown to prospective renters.
If you find yourself marketing a unit and the interest has slowed down due to the time of year, you may also need to adjust pricing to get a lease signed and avoid further vacancy.
The key to avoid this same scenario next year is to incentive your new tenant to sign a lease that ends during leasing season. When your renter chooses to move out, you’ll be hitting the market at a time when you can price your unit aggressively.
What can Westward360 do to help?
At Westward360, we begin marketing units around 60 days to vacancy. This means we are marketing and showing a tenanted unit. As a team, we do our best to avoid vacancy for our management clients and specialize in zero day vacancy (performing a turnover and unit make ready in 24 hours).
Our team at Westward360 knows that for investment owners, every dollar counts for cash flow as well as increasing building value.
Learn more about our leasing and management offerings: