Time is money in the landlord business. And timing is, too. But let’s face it: Chicago is in the off-peak season after November rolls around.  Landlords looking to maximize revenue should consider these tactics.

Avoid Long-Term Apartment Vacancies with These Strategies

Use Incentives to Attract Tenants

Chicago tenants are familiar with rental concessions and incentives. On Domu, we’ve seen the following incentives in Chicago’s apartment market:

  • free parking
  • waiver of the move-in fees and/or security deposit
  • free rent for a month or two on longer term leases 

Perhaps your potential tenant would like to negotiate the term of the lease.

Renters who’ve waited out the highly competitive season in July and August are keen on finding deals. Making one or two concessions could make the difference in leasing the unit.

See Also: Top 3 Most Expensive & Most Affordable Chicago Neighborhoods

Plan Ahead to Attract Tenants in Peak Season

Try to time your next lease so that your next vacancy coincides with Chicago’s busy rental season. There tends be high seasonal traffic in March and April, followed by a flurry of rental activity in July and August.

If you are signing a lease with a November or December start date, try to negotiate a 6-month or 18-month term so that you can re-advertise, if necessary, when Chicago renters are looking to move. Keep in mind that the most competition for listings on Domu is July and August. Domu sees the highest number of individual listings posted during this period, so if you're posting in the busiest season consider brushing up on those apartment photography skills to make your listing stand out.

Related: Are Move-In Fees the New Norm?

Considering upgrading your property?

Landlords who are experiencing longer market times or seeing less interest than usual might grow anxious and start thinking about upgrading the property.

“Perhaps this is the time to add that washer/dryer combo or install those granite countertops,” one might think, with the hope that those improvements can further help in attracting a reliable tenant. These upgrades may justify an increase in the rent as well. That’s an understandable impulse, but as with most home improvement projects, timing is a key factor and costs may run over budget. Landlords should also consider the simple alternatives above to quickly lease an available apartment without having to break out the power tools.

To avoid vacancy, Domu suggests that you post your listing as early in the season as you can. To post a listing, go here.

Thinking about revising the lease for your unit? You can download a copy of Domu’s model lease here.