The Debilitating Affects of Rental Concessions
At some point in time most property managers have had to think about concessions. It might be a discount on the rent for the first few months or even allowing a tenant a few months rent-free on signing a lease. Some property managers prefer a small giveaway. But during a hard economy when most property managers are feeling pressure on the bottom line, are rental concessions a wise move? There is no yes or no answer to this question but every property manager has to carefully consider the situation before making a decision on the way to go. Here are some questions you need to answer for yourself:
How will concessions affect your revenue?
What will concessions do to your bottom line if you choose a financingroute. For example, if your rental is $1,000 per month and you offer a discount of $50, your income stream is $950 and not $1,000 to the bank which doesn’t help with your financing goals. A concession fills up your apartments but does not contribute to your bottom line. A concession can grind down the value of a property pretty fast. If you want financing to replace a worn carpet or redo the landscaping, an eroded revenue stream doesn’t help.
What are your competitors doing?
Concessions are like a contagion. If word gets around that one of your competitors is offering concessions you feel obliged to do the same. This is a disease in many markets, but you have to make your decision based on hard facts and stick with it. You have to know your market when it comes to concessions. Tenants will come to you and use what your competitor is doing as a bargaining ploy. You have to know how to handle that and dig your heels in.
How will concessions affect your current tenants?
Tenants who have signed a lease recently for full rent will naturally be upset if a new tenant is given two months’ rent free. Tenants already in residence will feel undermined and an impression might be created that the owner of the premises is in some form of distress. But when the market is tight like it is at present because of social engineering, regulations, and high taxes, property managers will be asked for concessions and if that is the practice all around then they might have to concede.
Residents that receive these financial gifts are also instructed by management not to be too loose with the lips when meeting and talking with existing residents but this information will surface eventually and could undermine certain relationships.
Another factor is that concessions could affect the standard of tenants which property managers rent to. A lower security deposit and a couple of months’ rent free might attract just the wrong type of tenant.
A third factor is that if the manager if offering new tenants a concession it might have to be extended to existing tenants in order to retain them.
Finally if you do decide to extend concessions, make sure you are not violating any laws likely to run you into legal problems.
Talley Properties is an experienced property management firm in the Charlotte region of NC. In over three decades it has been providing property management services this company has seen a number of ups and downs in the rental property market. It has evolved its own formulas to counteract pressures in difficult times.