The key to being a successful landlord, regardless of a pandemic, is determining the balance between profit and costs: picture yourself walking on a tightrope, blindfolded—and backward. Well, it’s a little easier than that—but there is certainly a good amount of research that goes into running profitable Washington DC homes for rent. Being a property owner should always be less of a blind leap and more of a carefully investigated path.
Benchmarking your property compared to those of others available in the market at the same time is just one part of this kind of valuable research. As a property manager, one of the first places we look when it comes to helping our property owners find their bullseye price is to determine the market value of your property. There are innumerable factors that impact market value, especially in a time of market instability. In this blog, we will examine a few of the most crucial.
Supply vs. Demand
Supply and demand are always a rent-determining factor. New employers in the area can create a quick boom demand for Washington DC homes for rent. This drives up the demand for rental housing while newly relocated workers are learning the area before deciding where to settle down permanently.
- Difficulties in obtaining a mortgage, decreasing purchasing power, and reduced inventory during a crisis will push those who may have been looking to buy back toward renting.
- This is a major driver of prices and directly influences what the market will bear.
- It also shortens the amount of time it takes for you to find new tenants when there is continued demand for Washington DC homes for rent—especially single-family homes.
On the reverse, a significant drop in rental demand will lower your bullseye price to the levels that the market will sustain. This could be caused by a number of different things.
- Global pandemics, recessions, or a boom of competitive multi-family units can all cause demand for single-family homes to drop.
- Perhaps the local economy took a significant dive when a major employer moved out or closed down.
- These elements can—and do—affect the rental price of properties in the area.
What Does Your Property Uniquely Have to Offer?
Desirable details specific to your Washington DC homes for rent can also directly affect your bullseye price. Some of these are more or less desirable during a pandemic, but will certainly continue to be major players after our community weathers this crisis.
- Proximity to cultural hotspots, restaurants, and shopping will still matter to your renters after COVID-19 passes. It also shortens the amount of time they need to travel for groceries and food pickups right now.
- Walking distance to a bus or train station (Metro is still operating as of this writing, albeit with reduced hours) or a great walk score for the health-conscious is always a plus as people work through COVID-19 cabin fever.
- Allowing pets is a huge perk in a time like this. Not only are pet owners a renting majority, but more people than ever are providing pet pals with a foster or forever home as they find themselves indoors for the long haul.
- Proximity to parks, trails, lakes, and natural spaces is more in demand than ever before. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
- The score of the school districts and schools your Washington DC homes for rent are ‘zoned’ for. Schools won’t be closed forever, and concerned parents will be eager to find the best education available.
Many of these details also make ideal material for your future property listing, so it’s worth evaluating them in advance.
It’s also worth considering the size of your property, the appliances offered, the age of the property, and other noteworthy updates. We expect to see an increase in the demand for square footage after being housebound for so long due to COVID-19.
Your Bullseye Price and Comparable Listings
- It’s easy enough to search online for comparable listings on various rental sites.
- Things to look for here are the average price per square foot for properties near you with similar features.
- You probably don’t want to compare a property with a pool to one without, for example.
Looking at comparable local listings isn’t 100% accurate, though: it really just gives you a range of what properties in the area are listed for. This specifically means unrented properties.
Most of these Washington DC homes for rent you’re competing with could be priced too high—and without a professional eye, you may not know. There are many landlords out there that try to determine rent by the amount of profit they would like to make beyond covering the mortgage. While you need to make a certain amount to maintain a rental property, setting a rate is much more intricate than just setting your price above your mortgage payment.
Get the Research You Need for Free!
Property managers are your friends here: they will know the going rates of properties that are being leased. Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA is proud to offer property owners access to this kind of research for your Washington DC homes for rent at no cost to you! We’ll provide you with a customized report unique to your properties to help you set your bullseye price. However, this is not the only free resource we offer to property owners in the area!
Once you’ve found your bullseye price with a thorough rental price analysis, the next step is to prepare an incredible property listing that will catch the attention of housebound renters in a post-COVID-19 market. With an uptick in remote showings and online-only rental shopping, your listing must be able to capture the interest of a modern renter. Let us show you how!