I have been meaning to touch on this topic for the last few months. Home ownership is obviously where my heart is, but renting a home can be the first step, and a popular or necessary option, for many. When I first got into real estate, the need for real estate agents willing to assist renters, was a very apparent. I knew this to be the truth, because prior to getting my license, I was one of those folks who had to temporarily rent a home for one year, before I was able to purchase. We had to live in a particular area so our teenagers (blended family) could finish out at their high school.
I believe this story might be my first blog posts, but we struggled to find anyone to show us rental properties, the listing agents rarely answered their phone, and the criteria to rent said home usually included signing away your first born. You know the gig.
We struggled so bad to find a rental, we had to find a home that self-shows, and do the whole process on our own. This opened my eyes to the rental industry. To the point where I made my first $10,000 in real estate, in rentals. Since then, I have grown my real estate business in the home ownership aspect (helping buyers and sellers), but I have never turned my back on renters or landlords.
I don’t do as many rentals as I use to, but I have had four rental properties (plus some random renters) in the last few months, and the fact that affordable rental inventory is extremely low, quickly became evident. And more glaring, is the fact that real estate agents still are continuing their old ways, of not giving renters proper assistance. I, as a real estate agent, that is trying to bring a client right to your door mat, am barely getting any calls or emails returned.
It is actually really bad. But that really isn’t the point of this blog post. The point is, rental inventory is extremely low. I just put a listing online, and in less than a week had 50 inquiries. I did manage to find an amazing tenant, as well as pick up five other new clients.
And if you read the title of this blog post, “Affordable, accessible, and livable rental inventory is low..”, you will see I listed three adjectives. Affordable housing always goes the fastest, so that is the main reason why affordable housing is low. I am talking about homes within the $1300-$1700 range. These are smaller homes, so the price per square foot is pretty comparable to larger homes with larger budgets.
Now let’s jump to accessible. What I mean by this is, no one will answer the phone for possible tenants. I am obviously exaggerating, but you see the picture I am trying to illustrate. And have you seen the pictures for some of these properties? I recently showed a home where the first picture on the MLS was a tilted and blurry picture of the fountain across the street. That really segways into my stink with rental real estate photography: they refuse to hire a professional. Sometimes making the home look disturbing.
And that leads right into that third adjective. Scary houses, on the surface, appear to be unlivable. Unkept landscapes, homes that lack pest control, and appliances so outdated, you have to crank them. Yeah I made that one up, lol, but you know what I mean.
But yes, at the end of the day, inventory is low. Each property I list goes pending in 1 week, multiple applicants are applying, and I get phone calls prior to the listing’s status changing to pending, where people are begging me to let them know if the tenant backs out. Oh and if you have a rental home that has been sitting on the market, it might be time to try a new method, or give the home a deep cleaning.. You know, just saying..
It really is a sad market. So sad, that one of my dear friends, just had to reluctantly rent an apartment. But besides investors and homeowners placing their homes on the market, there is one simple solution. Hire decent real estate agents (you know, I am willing, competent, and available, lol), who hire professional photographers, who answer their phone, and advertise in create ways. It really is simple. And I beg you: please please please, avoid management companies where they view each property as a number. Renters avoid management companies like a plague.
Management companies tend to treat the tenant like crap, make them jump through a zillion hoops, only communicate with them with short emails that take days to come, and sometime not at all, never show your home for you, and refuse to take professional photography. And have you ever Googled these said management companies? Some of those reviews will give you nightmares.
So there ^, and here, is my PSA for the day..
The real estate market is low on rental inventory, I might have a deep hatred for the run-of-the-mill management company, and hire a professional real estate agent that hires a professional photographer if you want your rental investments to not drown on the MLS in DOM (days on market).