What’s the status of the Seattle rental market? The prognosis is good for landlords. Vacancies are low, and rents are moving up. There is strong job growth in the Seattle area as well, while home prices remain high, so there’s a large interested market for rental housing. If you’re a landlord in the Seattle area, you’re in an excellent position, but you need to make sure that your investment in Seattle rentals remains strong. Here’s how to get more from your investment in Seattle rentals.
Make Your Rental Trendy
The Seattle rental market is booming. Not only are there many interested tenants, there are also an increasing number of rental units. According to the Seattle Times, “developers are expected to open about 12,000 units this year…with 11,000 more units next year and even more in 2017.” With all of this interest and all of these housing units, you need to make sure that you understand the trends in your rental market so that you can ensure that you not only attract a steady tenant, you attract tenants who will be consistent and pay what your property is worth. Who are you going to attract to your unique rental properties? How will you market to them and draw in this specific audience?
Before you look more deeply into the trends that impact your specific neighborhood, examine the general rental trends in the Seattle area. For example, since the city has a booming job market in technology, it has attracted many younger, mobile couples and singles. The Boomer generation is also downsizing, and the thriving downtown core provides many opportunities for them to enjoy arts and culture. These overall demographic trends will impact who you target as potential tenants for your Seattle rentals.
Understand Your Local Tenants
Get to know the demographics of the neighborhoods where you own property, or work with a property management company that understands these changing trends. For example, Beacon Hill is known as an affordable place to live and attracts those who need access to lower-priced rental homes, while Queen Anne is full of stately older homes and attracts those who want the suburban feel while staying close to the downtown amenities. In the University and Ravenna area, you’ll attract college students to this walkable neighborhood, while West Seattle draws in those who want a laid-back, more traditional suburban feel. Know the tone of your area and work with those who can promote your rental property to those who are interested in the type of rental in your specific area.
Knowing the trends within an area can also help you guide your future investments. What kind of property are people looking for? What neighborhoods are doing particularly well as investment markets? For example, rentals in Ballard have gone up far more than those in the surrounding communities: working with a property management agency can help you target up and coming rental hotspots.
Keep Up With the Maintenance in Rainy Seattle
When you’re trying to preserve your investment in Seattle rentals, you need to keep up with your property maintenance. This will ensure that you keep the excellent tenants that you have and that your property shows well when you need to find new tenants.
In Seattle, mild winters might mean less snow, but they mean more rain. The rainy Seattle climate can lead to clogged gutters, large puddles, and erosion around your property. Watch for changes in drainage patterns so that you can catch them before they become a hazard to safety and to the landscaping. Look for leaks as well. Rain on the roof can mean rain in the roof if you have a loose shingle or two. Those overflowing gutters can lead to leaks in your property’s foundation. Rain can also lead to slippery or rotten decks, pathways, and steps. Keep your tenants safe and avoid lawsuits by maintaining stairs and decks.
As a Seattle landlord, you need to be aware of the local market trends, the tone of each neighborhood, and the maintenance issues that are unique to the Seattle area. If you need a hand optimizing your Seattle rentals, contact Lori Gill and Associates. We’re here to help you manage your rentals and get more from your investment.