Between the holidays and the weather, winter can be a dead-zone for the rental industry. Although it may not be an ideal time for filling vacancies, it IS a great time to start preparing for the busy season ahead so that when the best time to rent rolls around you’ll be ready.

Here’s how to ensure that your rentals are in high demand.

Pay attention to reviews

If you haven’t been already, this is the year to focus on getting more positive feedback. For apartment communities, that means keeping tabs on what people are saying about you on Yelp, Google, and Facebook.

Make sure you have an account on each platform and are responding to both praise and criticism. Even a simple “Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!” shows renters that you’re listening to their feedback.

If the problem is that you lack the reviews to set you apart from other communities in the area, try sending an email to current tenants asking them to leave a review or do a social media promotion on your apartment community page. When asking for reviews, it always helps to have an incentive like being entered into a drawing for a gift card.

Amp up your listings

Start prepping now for future vacancies so that when it comes time to list you have everything ready. Make sure you have up-to-date photos of every room and all the shared amenities.

You should also spend time exploring the extra ad opportunities on the sites where you list. For example, on Rentler you can purchase banners that say “Pet-Friendly” “Brand New” or “Utilities Included”. If you accept applications online, you can also specify that right on your listing.

Renting your property in 2017

Use this time to think of possible titles for the listings you’ll have available. Tip: Don’t waste space putting the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, since all those details can be seen on the search page. Instead, use this space to tout something that sets you apart like “Newly remodeled, first month free” or “Near downtown, utilities included!”

Woo tenants with tech 

Today’s tenants are looking for convenience, and offering easy solutions for everyday rental woes can give you an edge.

For example, if you accept online rent payments or manage maintenance requests digitally, that’s an awesome value-add and you should include it in the listing.

The same goes for things like app-controlled thermostats and other smart home features. Home technology is blowing up, and the money you spend on upgrading your rental will pay off…you just have to make sure to advertise it.

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Amanda has worked as a journalist, an SEO copywriter, and a social media specialist. Her aim as a Four Walls contributor is to provide something worth reading and create a community for people who lease and love it. She’s also a real person, not just a mysterious internet writer, who loves silversmithing, podcast-binging, and trying to figure out how to fix her rented apartment’s bad linoleum floor (see, just like you!)