Struggling to fill a vacancy? Wondering what’s preventing you from finding the perfect tenant? Here are four “must dos” and one major “must not do.”

Here are four must do’s:

1. Verify Market Rent
Check comparable rentals in your neighborhood to make sure you’re asking rent is in line with your location, condition, schools, and curb appeal. Call on other rentals and ask landlords about their property and likewise share information about yours – everyone does better when they work together.

2. Improve Marketing
Is your headline enticing, are photos appealing, do you promote the benefits, location, and availability (be honest as you don’t want to waste time with showings just for the applicant to find out that the spacious kitchen isn’t spacious at all. Make your contact information easy to find and market the property on all of the major sites.

3. Bring the Unit Up to Date
Would the unit be more appealing with a cosmetic change or two? New paint, carpet, appliances, and other relatively low cost updates will shorten vacancies and may pay for the upgrades by collecting rent sooner. You want a renter who will appreciate a nice home.

4. Ask Other Residents for Referrals
Birds of a feather flock together, so ask your favorite tenants and neighbors if they know anyone looking to move in the hood… and offer a referral bonus in return like a $50 gift card.

Don’t Lose Your Patience
By lowering the bar of the requirements for applicants, you’re increasing the probability that a bad tenant will slip through your screening process. In the end, it’s better to wait one more month to find the perfect person than to end up with someone who you’ll regret later. Also, trust everyone – but verify everything and trust your gut.

Lastly, consider hiring a property manager in Orange County who has the team, experience and expertise to market your property effectively to fill vacancies with only well-qualified, quality tenants. With the right property manager in place, you’ll probably save money too.