That is a lame excuse for not knowing how to effectively market their property. Most often, it is a landlord with just a few properties and a high income from their regular job. Let’s face it, land lording is not for everyone, and there is no guaranteed profitability.
When you have a vacancy, it is no different than having a truckload of bananas delivered to your rental. You have a place to sell, at the end of the month; you cannot sell it any longer. The past moth is spoiled goods. No different than a truck load of bananas. And the next truckload is already underway.
So what do you do? The truckload delivered last month was sold to your current renter. They have already said, “We do not need or want any more bananas”. This can be translated to, “We are moving at the end of the next month, here is our notice”.
Knowing that a truckload of bananas is being delivered on the first of the following month, you need to start to sell them as soon as you can. Advertise now, the banana truck is on its way. Advertise too early, and you are selling green bananas. Sure, some people will buy them, and wait for them to ripen. The majority will want a banana at the right time, about 6 weeks out. The new tenants have to quit buying bananas from their current supplier, and switch to you.
Sometimes, you have to clear out the trucking terminal (i.e. clean out the unit), but the banana truck is coming anyway. And it is full. A large effort apartment turnover will require sending the truck out to the dump. The bananas cannot be sold. Good banana buyers are mostly looking at 6 weeks out; there are a few buyers that want to buy an over-supply in the middle of the month. So they have two trucks to get bananas from. Even some buyers who were promised a truck-full, but the dealer could not deliver. These short term buyers might be your salvation, if they are solid buyers.
Assuming at some point, you have been vacant for two months, you know that there is a problem. Sure, at some point, the buyers will come, but they are not here now. If you lower your price, you could sell more, or you could advertise in more places to reach additional potential buyers will help.
More people will buy your ‘bananas’ in the summer, but there are more sellers too. And it is vice-versa in the winter.
For some reason, landlords are afraid to have a sale. They have to get their top dollar, or go vacant. They are willing to sacrifice profitability, in order to get their price. And they wonder why there are so many unqualified people looking at their apartment.
At a $1200 rent, it is cheaper to lower rent by $100 than be vacant a single month. You need to sell that truckload every month, to get the highest profitability. You can raise the rent in a year, or you can have the ‘golden handcuffs on your renters at the move in price.
You have control over your vacancies; Vacancies are the number one expense you can easily reduce as a landlord. When you start seeing a vacant apartment as just another commodity, it is easy to see what you need to do to sell it. Lower price, or increase your marketing efforts.