Seasonal Marketing Report (Part 1): How to Deal with Cold Weather Vacancies

A young couple playing with snow outside their home on cold

Seasonal Marketing Report (Part 1): How to Deal with Cold Weather Vacancies

Hopefully, all your properties are full before the cold weather and snow start to set in.

So, what can you do to ensure your rental property doesn’t sit empty this winter?

As we enter the end of the year and into the colder months, we thought we would share some key points to help set expectations for the fluctuating demands for rental properties. Here are our expert tips to keep your vacancy rate low during chilly months.

When is Peak Rental Season?

Before anything, you should understand when demand is highest for rental properties. It’s a key part of the tenant lifecycle. This will give you a better idea of when to start marketing your vacancy and how long you have to fill it.

Based on our data that spans two decades, peak rental season happens in the summer because of:

  • The school year calendar: As you can imagine, families will usually wait until summer to move homes, so they have a smooth transition without interrupting their children’s school year.
  • The need for a change of scenery: Renters typically start looking around for a change of scenery or a better deal on rent during spring, including college graduates moving out of their apartments and relocating to a new city or state for their new job.
  • The danger of moving during winter: Moving during the late fall to winter months can be difficult and dangerous, as this would mean hauling personal belongings under cold temperatures and during adverse conditions.

Summer months are typically the busiest, so you’ll want to start advertising your property at least a few months in advance. Winter months can cost you, so you’ll have to get strategic with how you’ll stay afloat. Let’s check how seasonality affects tenant placements.

Tenant Placement Consideration on Cold Season

Our data shows that properties receive a 50% increase in rental applications in summer versus winter, where the busiest season is from May to October—just before the cold weather sets in. That’s when good tenants are most likely to leave the rental unit.

This insight comes from the three-year marketing study we conducted, where we retrieved the following data:

The time of year you advertise your property for rent can make a considerable difference, where you can either find new tenants in less than two weeks or up to eight. Beyond time spent, you’ll also see lower demand during winter, which means lower rent and a smaller selection of tenants.

So, how do you ensure that you still get quality tenants fast and easily during the cold months?

And what can you do to make sure your rental property doesn’t end up sitting empty for an extended time? We’ve got you covered.

Securing New Tenants During Cold Weather

Not a lot of tenants will leave during winter. But if they leave right before the temperature drops and you didn’t secure new ones on time, here’s what you need to for securing new tenants during winter:

  • Get Professional Help: Work with a professional leasing agent or property management company that has the experience and resources necessary to help you fill your vacancy quickly.
  • Offer Incentives: Get creative by offering move-in specials or other incentives like a waived application fee, targeting those who want a good deal even if it means moving in during winter.
  • Take Advantage of Technology: Post on social media, use Google Ads, or even partner with a rental platform like Zumper Pro to increase listing exposure for qualified tenants to apply.
  • Price it Right: Research the local market to price competitively. Don’t want to scare potential tenants away with high rent, but don’t want to leave money on the table by pricing it too low.
  • Keep the Heat On: Don’t show your property when it’s cold and uninviting inside. Turn on the heat so tenants can imagine themselves cozying up during winter—it’ll make all the difference.

Although winter might be a slower season for renting, there are still plenty of people searching for a new place to call home. These are just some ways you can be proactive about marketing your rental, so you ensure occupancy and keep your investments warm.

Temperature Drops, Investment Profits Spike

Just because the demand for rentals decreases during winter doesn’t mean you can’t find quality tenants during the cold months. With a little bit of creativity and some strategic marketing moves, you can fill your vacancy quickly and easily—staying profitable and lucrative all year round.

And if you’re still having trouble filling your vacancy, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Our team of experts can connect you with qualified tenants who are looking for their next rental home, having more than two decades of experience keeping rental properties successful from one season to another.


Click on the links below to read the rest of this series!

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