Higher Rental Rates Versus Fewer Occupancies – Is There a Fine Balance?

October 14th, 2022 Josh Hatter
Rental Property Management Companies in Charleston

For rental property management companies in Charleston, SC, there are often many decisions to make and continue to adjust like a balancing act. One of those hurdles is occupancy versus rental rates, to find that sweet spot. The problem is that that balance is continually being challenged by peak seasons, economic conditions, living costs, and all the other factors that we deal with from day to day. So how do we do it at CVP? We can’t give away all of our industry secrets, but this is an overview of how we find your rental’s “sweet spot.”

The Cost of Operations

Just like balancing your checkbook or monthly budget, there are always those outliers that get left out with expenses – but those little things, if not accounted for, can really start to add up. The cost of cleaning has pretty much skyrocketed post-COVID, for obvious reasons, but just that little piece of the puzzle can start to dip into your bottom line. At CVP, we are extremely diligent about taking into account upcharges and unforeseen fees so that we can adjust accordingly. We don’t believe in setting it and forgetting it! If you set the price low then you are going to have very few vacancies, but every time that someone leaves, it is going to cost you more in cleaning, so it is always something to keep in mind.

Peak Season Changes

Although people are pretty predictable about when they take a vacation and what part of the globe they vacation at during certain periods of the year, things do change from year to year, and if you just assume you know what people’s behaviors are, then you can really miss the boat. Sure, you can charge more during peak times, but if you do and the competition fails to be consistent, then you are going to have lower occupancy rates without saving anything. It is important to be on top of trends using real data, not just assumed or expected trends.

Trends in Different Areas

Fort Lauderdale used to be a college haven (or for others another adjective), but that has changed due to social and other factors. Just because one area is hot for a while does not mean that it will be forever. In the same respect, just because you have a rental in an area that no one really knows about, it just takes one viral post to change all of that, and your rental that used to cost nothing can be worth a whole lot. If you want to get the most out of your rental, you need a rental property management group that is always on the lookout.

Niche Market

Again, the college spring break rental is going to differ greatly from a family rental or even an empty-nester rental, so you have to know where to draw the line. Higher rental rates usually mean that you get a safer renter audience, but it also means that they are going to demand better decor and nicer amenities. It is our job to point out to our rental owners when they can benefit from upgrading, and how much they should likely sink into their renovations or upgrades in terms of rental rates after those renovations.

In the rental market, there is a constant balancing act to be made between rental rates and occupancy rates to find the “sweet spot” where you are getting the most, limiting the legwork and wear and tear, and being competitive in the market. At CVP, we know how to find that balance to ensure that our customers get the most out of their renters year-round. We aren’t just guessing, nor is it our first time around the block. We have decades of data related to rental conditions and use it to make the most informed decisions for you – and us – possible.

Josh Hatter

By: Josh Hatter

Josh Hatter moved to Charleston from the Washington, DC area in 1999 to complete a Business Administration degree at the College of Charleston. He graduated from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina with an MBA in 2010.

After spending nearly 20 years of his professional career growing businesses primarily supporting the US Navy, he decided to rent a single bedroom out of his home in 2016. Since that single bedroom nearly 6 years ago, he has grown his portfolio into several businesses owning investment short-term rentals both alone and with partners, as well as managing a portfolio of nearly 100 bedrooms for clients to help them meet their long-term investment property goals.

He loves supporting his clients, growing their investments and hosting thousands of guests as they visit Charleston through his property management company, Coastal Vacation Properties.